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  The Artefact
Artist: Domain 
Label: Nightmare Records
Length: 13/58:26

Nightmare Records answers a question that has floated around music circles for a while: “What happened to the 80’s metal band sound?”  With Domain and Defyance, Nightmare has captured two very talented bands that make no bones about the type of music they prefer.

_The Artefact_ suffers only because it wasn’t released in 1982 ­ it ends up sounding dated only due to the current styles of music on the radio.  Domain is not nu-metal, rap-metal, or pop ­ they simply rock.  This is the kind of band that would cause Beavis and Butthead to throw their hands into the air and scream “Yes! This rules!”

“Discover the Artefact,” a short instrumental, leads into “Charade,” the opening track. “Charade,” about a  failed relationship, features a Metallica-like drum part by Edgar Schmidt.  Vocally, Carsten Schulz walks a line somewhere between Journey, Van Halen, or Extreme.  “Mystery Stone” resembles old Allies records (before Bob Carlisle gave up rock), and has almost a Celtic feel to it. 

“Strangers from the Heart” would be the metal ballad that would have undoubtedly been the single twenty years ago.  A song worthy of anything Steve Perry ever did, it is a tale of longing for the girl who is no longer there:

My own heart still longs to see
What my eyes have never dared to touch
Holding me back, when I need to let go
It’s not how it’s meant to be…
“Blackhole Visions” shows a man who is either on the verge of suicide, or a radical personality shift.  It is highlighted by a guitar solo by Axel Ritt that recalls Eddie Van Halen’s better days.  “Seasons” combines  Kansas/Journey keyboards with a Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) guitar track. 

“Almost Even”, “Heart on the Line”, and “Experience XTC” all stay in the Journey/Extreme area, while “Don’t Count on Love” is more Def Leppard-esque.  “Spirit of the Sun” is probably the most unique song on the record, replete with an electric sitar.  The CD is rounded out with a metal version of the Beatles’ “Day Tripper”, which somehow works.

Domain is touring this fall with the Hughes Turner Project (both formerly of Deep Purple).  Metalheads should seek these dates and rejoice ­ the 80’s sound isn’t dead ­ it’s just harder to find nowadays.  The Artefact is worth the hunt.

Brian A. Smith 1/12/2003


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