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Instant Suppression - "Domain.Nation" (CD)

Instant Suppression - "Domain.Nation" CD cover image

"Domain.Nation" track listing:

1. Shapeless Threat (4:02)
2. Fake (5:24)
3. Domain.Nation (3:50)
4. Mechanical Universe (4:55)
5. De|com|pression (6:26)
6. Segment I (1:08)
7. Regeneration Age (5:55)
8. Take The Power (4:15)
9. Segment II (1:08)
10. Frozen (5:36)
11. To The Back Of Beyond (4:57)
12. Inner Entropy (4:27)
13. Lost In Light (4:03)

Reviewed by on January 4, 2010

"The robotic and electronic noises, coupled with lyrics dealing with mankind building their own hell through their endless technological ambition, create a vibe very similar to the 'Matrix' movies."

Instant Suppression may be an unknown name in the world of metal, but the debut full-length album from the Russian group sounds like something an established prog metal act would create. While there is some room for improvement in the next release, “Domain.Nation” is a solid and engaging hour of metal that swings back and forth between styles and genres. There are a range of differing sounds present on the album, from death metal to female-fronted gothic metal, and almost all of them are executed on a highly proficient level.

“Domain.Nation” follows the amorphous “snippet” prototype of music revealed by bands like To-Mera. All of the songs contain a general unifying theme or idea, usually revealed by the title, but that doesn’t stop them from flowing whichever direction they feel like. Tracks may start with brutal death growls and blast beats and then suddenly go into an incredibly catchy guitar solo with an array of sound effects in the background. Just as a pattern is about to emerge the music will switch again to clean melodic vocals, of either the male or female variety.

All of the changes can give off a schizophrenic feel for the first song or two, but the album is held together by the overall musical theme of a mechanical future. The robotic and electronic noises, coupled with lyrics dealing with mankind building their own hell through their endless technological ambition, create a vibe very similar to the “Matrix” movies. “Domain.Nation” isn’t exactly a concept album, as there are a few variations from the theme, but the overall feel of the disc is of a mechanical fairytale turned into a nightmare. The various synthetic sound effects provide the mood, but the music itself is more driven by the guitar work, which will please metal fans who don’t like an overdose of keyboards.

While most of the album is top notch prog metal, there are a few segments that don’t work as well as others. The disc features two instrumental interludes, titled “Segment I” and “Segment II,” that both break up the heavier portions so as to avoid monotony. While the second interlude works exceedingly well, the first is botched by leaving metal behind and going for a techno approach. It’s done a little better than the run-of-the-mill dance floor techno track, but it’s still an annoying exercise in repetition and silly sound samples that probably won’t work for the average extreme metal addict. The final song, “Lost In Light,” also heads into the mainstream with its sound and lyrics, coming off as something an angsty teen would appreciate.

Debut albums always have a few kinks to be worked out as a band figures out its sound, and “Domain.Nation” is no exception. The problems are easy to overlook when the entire album is considered as a whole however, as the disc has loads of atmosphere, great guitar work, and a huge range of vocal styles.

Highs: Cool mechanical concept, lots of varying vocal styles.

Lows: An unfortuante techno interlude and the last track is a little too angst-ridden for its own good.

Bottom line: A thoroughly enjoyable prog metal album with an intriguing mechanical theme.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)