ADASTRA – Death Or Domination

ADASTRA - Death Or Domination
  • 8/10
    ADASTRA - Death Or Domination - 8/10


Violent Journey Records
Release date: December 10, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The extremely musically talented Olli Antilla and Teemu Kurki founded Adastra, Formerly Paralysion, in 2001. Unfortunately, the latter decided to leave the band in 2002 due to the well-known “musical differences” reason. The bassist, Santeri Vauramo, and the drummer, Jussi Ruokolainen, joined in 2002 and the heart of Adastra was formed. In 2004, the band released their first demo, The System Falls Apart, with Ville Siikamaki leading vocals. Two years later, Adastra released an EP with a new guy, Jari Hartman, on guitar as he was recruited as the second axeman. A year later, in 2007, their debut album The Last Sunset hit the Metal market.

Death Or Domination is the second album by the Finnish Heavy Metal band, Adastra. This young group demonstrates extraordinarily good control in the ways of Heavy Metal. Death Or Domination is, without any doubt, a great example of modernized Heavy Metal demonstrated by vigorous riffs, filling leads, and impressive solos.

This new album displays how important good practice is and great coordination between band members and what they can achieve. Obviously, Olli is the living spirit behind Adastra, yet, there seems to be open-minded dynamics within the band, which shows the well-constructed dialog between the instruments. As with many talented musicians, Adastra has a good control and feel for the music, but lacks the sophistication in the lyrical arena. The lyrics of most songs are simple with standard rhythm and rhyme. Moreover, the vocals need much work to fit with the music well. Still, the rich melodic themes, changing from slow ballads to the much-beloved heavy rhythms cover for these drawbacks. The overall outcome is that Death Or Domination is a pretty good album.

Highlights from this release – modern and young with sweet melodies: “Death or Domination” has immense riffs, a very good bass work and superb composition; “Man Mk. II” shows that Ville can sing in a very melodic clean tone (please do bring it on some more in future releases); “Helsinki 1939,” as the name suggests, tells the story of the bombing of Helsinki by the Soviet Union during WWII — this song is masterfully composed as far as the music goes… Ville, however, misses a few notes in the beginning, which makes this song a total disappointment because there is a ton of potential, which could have made this one a classic — a darn shame.

Death Or Domination is a good album. The dynamic shift from slow tempo to fast and from soft melodies to heavy riffs, the filling solos and leads and the well-performed drum and bass lines show us that Adastra can become one of the great bands in modern times. More careful and honed production is needed to bring out the full potential of these guys. Salutations!


  • Ken Fox

    Ken Fox was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Haifa, Israel. He's a computer engineer with a degree from Technion Institute in Haifa. He first started out with the classics such as Iron Maiden, Megadeth, the old Metallica albums and others. When he got older he turned to Euro Power Metal (mainly Blind Guardian, Edguy and others in the German scene), Death Metal and his greatest influence, Progressive Metal (he started out with Dream Theater and moved on). He's also a musician, a guitarist, bassist and a part-time keyboard player. In 2005, he joined Switchblade, the Thrash Metal band formed by another ex-member of Metal Express Radio, Lior Stein, as their guitar player. Two years later he left and formed a Prog Metal band named Modus Vivendi. In 2009, he rejoined Switchblade as a bass player.

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