Music

Dommin: Love Is Gone

These new gothic rockers show a lot of promise, and with some work on their sound, they can definitely achieve greatness.


Dommin

Love Is Gone

Label: Roadrunner
US Release Date: 2010-02-02
UK Release Date: 2010-02-15
Label website
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

Gothic rock has become one of the most oversaturated scenes in music in the past decade. With the advent of bands like Evanescence and Lacuna Coil and their worldwide success, the gothic rock and metal scenes have exploded tenfold what they used to be, especially with female-fronted bands within these genres. Such an inundation of music means that newer bands have less of a chance of being noticed because their sound will seem to lack originality. A new gothic rock band has to have something remarkable in order to stand out, much more so than ten years ago. Such is the struggle of Dommin, a Los Angeles-based quartet that has existed since the gothic surge of the early decade, but only recently got their official start after signing with Roadrunner Records. On their debut album, Love Is Gone, the band tries to show where they stand out from the rest of the scene, with varying degrees of success.

Dommin has two things going for them that will make them stand out from the pack. The first is the excellent singing of vocalist, lead guitarist, and namesake Kristofer Dommin. His soulful voice is completely unique, and his style carries the best elements of many different influences, ranging from 1950s big band crooners and 1960s soul to the dark alternative styles of modern bands like Depeche Mode and Staind. The second standout quality is the excellent keyboard play of Konstantine. With keyboards at the forefront of the sound on numerous songs, Konstantine keeps them sounding fresh by varying the sound set on each song, switching between standard piano tones, huge epic organs, and even bells, which are rare to hear in any non-progressive style of rock. The variation on the keyboards enlivens the atmosphere of each song very well.

Dommin's biggest drawback, though, is that their style of gothic rock is inconsistent over the course of the album. While it's good to have stylistic variety, Dommin is all over the place, not sticking to any one method between songs. Most songs on the album fall at one of two points on the mood spectrum. Some, like "Tonight" and "Dark Holiday", are upbeat and vibrant, with a decidedly more animated feel to them. Others, such as "My Heart, Your Hands" and "I Still Lost", are much more somber and slow-moving, relying on big choruses and emotion-filled lyrics to keep listeners engaged. The sharp contrast between these two styles makes the album seem disjointed at times. The band would be better suited choosing one style and sticking to it, even though they play both styles very well.

Love Is Gone is a promising debut album for Dommin, despite its flaws. Fans of Paradise Lost, the 69 Eyes, and HIM will find a lot to like on this album. Dommin has the potential to stand among gothic rock's best bands if they can shore up their sound and choose to predominantly play in one style. Considering that Kristofer Dommin himself describes the band as "the sound of the brokenhearted", the band might do best by sticking to the solemn, emotional songs like "My Heart, Your Hands", as these songs are some of the most memorable on the album.

7


Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Music

Great Peacock Stares Down Mortality With "High Wind" (premiere + interview)

Southern rock's Great Peacock offer up a tune that vocalist Andrew Nelson says encompasses their upcoming LP's themes. "You are going to die one day. You can't stop the negative things life throws at you from happening. But, you can make the most of it."

Music

The 80 Best Albums of 2015

Travel back five years ago when the release calendar was rife with stellar albums. 2015 offered such an embarrassment of musical riches, that we selected 80 albums as best of the year.

Film

Buridan's Ass and the Problem of Free Will in John Sturges' 'The Great Escape'

Escape in John Sturge's The Great Escape is a tactical mission, a way to remain in the war despite having been taken out of it. Free Will is complicated.

Books

The Redemption of Elton John's 'Blue Moves'

Once reviled as bloated and pretentious, Elton John's 1976 album Blue Moves, is one of his masterpieces, argues author Matthew Restall in the latest installment of the 33 1/3 series.

Music

Whitney Take a Master Class on 'Candid'

Although covers albums are usually signs of trouble, Whitney's Candid is a surprisingly inspired release, with a song selection that's eclectic and often obscure.

Music

King Buzzo Continues His Reign with 'Gift of Sacrifice'

King Buzzo's collaboration with Mr. Bungle/Fantômas bassist Trevor Dunn expands the sound of Buzz Osborne's solo oeuvre on Gift of Sacrifice.

Music

Jim O'Rourke's Experimental 'Shutting Down Here' Is Big on Technique

Jim O'Rourke's Shutting Down Here is a fine piece of experimental music with a sure hand leading the way. But it's not pushing this music forward with the same propensity as Luc Ferrari or Derek Bailey.

Music

Laraaji Returns to His First Instrument for 'Sun Piano'

The ability to help the listener achieve a certain elevation is something Laraaji can do, at least to some degree, no matter the instrument.

Music

Kristin Hersh Discusses Her Gutsy New Throwing Muses Album

Kristin Hersh thinks influences are a crutch, and chops are a barrier between artists and their truest expressions. We talk about life, music, the pandemic, dissociation, and the energy that courses not from her but through her when she's at her best.

Music

The 10 Best Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums

Fleetwood Mac are the rare group that feature both a fine discography and a successful series of solo LPs from their many members. Here are ten examples of the latter.

Music

Jamila Woods' "SULA (Paperback)" and Creative Ancestry and Self-Love in the Age of "List" Activism

In Jamila Woods' latest single "SULA (Paperback)", Toni Morrison and her 1973 novel of the same name are not static literary phenomena. They are an artist and artwork as galvanizing and alive as Woods herself.

Film

The Erotic Disruption of the Self in Paul Schrader's 'The Comfort of Strangers'

Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.

Music

'Can You Spell Urusei Yatsura' Is a Much Needed Burst of Hopefulness in a Desultory Summer

A new compilation online pulls together a generous helping of B-side action from a band deserving of remembrance, Scotland's Urusei Yatsura.

Music

Jess Cornelius Creates Tautly Constructed Snapshots of Life

Former Teeth & Tongue singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius' Distance is an enrapturing collection of punchy garage-rock, delicate folk, and arty synthpop anthems which examine liminal spaces between us.

Books

Sikoryak's 'Constitution Illustrated' Pays Homage to Comics and the Constitution

R. Sikoryak's satirical pairings of comics characters with famous and infamous American historical figures breathes new and sometimes uncomfortable life into the United States' most living document.

Music

South African Folk Master Vusi Mahlasela Honors Home on 'Shebeen Queen'

South African folk master Vusi Mahlasela pays tribute to his home and family with township music on live album, Shebeen Queen.

Music

Planningtorock Is Queering Sound, Challenging Binaries, and Making Infectious Dance Music

Planningtorock emphasizes "queering sound and vision". The music industry has its hierarchies of style, of equipment, of identities. For Jam Rostron, queering music means taking those conventions and deliberately manipulating and subverting them.

Music

'History Gets Ahead of the Story' for Jazz's Cosgrove, Medeski, and Lederer

Jazz drummer Jeff Cosgrove leads brilliant organ player John Medeski and multi-reed master Jeff Lederer through a revelatory recording of songs by William Parker and some just-as-good originals.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.