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Darksynth Album Review: "Dominion" by Nanoverse

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Initial Impressions

Nanoverse’s Dominion is full of terrifying shadows, surging rage and sensations of extreme threat. It also sometimes aches painfully and there are even brief, fragile flickers of light and hope. The tide of darkness, however, is always waiting to rise again and engulf the listener.

Terror permeates Dominion in a thick fog. It flows from the jagged edges of the guitar, drips from the twisting tension of synths and pours out of the Stygian thunder of the drums and bass. I enjoy the way the musical atmosphere is created and maintained, every element contributing to the sensation of horror.

Nanoverse also wields guitars to great effect on Dominion. He builds musical texture with the chugging, snarling darkness that he can create on the guitar. When it comes time for a solo, his intricate, detailed and wildly flying chops are not to be discounted. All in all, his abilities add strength and depth to the music.

I am also drawn to the way in which Nanoverse layers his music. Each element comes together well as he finds the most interesting approach to weaving them into a rich tapestry of shadowy sounds. There’s a feeling of each part working together to produce a complex, atmospheric whole.

My Favourite Tracks Analyzed

“Blood For Blood” comes into being with a rushing, harsh bass pulse that drives into the music along with soft hissing sounds. The fat, massive throb of the drums adds more power to an already powerful track as the bass oscillates in a shifting, angular line. The rough chug of the gigantic guitar hits while the drums charge on.

I enjoy the void-deep growl of the guitar and the haunted, shadowed pattern of notes. Drums and bass add weight while the guitar cuts into the music in a threatening line. A medium-low, hard-edged synth drifts in a descending pattern over the battering drums. Guitar chords move in a gritty line with that jagged chug and bursts of lacerating sound into silence.

Out of silence, soft danger flows while the powerful drums hit throb deeply to open “Firmament.” I am drawn to the slow, but deadly guitar attack, a wall of claw-like sound that growls in dark chords. Blocks of wide, minor key synth shift in a pattern that has deep strength while the guitar tears at the ears while the drums batter.

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An angular, hypnotic note pattern swirls in on the guitar and crescendos in a repeating line, full of evil triumph. The drums and bass have a low throb and the guitar feels gentler, but still tense. An emotional, even melancholy melodic segment soars up above the propulsion underneath it before everything fades away into silence.

“Quiet Desperation” begins with the chugging growl of metal guitar that churns into the track with the hard hitting drums, establishing a charging pattern. Ethereal, ghostly choral synth voices cry out over the storm below them. I enjoy the way that the synths swirl and float in a disembodied movement over the smashing drums and growling, dark guitar tide.

A delicate, glowing synth melody flows over the rage below, slowly unfolding in misty, slightly distant notes before the drums add more energy. The gritty, jagged guitar flares with chugging anger, urgent and full of seething emotion. Once again, drums smack into the music, before everything fades out.

Cavernous, hard-edged synth flows out underneath rapid, massive drums and broken pulses of thick electric bass to kick off “Tetrahydrocannabinol.” A wall of sharp-edged guitar moves in over the broken beat and the knotty, gnarly bass. The electric guitar repeats a steady line that grows into a melody that seesaws back and forth as it flows and fades out.

The rocking motion smoothes out and skips along, not exactly easy going but light. I enjoy the diamond brightness as the repeating guitar pattern slices in, hypnotically moving while the gigantic drums slam in. There’s a return to the oscillating guitar wave that pushes and pulls powerfully. The guitars howl out, dominant and all encompassing, full of increasing intensity before fading.

“Vaporize Reality” starts with a lone, funky, evolving guitar before a dynamic, forward leaping drumbeat cuts in along with swirling clouds of synth around it. The gnarly guitar line repeats, catchy and uplifting, over the propulsive drums while synth swirls up.

The drums batter and shatter while a deep, oscillating bass pulse also moves in a steady throb. Waves of sound wash and crunch while the beat keeps on driving. I enjoy the way that the guitar drifts in dangerous, tremulous lines. The track moves back to the catchy, quickly skipping guitar line and out into silence.


The mixture of sheer terror, musical talent and the rich combination of instrumentation on Dominion conspires to create an album that generates horrifying mental imagery and a feeling of threat that won’t let up. I enjoy it all deeply!

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