DOMAIN - The Chronicles Of Love, Hate And Sorrow
DOMAIN are one of the institutions of the German Melodic Metal scene ! In the mid-eighties the band were very active under the name of KINGDOM and even at such an early stage they laid the foundations stones for such classics with their superb Melodic Metal jewels such as "Lost In The City" and "Before The Storm", the latter under the name of DOMAIN.
"The Chronicles Of Love, Hate And Sorrow", DOMAIN's newest and ninth studio album, is no exception. The band behind guitar wizard Axel Ritt cranks themselves up a notch even after the brilliant 2006 predecessor "Stardawn". "The Chronicles Of Love, Hate And Sorrow" binds together all the elementary aspects so characteristic of DOMAIN's style and places them on an even higher level. Powerful, fresh, without the need to kowtow to any musical compulsions, strengthened by a new lineup, DOMAIN rock as though their lives depended on it. Stylish melody lines combine with voluminous riff backdrops and are impressively supported by tactful but decisive keyboards. The new material will blow the socks off fans and members of the press, because DOMAIN has never sounded so direct or consequential.
When, in the mid-eighties, an unknown band called KINGDOM entered the scene with their debut album "Lost In The City", no-one would have thought that the young lads would be one of the cornerstones of European Melodic Metal twenty years later. It doesn't matter that the band had to rename themselves DOMAIN only a short time after the release of their debut - the visiting card that the band had left behind them was stupendous and they were hungry for more. Follow-up albums such as "Before The Storm" and "Crack In The Wall" cemented DOMAIN's reputation.
Internal problems placed the talented band on ice for several years before they swept back onto the scene in 2001 with "One Million Lightyears From Home". This was followed by the albums "The Artefact" (2002), "The Sixth Dimension" (2003) and tours with Joe Lynn Turner and Glenn Hughes (HTP), all of which secured for DOMAIN a firm slot in the Champions League of European Melodic Metals.
The band began to add epic and more progressive and symphonic elements to their style which led to the album "Last Days Of Utopia" in 2005. The brainchild of this conceptual album was the band's vocalist at the time, Carsten "Lizard" Schulz, who, beside mastermind Axel Ritt (guitar) and together with his band-mates of the time, Erdmann Lange (keyboards), Jochen Mayer (bass) and drummer Stefan Köllner recorded a tremendous album.
At the same time, they found a new partner in Limb Music Products, who was to accompany and support the ambitious projects of the band in the future.
In order to present the new album live, DOMAIN went on the road with the Melodic Metal Alliance-Tour, which took the band not only through Europe, but also to Asia. There, in the meantime, the album "The Sixth Dimension" as well as a limited edition Best-Of album titled "The Essence Of Glory" (for Asia only) had been released. The highlights of the tour were shows in Korea, and at the Busan Festival in front of 25,000 Fans as well as a live appearance at Korea's biggest Saturday night TV show, in front of millions of viewers.
The tremendous boost of such success helped the band pull a stroke of genius out of their communal sleeves for the soon-to-be 20th Band Anniverary. "Stardawn" was the name of the 2006 album which heaved the band to an even higher level of musicality. And it wasn't enough to have mastermind Axel Ritt again holding all the strings of the production, this time they also gave the keys of the studio to a number of well-known musicians from their circle of friends, such as Michael Voss (Casanova), Tarek Maghary (Majesty), Fredy Doernberg (Axel Rudi Pell, Uli Jon Roth) and Connie Andreszka (Circle Of Pain).
Their musicality became extremely versatile, for example with a phenominal cover version of Chris De Burgh's hit "Don't Pay The Ferryman", which pleased Chris De Burgh himself so much, that he invited the band to meet him in Frankfurt during his 2006 World Tour.
In a very impressive way, "Stardawn" documented the versatility of the symphonic Melodic Rockers. Limb Music Products themselves found the album so exciting that instead of just releasing it as any normal album, they decided to release a special version as a high-quality, limited edition 2CD/DVD Digipak. There was surely no better way to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of an equally high-quality band.
2006, however also had something a little less positive in store. At the end of the year, bass player Jochen Mayer and singer Carsten Schulz left the band at their own wishes. The first vacancy was quickly filled by Shylock bass player Steven Wussow and the Ex-Avalon, Firewind, Faro singer Chity Somapala took over the job at DOMAIN's front microphone.
During 2007 it seemed that the band members had differences of opinion about the band's future path and so there was another lineup change, which is still together today. DOMAIN 2009 comprises of Axel Ritt (guit), Jens Baar (dr), Steven Wussow (bass), Erdmann Lange (keys) and Nicolaj Ruhnow (vox).
The new lineup went out on their first tour together, a clubtour, in October 2007 and it was a huge success. The lineup also recorded the new opus "The Chronicles Of Love, Hate And Sorrow".
Singer Nicolaj Ruhnow (Irony, Nick Hellfort) has written a ten-chapter drama, based on the legendary book, "The Sorrows of Young Werther" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the rest of the band has forged the drama into songs between hard and hymn-like metal and formed using a epic-orchestral hammer. One could certainly define the concept album as a Metal Opera - how else could you describe the story about living against all known conventions, your own feelings against all forms of resistance ?
"The Chronicles Of Love, Hate And Sorrow", produced by Axel Ritt, clearly shows that it is still possible to give a breath of new life to epic Melodic Metal.
The typical DOMAIN sound which has been nurtured over two decades, is given a new dimension thanks to the expressive voice of Nicolaj Ruhnow. So it is no surprise to hear the powerful and forceful metal hymns "He Is Back", "Inner Rage" and "Sweeping Scars" thundering through the loudspeakers.
The focal point of the majority of the new songs is set to the very edge of powerful melodic Power Metal without neglecting the epic or symphonic aspects. The DOMAIN trademark of multivocal parts adds to the overall atmosphere and a very pleasant melodic component to the carefully prepared songs.
The eleven tracks of "The Chronicles Of Love, Hate And Sorrow" glitter with sheer joy of playing, high musicality, exceptional instrumental talent and will enchant not only DOMAIN fans but also lovers of high class melodic metal.
The limited edition version of the album contains a bonus track. "Two Brothers & The Sinners Chess", which has nothing to do with the overall concept of the album, but which serves to respectably round off an excellent work. DOMAIN has succeeded in producing an overall positive metal album which shines with pure energy and shows absolutely no weaknesses whatsoever.
- with their ninth studio album, one of the European cornerstones of Melodic Metal presents its most verstatile and musically perfected work to date. A milestone of the genre.
- Produced by guitar wizard Axel Ritt in Meadow Studios.
- DOMAIN have a tremendous following in Asia and performed e.g. in 2005 at the Korean Busan Festival in front of 25,000 fans.
- Epic-melodic Metal with a high quality progressive part which will appeal to fans of cross-genre music.
- DOMAIN are one of the most established Melodic Metal Bands in Germany and, in the person of Axel Ritt, have one of Germany's most renowned guitarists in their midst.
Axel Ritt – Guitar
Nicolaj Ruhnow – Vocals
Erdmann Lange – Keyboards
Steven Wussow – Bass
Jens Baar – Drums