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Cold Northern Vengeance: Domination and Servitude

One of the best things about being a writer, besides getting loads of promos directly in your mail box, is having the chance to listen and discover new and very talented bands. Out of nowhere comes this refreshing release from an American band that goes by the name of Cold Northern Vengeance.

This duo comprises Heathen (guitars, vocals, bass and keyboards) and Gemini (lead guitar, bass, Hammond Organ, piano and drums). Signed to Bindrune Recordings, where nothing is like everywhere else, Cold Northern Vengeance is much different from what you could have already heard from the US Black Metal scene. Don't expect anything like Azrael or Xasthur. Domination and Servitude makes references to Satanism in more than one instance, either from the cover, and overall artwork, or within the lyrics. Those are expressed by raspy growls, rough/clean voices, narration and the likes. The music to be heard on this disc is quite varied; something I personally really appreciate. As a whole, I could say that this release tends toward the Avant-gardist side of Black Metal, with a nice progressive edge. What surprised me though, in a good way, was the fact that Heathen and Gemini managed to add a folksy touch on top of it all, by including acoustic guitars. Two of my favorite compositions have this instrument: "The Shore of New England" and "Heathen, Heretic, Scapegoat". The intro, "Gnosis", is more of a ritual, with wicked narrative vocals. A catchier and chaotic "A Dangerous Wayfaring", follows right after. Track #3, "Hidden 93", has nice crushing guitars, haunted leads, a faster pace and we can hear wolves howling. Then comes "The Path to Chaos", a more experimental tune. I could go on and on, but by now you get the picture on how varied, and entertaining, this album is.

Domination and Servitude easily found its place in my "Best of 2008" list.

Track listing:
1 - Gnosis(intro)
2 - A Dangerous Wayfaring
3 - Hidden 93
4 - The By-Paths to Chaos
5 - A Past Forgotten
6 - The Abraxas Trance
7 - The Shores of New England
8 - Heathen, Heretic, Scapegoat
9 - The Black Silence
10 - Communion

Added: January 8th 2009
Reviewer: Denis Brunelle
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2018
Language: english

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