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Now then, here's an interesting record. Described in press blurb as a "darkly, explosive, feminine and melodic rock band", this bunch of Norwegian ladies have succeeded in creating something that many so called prog bands can only dream of - that is, music that's genuinely, and not generically, progressive (the "melodic rock" tag way oversimplifies what we're dealing with here). And the irony is, Domene probably weren't even trying to be progressive - such is the natural, organic qualities of their aesthetic, this is music written and made from the very soul of their beings. It has a genuine emotional depth that can only come from a natural, rather than forced, proclivity for songwriting. Sublimely melancholic throughout with a latent brooding menace within the mellow passages that erupts into sporadic explosions of darker intensity over intermittent heavier moments, this is an album with so much emotional depth. Not only that, but this is music within which it's easy to become affectively lost, such is the profundity of emotions Domene convey through their aesthetic. Their music is awash with a sonic anima that's as exhilarating as it is captivating. This is not only inherent in the layered compositions but also through Sara Baban's wondrously mesmerising vocals that range from the angelically tranquil to a more powerful, rockier delivery - even when she occasionally hits some dissonant tones, it's perfectly befitting of the music and adds an almost folky edge to proceedings. The production's a little rough around the edges at times, but this only adds to the music's organic essence and charms. An over-produced, overly polished sound would've stripped the songs of their raw emotion, and it's the raw emotion of 'Betwixt & Between' that makes it work so well. Points of comparison? Well there are distant echoes of mid to late nineties The Gathering and 'Judgement' era Anathema to name but two tenuous comparisons but, ultimately, 'Betwixt & Between' is its own beast and deserves to be digested on its own merits, of which there are many. There are few bands in the world who can attain such an absorbingly affective sublimity through their music so I'm thankful as fuck Domene arrived for review. Absolutely fucking phenomenal.
Domene Music
Review by Mark Holmes
September 2013
1) Betwixt & Between
2) 2012
3) Red Zeppelin
4) The Jump
5) Transcend Me
6) Tritonus
7) I Adore Thee
8) Twisted Moon
"There are few bands in the world who can attain such an absorbingly affective sublimity through their music..."