History & BiographyJackson and Kolbe have a history dating as far back as the early seventies. After being forced to change its moniker by Kingdom Come, Domain re-released its Lost In The City album (fantastic cover here) again - this time as Our Kingdom. Ritt went on to form Humbucker Music, Sassenberg to Decision Music and to record radio plays for children. Like most bands, it seems, Domain returned in 2001 albeit with only Axel Ritt left from the original band. An EP called New Horizons was also released in the summer of 2001.
Beckers left the fold in the summer of 2002. Tom Angelripper's Oliver "Henner" Jochim was hired for live dates. Jochen Mayer, formerly of Boysvoice, Demon Drive and Casanova joined the band on bass in 2004 and Domain began recording a new album dubbed The Last Days Of Utopia, which was a concept album.
Domain recruited vocalist Chity Somapala (ex-Firewind, Avalon and Faro) and bassist Steven Wussow (of Shylock) in 2006. The band released its 20th anniversary album, called Stardawn, only a month before. Chity Somapala left Domain a mere six months after joining. The band and drummer Stefan Köllner went their separate ways next. The band was touring with Astral Doors and Secret Sphere with Jens Baar (of Illectronic) on drums. Nicolaj Ruhnow was on vocals. Domain’s ninth studio album, was to be entitled The Chronicles Of Love, Hate And Sorrow, a concept album like the group’s Last Days Of Utopia album, although the new release was arranged as a rock opera in twelve chapters, based on the German literary work, Die Leiden Des Jungen Werther. Jochen Mayer could be heard in 2008 on American guitarist Iain Ashley Hersey’s album. Former Domain guitarist Axel Ritt joined Grave Digger in 2010. He replaced Thilo Herrman who left in 2009 amidst acrimony. Tokyo Blade lost singer Chris Gillen after a mere eight months in the summer of 2010 and recruited Nicolaj “Nick” Ruhnow of Irony, Domain and Hellfort.
DOMAIN - LAST DAYS OF UTOPIA - LMP
Domain can be considered a veteran German band in 2005, but Last Days Of Utopia is the band's first full-fledged concept album. It is more appropriate than usual therefore to consider both the music and the lyrics of Last Days Of Utopia when rating the album.
Lyrically, Last Days Of Utopia is hardly breaking new ground. The story follows a fellow looking for a new existence and arriving at Utopia. Here he discovers love, but the gods destroy the dream and leave him stranded in the sea. Sounds pedestrian and it sort of a is, but things could have been worse, one supposes. Musically, things are not much better here. The band's pompous output pumps mega doses of keyboard and bombastic arrangements drowning the guitar except during the solos. In fact, the album is vocal and keyboard-oriented. The first proper track, A New Beginning, quickly turns to Classical music and runs along to a pompous sound akin to a rock opera by Queen. On Stormy Seas follows and is the album's most baffling song. The track might feature the album's best guitar work, but steals hand over fist from Dream Theater's Images And Words. There is no disguising Domain's blatant rip off of Dream Theater on the track. The Beauty Of Love is a slow song, while the title tracks distinguishes itself with an upbeat and almost happy guitar sound. The album's best song is closer Left Alone with its controlled approach strongly reminiscent of something Whitesnake might release. All this exists sandwiched between instrumental pieces and the aforementioned symphonic interludes.
In the vast majority of cases concept albums are encumbered musically by the requirements of the lyrics and tend to get stuck in the quagmire. In the case of Last Days Of Utopia the band's poppy pomp approach and blatant cloning of others' music is a turn off unto itself. - Ali "The Metallian"