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Review: The Grave Dominion – ‘Winter Dead World’
The Grave Dominion is a transatlantic collaboration between musicians Joseph Edward Karstens (Backyard Ghost) in America & Ninah Drone Queen (The Spirit Dies) in Ireland. Four years and three albums into their collaboration the duo have finely honed an enviable cinematic sound.
Where a lot experimental, dark ambient and classical orientated bands tend to suffer musically from technological and or budgetary limits that hamper their ambitions. Instead The Grave Dominion work in harmony with their independent status and geographical positioning taking time and care to create, which is immediately evident upon listening.
Building around cores of swirling drones, each song effortlessly weaves an independent, evocative atmosphere; whether it is the isolation of ‘Pariah’, the contentment of ‘Like Rain’ or the Serenity of ‘Skyfall’.
The emphasis on hanging chords, drones and simple melody creates a seamless movement between each piece that, as a result, gives the sense of an implied narrative. And it is this sense of narrative that is central to that truly cinematic feel that bands such as this all aim to achieve.
There are some wonderfully experimental moments on this album that could have just been played out and built upon more to really push at the boundaries of the bands sound. But for fans of ambient and cinematic music this is still a very rewarding listen.