Domination Black Unleash Judgement IV
Domination Black Unleash Judgement IV
Domination Black rages out of Finland, unleashing their own exhilarating brand of mighty melodic heavy metal upon our great big world. Judgement IV is the name of their just released magnum opus, now available via Pride & Joy Music. Highwire Daze recently caught up with two of the Domination Black brigade to find out more about this amazing band and the supersonic world of Judgement IV! Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Domination Black, and how long the band has been together.
Lauri: Originally the band started in spring/summer 2003 when Kari A. Killgast and Ville Viren met each other and decided to form a band combining the best sides of their musical tastes. Also in their opinion no one had done that kind of music since the ’80s. I also heard about this band but wasn’t involved until the end of 2003 when they asked me to join as a bassist. Previously they had thought I wouldn’t like to play this kind of music, so they hadn’t asked me earlier. I was kind of bewildered that they asked me to join since I didn’t consider myself that good a bass player.
Matias: I’m the current lead vocalist and I joined the band in 2010 when Kari had left the group.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
Lauri: The band’s hometown is the Finnish town Kotka. It’s a small town but despite that, it has a relatively active metal music scene. Already since the late 80’s and early 2000s, lots of heavy rock bands were formed in Kotka area, some of them still going on with others fading away. I think the same phenomenon could be seen all around Finland at that time. Of the bands that started at the beginning of the millennium, Omnium Gatherum is the most known Kotka area band being popular all around the globe. During the last 10 years, however, metal music has been a bit out of fashion and the kids often choose different hobbies than playing metal music. All we old-timers are still here, though.
How did you wind up signing with Pride & Joy Music?
Matias: I hadn’t heard about Pride & Joy Music before, I think. But I was talking to a friend of mine who’s a writer in a major rock magazine in Sweden. I played him a few of our tracks and then he recommended Pride & Joy. So I sent the material to them and they contacted us. Pretty much right from the start we felt that they were on the same page with us concerning promoting our music and how the things should be done business-wise. We also got some other offers from different companies but decided to go with Pride & Joy.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Judgement IV title?
Matias: Well, yeah, kinda. We wanted to come back with a vengeance, so to speak, so it had to deal with that subject somehow. The opening track of the album is called The Judgement, so I think we got it from there and also this is our 4th full-length album, hence “IV”.
Lauri: I think naming the record was one of the most discussed subjects within the band and for example my excellent suggestion didn’t get much support.
Matias: Exactly. Lauri seriously wanted to call the album “Slippery When Buttery.” And I’m not even kidding!
Select two songs from Judgement IV and what inspired the lyrics.
Matias: Let’s pick Center Of The Universe and VAT. By chance, they’re also the two first singles from the album but the topics of the lyrics are somewhat similar. They both tell stories about some difficult persons we had to deal with in the past. Center Of The Universe is about someone who cannot see nothing but his own truth no matter what happens. And eventually it gets to the point where he loses it. VAT is obviously the acronym of value-added-tax but since we like to put some humor into our lyrics, for us it means “Violence And Terror.” It’s about people who are trying to cheat you and then get caught with their pants down.
Who did the cover art for Judgement IV and how much input did you have on it?
Matias: The cover art was done by Katja Medarhri of ShiverLab. She had made a sketch of an artwork that we then saw on Facebook. So we contacted her about the idea to turn it into our album cover and she was very happy to create it. It actually connects to the album title. The title has number four in it and on the cover you see four hooded characters summoning Domination Black’s mascot Fearbringer from another dimension. So this is how The Judgement comes to be, heheh!
What has it been like to release a new album right in the middle of a pandemic and so much social injustice in the world? Have you had any shows or tours cancelled because of the pandemic?
Lauri: I was actually a little surprised that everything has been running so smoothly concerning the release, and we actually managed to finish the record and a couple of videos amid all this gloom. We hope our album brings forth some nice musical experiences to help people survive. We didn’t have to cancel any shows as we hadn’t booked anything for the spring, and now it seems possible that we can make some shows in the autumn. We even have one gig coming in August when Dark River Festival takes place in Finland.
What could one expect from a live Domination Black show?
Lauri: Energy, action – joyful heavy metal. We don’t really need much special effects but let the music and live energy speak for themselves.
When you look back on the first two Domination Black albums Fearbringer and Dark Legacy, what do you think of them now in retrospect?
Lauri: Those albums were the products of the times when they were created and if we recorded them today they would certainly sound very different. But they show very well what Domination Black used to be like in the years 2004-2006. There are some nice songs but production-wise they don’t really shine and of course the band didn’t have much experience on making albums yet. For me they bring a lot of good memories. The beginning of 2000s was a good time for heavy metal! I was actually searching for my own CD copy of Fearbringer a while ago but didn’t find it. Sadly the CD edition of the album is sold out.
And are you currently involved with any other bands or projects outside of Domination Black?
Matias: Yes. I’ve been with Heavy Metal Perse and Merging Flare for some 20 years already. They’re both bands that were formed in my hometown Kajaani and they still exist. Merging Flare actually released an album called Revolt Regime last year. The music is kind of European style power/heavy metal with lots of 80’s pop music influences. Heavy Metal Perse started recording a new album, too. HMP is more like folky heavy metal stuff sung in Finnish.
Lauri: I play bass in a Finnish-sung rock music group called Suuri Tuntematon. All the other projects I’m involved with have nothing to do with music.
Any final words of wisdom?
Lauri: One has to drink booze! And heavy metal music must always prevail. If we lose heavy metal we will be lost forever!
Matias Palm – Vocals
Teppo Heiskanen – Guitar
Juuso Laitinen – Guitar
Lauri Eerola – Bass
Ville Nissinen – Drums
Juuso Elminen – Keys
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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