Today’s people are overloaded with a great deal of technology, which seems to fit perfectly into the pandemic isolation, where all of the hard work we do is executed with minimal physical effort. Closing out this year, we would need something to shake our bodies up with raw industrial power, while upbeat tempos would be a great asset to the end of the year. FEAR OF DOMINATION thus fit perfectly into December’s releases with their new album, “VI: Revelation.”
Fact: FEAR OF DOMINATION is one of the best Finnish industrial metal bands. Over the span of their career, they have solidified themselves as a band who will give their audience nothing less than energetic, half-crazy, upbeat, and highly theatrical shows that have left fans in total awe. Alongside the music, their shows have further incorporated pyrotechnics, UV-light, face paint, theatrical acts, fire blowing, and so on. All these elements have been combined with apocalyptic-insane music with flavors from all sides of popular music.
The album starts with the energetic and upbeat track “Exitus.” The song begins with a skipping beat that gives an electronic disco feel before bursting into a savage thrash tempo with a half-step chord progression. The exchanging vocals between Sara Strömmer and Saku Solin bring extra spice and melody to the fast beats and guitar playing. The song kicks the listener right into a good, energetic mood and sets the soundscape of the album nicely. The single track, “Dive into I,” with its ’80s synth style, offers a little more melody while remaining very powerful. The arrangements give the listener something new and unpredictable, but with a familiar feel.
The techno sound of Lasse Raelahti‘s keyboards brings back the nostalgia of early ’90s techno songs but perfectly blends with heavy guitar riffs during “Inner Lies,” keeping the same melody in the background while the heavy guitars play over the consistent bass and drums, which perfectly blend the pop style with death/thrash metal. The melodic singing from Sara Strömmer has little pop fillers, but still, her growling sound accents the chord progressions. The exchanging of the role of lead singers makes it even more interesting. “Formless One” starts with a gentle melody, slowly progressing to the typical power riffing, with a guitar solo that keeps the same speed, even if the overall song has a slower tempo. “Rust” is powerful but certainly not rusty. It fades right into the heavy riffs with roaring singing; a great mixture with the poppy, melodic singing from Sara‘s leads, allowing for a nice progression from previous songs.
FEAR OF DOMINATION did not leave a single member out on “Manifest,” as bassist Lauri Ojanen kicks off a groovy start, while the relentless changing melodies at different tempos, topped with a variety of different singing styles, will allow you no rest. Single “Amongst Gods,” with the trademark synth sound, exchanges powerful but heavy riffs while the singers create a strong melody on top of the energetic sound. All those surprise fillers, from poppy singing to the guitar mini-solos, elevate the song to another level. A spacey synth sound and heavy riffs are quite standard for them to lead listeners into the song but not in a repetitive way. With the track “Home,” the main chorus melody gives a soft gentle feel almost like a ballad with emotions extended with the guitar solo. On this track, Saku Solin‘s singing shows melodic and very skillful transitions from soft to harsh and growling voices.
The beginning of “The Greatest Harmony” starts very gently and soft before it hits you with a wave of raging power and then turning back. The track offers not only great musicianship, but also a feel of theatrical play between the singers as they try not just to sing the lyrics, but give them active feeling. The closing song for the album, “They All Want Me to Die,” with the ’80s synth and guitars, follows standard heavy riff melodies, progressing to more heavy playing with the industrial and disco-pop elements in between, topped off to the vocal duo’s exchanging roles, to create a perfect closing song.
FEAR OF DOMINATION managed to create another interesting album by mixing disco-pop, industrial, thrash, and death metal with interesting trade-offs between both singers. “VI: Revelation” is another twisted and powerful album with great atmosphere. From the first note to the last, it entangles the listener in its melody. It’s great to see the band able to produce fresh and, in some ways, distinct types of music while still sounding like FEAR OF DOMINATION. The ever-increasing number of clean voices in their songs, in particular, gives them a very pleasant edge.
Written by Peter Jerman
2. Dive into I
3. Inner Lies
4. Formless One
7. Amongst Gods
9. The Greatest Harmony
10. They All Want me to Die
Saku Solin – Vocals
Sara Strömmer – Vocals
Miikki Kunttu – Percussions, drums
Johannes Niemi – Guitar
Lauri Ojanen – Bass
Jan-Erik Kari – Guitar
Lasse Raelahti – Keyboard