DOMAIN – Stardawn

DOMAIN - Stardawn


Release date: October 13, 2006

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Domain has been around for a long time. The story starts in the 80s, when they were called Kingdom. They released one album, Lost In The City (1987), before changing their name to Domain. They released three albums after the name change (last album in 1991) before the band members decided to call it quits.

Although they made a name for themselves in the 80s, it wasn’t until their comeback albums One Million Lightyears Away (2001), The Artefact (2002), and The Sixth Dimension (2003) that they were properly recognized in the scene of Melodic Heavy Metal. Also, a successful tour with the Hughes/Turner Project helped secure their position in the musical world.

Stardawn is a great Melodic Heavy Metal album that most Metal fans will enjoy. On the album, you’ll find guest appearances by Ferdy Doernberg (Axel Rudi Pell, Uli Jon Roth), Michael Voss (Casanova), Tarek Maghary (Majesty), Val Halla, Jr. (Iron Mask), and Connie Andreszka (Circle Of Pain).

The opener “All In The Name Of Fire” is a fast and melodic Metal tune. The guitar solo is very Progressive and it also seems to be influenced by Classical music. Even though it’s a cool song, you might just hate the way the song ends … they fade it out in the middle of a guitar solo! NEVER fade a guitar solo! “Temple Of The Earth” has a catchy guitar riff and choir on the chorus. In the middle of the song, there is a paced-down section that let’s the listener absorb the track before the guitar kicks in with an amazing dual guitar solo. Unfortunately, this one also fades out!

“Don’t Pay The Ferryman” is a Chris DeBurgh cover. It starts with the piano before the rest of the band enters. The lyrics tell the story of a man who boards a ferryboat and sets off. A storm approaches and the ferryman demands payment. Singer Carsten Schulz warns the passenger not to pay the ferryman until the boat reaches its destination on the other side. It’s simply a cool Melodic Metal version of a classic song.

“I Ain’t No Hero” is the only ballad on the record. The song is very piano/keyboard-based, and along with Schulz’s fantastic emotional voice, this sets the mood perfect for this ballad. When the guitar and bass enters in the middle of the song, you get the feel of how mighty and great the song actually is. It’s a good classical ballad, just the way they’re supposed to be.

“Headfirst Into Disaster” is a typical 80s Heavy Metal song. It’s got the 80s party spirit within, and this song could easily fit in with the Melodic Heavy Metal scene today. The solo part is fantastic. Ritt plays some cool melodic solo parts on the guitar, before he does some insane sounds that Lange answers with the keyboard. It brings thoughts to Deep Purple in their prime era. Unfortunately, when they really start to make this part interesting, they fade out this song as well.

“Stardawn” is a nine and a half minute long journey through Domain’s real talent; making great Melodic Heavy Metal tunes. This is a highpoint of the record. It’s a long song, but never boring. Schulz keeps it interesting with his great vocal performances, and the choruses are dominated by choirs that, along with the keyboard and double bass drum pedal, make the song extremely powerful. Ritt also shows brilliant skills in his guitar solo section at the end of the song.

“Crystal Stone Island (Warpath Pt. II)” is a fast Power Metal song. Also, in this one, Ritt plays an amazing guitar solo. His fretwork is amazing and not only does he play fast, but the solo’s are very melodic as well. “Help Me Through The Storm” is a more downbeat song than the previous. The riffs are melodic and reveal good cooperation between the guitar and the keyboard. This also sounds a bit like Deep Purple.

“Shadowhall” is the greatest moment on the record. The song consists of seven parts, and the 25-minute long track tells of a story about the rise and the fall of a vampire clan. Needless to say, the band gets to show all their skills in this one. One might think that it takes quite a band to make a song interesting for 25 minutes. It does! But, Domain is one of those bands. They vary the song so much that the seven parts become more of a medley. You get everything in “Shadowhall.” Incredible drumplay, steady and pounding bassplay, insane guitar solos, cool riffs, mighty keyboard sounds, choirs on the choruses, and amazing vocal abilities.

Stardawn is a great Melodic Heavy Metal album. The only objection centers around the bad decision to fade out certain songs. That practice is not good at all, and if Axel Ritt is to produce Domain’s next album, he ought to reconsider the fading. Domain sometimes sound like a mix between Edguy and Deep Purple, combined with a happy version of the early works of Adagio. If you like Melodic Heavy Metal, you’ll like this one!


  1. All In The Name Of Fire
  2. Temple Of The Earth
  3. Don’t Pay The Ferryman
  4. I Ain’t No Hero
  5. Headfirst Into Disaster
  6. Stardawn
  7. Crystal Stone Island (Warpath Pt. II)
  8. Help Me Through The Storm
  9. Shadowhall
    -Chapter I – Gathering Of The Damned
    -Chapter II – Under The Bloodmoon
    -Chapter III – Open The Gates
    -Chapter IV – Shadowhall
    -Chapter V – Vampire’s Ball
    -Chapter VI – Hell Dimension
    -Chapter VII – Love Under Ice


• Axel Ritt – Guitar, Backing Vocals
• Carsten Schulz – Vocals
• Erdmann Lange – Keyboards
• Jochen Mayer – Bass
• Stefan Köllner – Drums


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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