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Shadow Domain - Digital Divide

Shadow Domain
Digital Divide
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 30 December 2018, 11:56 PM

I don’t know about you, but when SYBREED split a few years back, there’s been a hole in my musical heart ever since. So, when I heard that Geneva's Benjamin was back with a new band, I had to check it out. Together with ex-DARKEST HOUR and SCAR THE MARTYRS instrumentalist Kris Norris, they formed this band called SHADOW DOMAIN, and are releasing their debut here on Bleeding Nose Records. From their Facebook page, they list their influences as “urban landscapes at night, derelict factories, cyberpunk culture and existentialism, brutalist architecture and hard science fiction, the 80's and 90's: the ones and only golden ages…”

“Digital Divide” leads off the album, with a fierce guitar riff and sterile, cold vocals. Think NINE INCH NAILS with some vocals in the higher ranges as well. The chorus is full of tasty melodies that are both subtle and hanging out there. “Magnitizdat” features a steady mid-tempo riff cruising low to the ground. The melodies are bright here, shining as white beacons amidst the cold, grey landscapes. “Give up on Joy” is a quick burner that leaves a trail behind it’s scorching sound. It has melancholy tones like THE CURE, but the vocals are much more raging. “Turbogenerator” opens with a fast, chugging riff and background ambiance. It sounds a lot like old SYBREED, with a bit of a MINISTRY edge to me and I love it.

“Simulacrum” is a bit longer. It has a slow opening pace with clean vocals that are solemn and emotional in their delivery. Some light electronica carries forth as well, with clean choirs like you would hear in a church. “Hyperkarma” opens with some spooky electronica and a thudding guitar riff, as if foretelling the coming of an alien species. It takes a 180 with the clean vocals, moving to a different directly entirely. “Omega Point” is an odd song. Sometimes following one melody line while other times shooting to a different spot, it seems disjointed a bit. But the main melody lines makes sense. “Neurotopia” features a sprig of dual guitar harmonies in the beginning and they are replaced by keyboards in a song sparkling with melody, amidst the aggressive riffing. It might be the most complete song in the album in the sense of balance.

“Shadow Domain” opens with light and suspenseful piano notes over a bed of electronica, followed by a charging main guitar riff, and absolutely raging, sterile vocals. It ends in despondent piano notes that sound like they are coming from space. “Who Watched the Watchers” has a slow cadence, like a march of sorts. It’s guarded at first but lets loose with a guitar solo not often heard on the album, and some high vocal shouts. It ends on a positive note. Overall, I enjoyed the album, but if you are looking for the reincarnation of SYBREED, look elsewhere. It’s a bit more mellow overall, with a focus on more succinct songwriting and more linear songs. The power and passion is still there however.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Digital Divide
2. Magnitizdat
3. Give up on Joy
4. Turbogenerator
5. Simulacrum
6. Hyperkarma
7. Omega Point
8. Neurotopia
9. Shadow Domain
10, Who Watched the Watchers
Lineup:
Benjamin DMN – Vocals, Synths and Machines
Kris Norris – Guitars & Bass
Record Label: Bleeding Nose Records
     


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Edited 24 May 2019
 

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