DOMAIN – Last Days Of Utopia

DOMAIN - Last Days Of Utopia


Limb Music Products
Release date: July 2, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Domain (formerly known as Kingdom) is one of Europe’s grand old Symphonic Metal bands. Since their debut, Lost in the City, in 1988, they have delivered a handful of albums, seemingly unaffected by numerous line-up changes. Last Days Of Utopia is their latest contribution, a conceptual album with a Progressive and Symphonic approach.

Last Days Of Utopia tells the story of a man, who after a night on rough seas is shipwrecked and stranded upon the beach of an ocean paradise, Utopia. Here he learns to know the beauty of love, but things get out of hand and the Gods pour endless rain over paradise in wrath over a rebellion that he causes. Being the sole survivor, he finds himself drifting on the sea in shameful and pitiful loneliness. End of story.

The story is not particularly interesting, nor very well written. One is tempted to look at it as a mere excuse to write music for yet another album. Still, Last Days Of Utopia sort of works as an album, if you don’t pay too much attention to the story. There are some mighty heavy parts, awesome guitar work, atmospheric moods, and even convincing vocals.

The songs vary in quality from the majestic “On Stormy Seas,” and the catchy “Ocean Paradise,” to the horrible “The Shores of Utopia” and “Underneath the Blue.” The latter two are short, instrumental tracks, apparently meant to help create an atmospheric transition from one song to another. They’re a theatrical trick, if you like. Well, try this trick: leave them out! An experiment where both tracks were left out during playback proved successful. It seems as if the musical theme (in both compositions the same, only one is in major key and the other is in minor) doesn’t fit into the picture attempted to be painted here, plus the lead guitar is just too loud compared to the other tracks.

Speaking of guitar, Axel Ritt’s lead guitar work is truly impressive as far as technique is concerned. But apart from a dirty overdrive sound, there is not much uniqueness to his work. The phrasing is rather predictable, and although he is fast, he is safe within the common scales used in the genre … no groundbreaking material, in other words.

The backing guitar, on the other hand (also handled by Ritt), along with the bass and drums, make up the most impressive act on the album. There is tempo and there is groove — plenty of groove — sure to make your leg start stomping… and they are so freaking tight, it feels like a massage with the volume turned all the way up.

Giving the benefit of the doubt, Last Days Of Utopia is an album with some good moments. These moments could be good enough, as well as adequately pervasive to make it work for some of you, but mostly it will be far from good enough to make it for most Metal fans, especially when the best track, “On Stormy Seas,” has a main riff that is shockingly similar to Dream Theater’s “Pull Me Under.”

For more info on Domain and their releases, please visit their website, which has a very neat detail in the mouse pointer…


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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