Firstly I must apologise for having been given this album a
few weeks ago and only just now have I had the chance to sit down and review it.
So, sorry to Hell's Domain for taking a while.
Their self titled debut, released last month is almost as good as a first album
can be. The Danish newcomers are about to embark on a tour in support of Dark
Tranquillity and I wonder if any thrash fans will have energy left to see the
main event with these guys supporting.
One of the criticisms of modern thrash metal, in fact most modern metal records,
is the fact that bands can sound too polished. Some bands are so very musically
talented that they can make it work very well - the technical proficiency isn't
in any way hindered by the album production. You know what else people say with
production issues? If it's not too polished it's often so fuzzy and grainy with
too much gain, and you can't hear anything but crash symbols and vocals.
Not here. Hat goes off to the producer of this record. This is brilliantly done.
This is nice and raw but very well balanced and avoids any of the difficulties I
just mentioned. Outstanding production. It really exemplifies how a 'back in the
day' thrash album should sound. There is nothing worse than great musicians
being let down by bad production, especially in an industry where so many shitty
bands have their mediocre performances cleverly brushed aside in the studio in
order that they can be marketed for the scene kids.
It's an extremely tight album. Creatively, the riffs, while not at all bad, are
not the most original either, and nor is the lead guitar work - lots of tapping
with screeching Slayer-esque pitch harmonics. They are perfectly placed though,
and it compliments the overall sound to the point where it is not an issue,
especially not for a debut. I think it's something that needs to develop a
little but there is no doubt in my mind that they will hone their creative
It didn't seem to last three quarters of an hour, more like half an hour, but
that's probably because it's thrash metal and hits the ground running, only
getting faster before abruptly stopping and making me go 'awww dammit!' when it
Now, when I say 'modern day metal fans' people with any sense will know that it
isn't an age thing - it relates to fans of a particular type of modern style.
Nothing wrong with that, but I think I should warn that modern day metal fans
would probably be most likely to find Hell's Domain too raw. They are only
modern in the sense of the fact that they were formed in 2007. Nothing about
their sound is modern. Though there is room for creative improvement, this is an
excellent representation of the origins of thrash metal. Hell's Domain have
given the genre the best debut offering I have heard since Evile released Enter