For nearly 20 years War of Ages has been synonymous with the Facedown Records label. They have remained one of the most consistent bands on the label and they have never faltered from blatant faith based lyricism. As a whole the band has continued to hone their craft while progressively adapting and implementing additional and modern elements that have come to the forefront during the tenure of their career.
With the release of Dominion, the band’s tenth studio album, they continue to charge forward and pave the way for bands that wish to embody the vast musicality and/or bold approach in their declaration of faith. However, Dominion is also a bittersweet opus as it contains some of the final records from the late Kaleb Luechow who unexpectedly passed away in 2022. It is this very element that also breathes a new life of sorts to the project as the band seemed to approach the album with the intentionality to honor Kaleb as they continue on.
Dominion opens with “Famine” which feels like a sort of call to arms for the album as a whole and wastes no time before shifting things in to high gear. The track’s natural eb and flow is filled with highs, lows and some mild pitch harmonics in parts to boot. “Dominus” follows and builds upon the framework that was created by “Famine” but manages to shift in to more of a declaration approach culminating in a crunchy breakdown. “Victorum” kicks off with some soaring guitars and continues to take a declarative approach in the lyrics which is commonplace for the band and continues to set them apart from other bands within the genre.
“War” Keeps things within a similar construct that is definitive of the first part of the album, but has a bit more of a heavier tone to it. In addition, there are riffs and melodic hooks and harmonies laced within both musically and vocally that gives the track a very full and well rounded sound. “Apocalypsis” plays more to the melodic elements that the band have incorporated in to their brand of hardcore. Despite the heavier nature of the track it gives it a light and airy atmosphere that both blends and contrasts in remarkable complexity. “Armageddon” brings in some electronic elements and overlays them to the driving drum and guitarwork that is remarkably intertwined throughout the track. With the standout bass riff/tone that becomes more prominent about midway the track presents the full package.
“Death” continues to keep things solid and [Leroy] Hamp’s vocal ferocity feels so unbridled and raw on this track that gives a different kind of gravitas than the rest of the album. “Laodicea” shifts things back in to more of the declarative lyrical approach, but doesn’t just leave it there as it expands beyond declaration and straight in to invitation as the lyrics resound; “Holy Spirit, come!” “Horror” shifts things back in to a dark tone of sorts which put against the final track “Misery” gives the album a grand finale. “Misery” seems to pick where “Horror” ended tonally, but subtly transitions to a more melodic and ethereal conclusion.
Dominion is a remarkably complex album that is possibly the band’s most ambitious and tenacious album to date. They embrace their faith and present it as a badge of honor within their lyricism while continuing to showcase the musical prowess that they encompass as a collective. If you are of the Christian faith and enjoy heavy music then this is a highlight. If the faith aspect is not your thing there is still plenty to enjoy within the musical and vocal delivery that any fan of the genre will find appealing.
War of Ages are not currently on tour, but keep an eye out for further dates as they are announced here.