Hearse - Dominion Reptilian - digi-CD
Another unexpected debut from ex-Arch Enemy frontman Johan Liiva (well, unexpected by me anyway, heh). This is a pretty varied album. I guess you could consider it melodic death 'n roll...some nice lead guitar harmonies, occasionally Opeth-esque parts (Cosmic Daughter), some thrashiness (Contemplation), some very rocking riffs but consistently heavy a la Entombed or Mercyful Fate. Johan's vocals are as always unique, slightly more black metal-tinged in this band, and he messes with left & right channels a lot, like on the title track when you hear "dominion" in your left ear, then "reptilian" in your right (I speak from a headphones-wearing listener's perspective, obviously), and the occasional vocal effect used sparingly enough so that it's not very noticeable. Some great riffing on here, all the musicianship is top-notch and tight, rock solid drumming with some speedy fills and great groove when needed, absolutely ripping shred-filled solos, and tortured vocals. Worth looking into.