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A: Dominium came about back in 1999, The founding members Dominus and Malignus had a common interest in extreme metal, especially black metal and the progress began from there. I came on board in early 2000 to play bass. I left in early 2001 and by the end of 2001 Dominium decided to take a break. In 2011 (April), Malignus and I decided to resurrect Dominium to continue on what we had started years before. So far since the reformation of the band we have released “The Incursion” EP and are recording our full length this summer.
Municipal Waste bassist Phil “Landphil” Hall rounds out the current Dominium line-up. How did that partnership come to be?
A: Phil has been a longtime friend of everyone in the band, when we first talked about reforming he was one of the many that told us to do it again. We got into a situation where I had switched to Guitar from bass and bass players being a rare thing in Richmond, we were having a issue finding a person to fill that spot, So at a show one night we brought it up to him and he was all for it. Phil helped us out with 3 shows, but with the release of Waste’s New album he couldn’t dedicate the time to help us any further. We used a fill in on our mini tour with Demonical and are in the process now of trying out a few bass players. But the short time Phil helped us, it defiantly helped us get that fire under our ass. Phil’s a great musician and a great friend. We are eternally grateful for his help.
As the band has been around, more or less, since 1999…how do you believe black metal has evolved in that time?
A: I think it has gotten very watered down. Bands lost that attack, they lost that atmosphere. I remember the first time I saw Marduk live, that attack and that energy was amazing. Several other black metal bands had that attack and still do. But a lot of bands started to come out that were slow, very terrible recordings you couldn’t hear and they wanted to be more evil than anyone instead of trying to make good black metal music. And over time a lot of people have started to make black metal more and more of a joke. Those folks don’t understand what we are doing, they don’t get it. But there are quite a few bands that have stuck true to form and held on regardless of the massive amounts of crap that have come out under the black metal title.
How would you describe the creative/recording process for the recently-unleashed Incursion EP?
A: Very relaxed. It was a DIY recording involving a friend of ours in a local grind band. We wanted to get the new sound of Dominium out as soon as possible and it all fell into place rather quickly. When Malignus and myself began the writing process we had 4-5 songs done within a month and felt it was time to start laying stuff down. Back when we first were together we would write songs but never got around to recording them so this time we are trying to make a conscious effort to record often. I feel our material has progressed a lot since The Incursion. War Ritual will show a new more brutal side of Dominium.
As the band hails from Richmond, Virginia, what are your thoughts on the extreme music environment in that area of the world?
A: There are a few good bands around town, not many black metal bands. Some killer ones to check out are Humongous, Battlemaster, Antietam 1862, Cannibas Corpse.
What would you say are the biggest musical influences on the Dominium sound?
A: We all take different influences obviously, im a huge Venom fan and I love the raw attack they had with all of their songs. They were pissed and didn’t care what people thought. Marduk is another great band we all enjoy a lot. I feel with our sound we have taken all what we love and added to it to hopefully come up with something fresh. A lot of black metal nowadays is sad, slow, and monotonous. Dominium is not that… we want you to feel the attack visually and sonically. We can capture but so much on our recordings. The real Dominium experience is live.
Outside of the realm of music, what aspects of this life make their way into the band’s material?
A: I am a large collector of Horror films and Posters, so the fictional horror of film has made its way into a few songs. Aside from that I am very into serial murders and mass murders. Quite a few Dominium songs are about serial killers. One of the new ones we are writing now, is about Ed Gein. Death is always an influence as well as our beliefs of religion.
What are your thoughts on the evolution of the band’s recordings since its inception?
A: We want out records to reflect our live sound and intensity. A lot of bands lose their power and feeling when it gets over mixed or overproduced. We want you to hear us as we are, not as the engineer wants us to be. We have evolved from the 4 track days 10+ years ago to a more pro set up. But even then we want to capture the true atmosphere of the band and not just some stale tracks.
The Dominium sound possesses an undeniably old-school feel. What are your thoughts on so-called black metal bands that have infiltrated the more mainstream world of music, with a decidedly safer, polished approach?
A: We stick with our roots. I feel those who modify their sound for money don’t really get the point of music. Black metal is not for everyone. Its like if you watch a blu-ray of a classic drive-in horror film. You need to see the pops, the scratches, the grit. If you clean it up you lose the unsettling feeling. Seeing unpolished films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Shock Waves (1977) the camera defects almost become a character in its self. The same goes for Black Metal. You do not need a 500 dollar a day studio, granted I would spend a little money so you can hear everything. But you need to capture the feeling you have playing it live on a recording. The intensity. If you lose that raw emotion,grit and intensity, what do you have?
Scenario: If Dominium were to provide the soundtrack to a horror film, what would the story be?
A: Something along the lines of Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living dead or The Beyond. Or even the Michele Soavi film The Church. Pure unsettling terror filled with death and rot.
What does the rest of the year have in store for Dominium?
A: We are recording War Ritual this August, 9 tracks of brutalizing metal. Once our album is completed we hope to get it released to a more wider audience, spread the plague of black metal. Our singer Uzas has helped take us to the next level and it will show with this release. We are also playing Torture fest in Brooklyn Sept 29th. So we are looking forward to playing up there again.
That about does it for now! It’s been a pleasure and all at Forbidden Magazine thank you for your time. Any last bits of info or vile threats for inquiring minds?
A: War Ritual will be upon the masses by the years end! Hopefully a Vinyl pressing will follow! Fear the Return!