Cold Northern Vengeance - Domination and Servitude Review
by Mark Hensch
For an album entitled Domination and Servitude, this record sure leans towards the former. Despite being the debut full-length for New England black metal outfit Cold Northern Vengeance, Domination exudes confidence and will on a scale older bands only dream of. Rather than toe the line of black metal cliches, Cold Northern Vengeance instead flies their own flag, one whose colors mix together into something unmistakably black but in a shade darker than the norm.
Take the moody atmospherics of "A Dangerous Wayfaring" for example. The song begins with chilling throat vocals, the likes of which herald the approach of murky riffs and cold melodies. Emerging from this dark shroud of sound are twisting time signature changes, slamming guitar runs, and even infectious choruses.
Following this, "Hidden 93" unfolds in much the same way. Building tension off an ethereal guitar melody, the song slowly careens into chaos by unleashing increasingly frantic riffing. Once this furious assault wears itself down, the song wisely returns to the quiet melancholy of the original melody, like a cloud of fog which rolls over a town twice in one dreary day.
"A Past Forgotten," meanwhile, clocks in at an epic length of nearly 11 minutes but never wanders off course into tedium. Instead, "Forgotten" storms past with a mix of headbang-inducing guitars, fiery fretwork, and rhythmic, face-smashing percussion. Though the song often seesaws between malice and magnificence, its stunning section of hang-in-the-air melodic guitar sweeps is worth the price of admission alone. Once the frosty tremolo lines enter the stage, even the most elitist of black metal fans should be converted.
The band next throws another curveball with the somber "The Shores of New England." Quiet and simplistic, this powerful acoustic piece speaks volumes without a single word. "The Black Silence," for its part, runs in much the same vein; its twinkling piano keys are a chilling backdrop for hopeless shrieks and ominous noises.
With such diverse songs, genre aficionados and open-minded music fans alike will find much that pleases them on Domination and Servitude. Though each song stands on its own, the final sum of their combination is darkness hell-bent on conquering the world. Chock this one up as yet another great release within the recent output of the United States Black Metal movement.
Cold Northern Vengeance's Domination and Servitude
A Dangerous Wayfaring
The By-Paths to Chaos
A Past Forgotten
The Abraxas Trance
The Shores of New England
Heathen, Heretic, Scapegoat
The Black Silence
CD Info and Links
Cold Northern Vengeance - Domination and Servitude
Preview and Purchase This CD Online
Visit the official homepage
More articles for this artist
tell a friend about this review
Thrash Worthy Link