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4.5 out of 5 stars21
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 19 April 2007
Blackie Lawless is a legend. Heading the band with an image, style & controversial history as WASP have had for over 25 years, it's kudos to him for keeping the engine running for so long & so well!!

There has been a contrast in WASP songs over the last 20 years. The rock n roll, wild, party, macho, sexist good times songs which were evident in WASP, Last Command, Helldorado & KFD. Then there was the politically awake & socialogically wise songs of Headless, Dying for the world, Black Enough & Unholy Terror. Finally the conceptually creative stories of Crimson Idol & the Neon God 1 & 2.

What WASP have done here with Dominator is take a liitle bit of them all to produce a pretty well balanced album containing the aforementioned constituent parts.

Production wise, they have hit the nail on the head. The sound mix is almost perfect with vocals clear as can be for a man like Blackie, the drums are enormous & the guitars are lound, crisp and meaty.

The variety in the songs is evident, with a blend of heavy rock, emotional vocal led songs & some well contructed epic songs with a mixture of power metal, harmonic vocals and good use of keyboards to build an atmospheric arena of sound.

The CD construction - this is where they fail. In my opinion the best 5 songs of the album are at the start. Then that leaves 4 more left over of which 1 is a reprise of the original at track 4. So ewssentially the 2nd half of the album is weak, short and more forgettable after the blockbuster opening 5 songs.

The value issue is raised as the album comes in at 42 minutes and for 9 songs, there is a feeling that this album is perhaps 2 good songs short of being a classic, and perhaps exceptional album.

Nevetheless, this is a solid album which in my view is the best they have done since Crimson & I believe this is down to more emotion being evident in Blackie's vocals and the sounds mix improvement & melodic choruses of the first 5 songs.

No track by track analysis - but this is well worth the buy!!!

"give me the love to shelter me, only love can set me free"
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on 18 April 2007
This is not WASP's best cd but nevertheless it has some very good songs on it. Mostly loud and fast with plenty of excellent chugging guitars and riff's. Mr Lawless's vocals are, as always, full bodied and well belted out. If you are familiar with Neon God you will recognise certain sounds and refrains here. A look at the cover will give you an idea of the content of some of the disc. Nothing particularly new then but, keep it going boys, you're still better than most of the competition out there! £8.99 well spent.
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on 23 April 2007
I just received Dominator in the post and had my first listen to it. I have never reviewed anything on Amazon before, but I am just so glad to have spent the money to buy this album. I am a long time fan of WASP and I have to agree with another reviewer who says that this is their best album since the beloved Crimson Idol. Although I enjoyed both Neon Gods, I thought that Blackie maybe overtook too much as a whole and couldn't quite capture the magic that the Idol had.

This album though is sterling in my view. Every song is brilliant (specially the first 6) and all of them have their own identity and personality inside the record. There is a song which is a reprise of another one that comes earlier in the album "Heaven's Hung In Black," but the melody and the concept of the song is so phenomenal and haunting that I didn't mind one bit. "Mercy", "Take Me Up" and "The Burning Man" are absolute classics and some of the best tunes I've heard in a long time from any rock act. This is a very Social Conscious album, political if you will, which I think is great as we live in a time in the world where some tough questions need to be answered and we all need to open our eyes and see where our leaders are taking us. I commend Blackie for taking his possition in the music world and be voice for many of us and our views, and maybe, perhaps get other people thinking as well.

In a nut shell, I would give this album 10 stars out of 10 if I could just for the brilliant musical content alone, but the "meaty" songs and significant lyrics that fill the album puts this record into a category of it's own: Excellence.

If you like rock with meaning and intelligence, go buy this record today.
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on 27 April 2009
I'm so happy that Blackie hasn't copped out and hung up his saw blades because a new W.A.S.P. release for me is always an exciting prospect and something I can rely on in one way or another. Now W.A.S.P. has built up quite the catalogue since 82 and as much as it hurts me as a fan to say it not all releases have been of, shall we say, the finest quality. If you too are a fan you know which you constantly rock out to and the ones that are gathering dust in your rack, but to a new comer such an immense body of work can be quite daunting, and it's a task to pluck out the finest of the bunch. Hopefully the actual fan reviews on here will help in some way but, with these points in mind, there's no sense in burying our heads in the sand and telling people that everything W.A.S.P. produces is solid gold or we'd be doing them both them and the band a disservice. So what's the score with their latest outing into the hard rock arena? Is it a true knock out or a one round embarrassment? Well I hope this little pros and cons list will help you better decide if this is the fix you've been waiting for...

THE HIGH NOTES:
- It's all well produced enough.
- Blackie's voice is as recognisably gravelly and awesome as ever, and at times a lot more emotional and brooding than usual (if that's possible) but...(see first point in `THE SNAPPED STRINGS' list.)
- There are a couple of tracks on here that'll sit comfortably in your best of W.A.S.P. playlists quite nicely. Mercy, Take Me Up, Burning Man and Heaven's Hung In Black are my personal faves.
- Some fantastic guitar work backed up with some interesting (subtly used) synths and solid drumming.
- The slower more melodic tracks work particularly well on this release and seem more prominent that on most previous efforts. This offers a nice selection of tempos and moods to a relatively short album.

THE SNAPPED STRINGS:
- Call me a sucker for the old school but I love it when Blackie blast out a true high pitched metal scream but this is something which, strangely, seems missing from this release. There is a point half way through `The Burning Man' which seems perfectly built up for this exact purpose but it just kicks back into the main chorus which took some of the edge off an awesome track - it could have been absolutely perfect but as it stands it's still fantastic track. Also in Heaven's Blessed we get a few `woo's!' but it feels like they took the place of some proper screamers (maybe this is just me and I know it's niggling but there it is).
- I completely agree with `S.Kumar' when he says the latter part of the album isn't as strong as the first, and with an album this short it needed nothing but skull crushers all the way but it's just not the case.
- The production is decent and most elements are represented decently enough, but for me it could have all been a bit chunkier, bassier and deeper sounding. It's good but something missing (not just Blackie's proper high pitch wails).
- Again: it's short. Perhaps as fans we will always want more but I will say this, I prefer albums to be short and good rather than long and packed with fillers, it's just that, as I and others have said before, the latter part of the album feels a touch filled out. Perhaps Blackie needed a new car or something, we'll never know, but I feel a bit more time writing could have made this a true winner.

ROCK OR NOT?
This isn't the perfect W.A.S.P. album by any means but it still constantly blows me away that they can pack in some classics even after so long. Blackie has obviously got some wicked inspiration going on to keep it rolling for so long and this is an admirable job. It's not a long album, it's not their best album but gets the job done in more than a few spots and has sated me till the next release, which will hopefully sit side by side with my faves - as it goes this is in my back-up pile.
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on 20 April 2007
This is probably one of the best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums to come out in years. If you like rock music you owe it to yourself to buy this album. The songs are brilliant and filled with intelligent, emotional content. I cannot understand why this band is not so much bigger than they are. Although they have kept their audience through the years they should be doing stadiums!

This is a QUALITY CD you can't pass. To me "Heaven's Hung In Black" stands out in it's gut wrenching tribute to the soldiers fighting in Iraq. If this song doesn't move you, then you probably don't have a pulse.

Blackie is a legend, he's the best.
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on 5 July 2007
this is a killer cd the music rocks, this is a cd that i can relate to. ill buy this cd even for just Heavens Hung In Black this is a song that im sure that every metal head will dig this :)
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on 23 April 2007
Hell yeah!!!! Dominator is everything is hyped out to be!

I have been hearing the buzz over this album for more than a month, internet reviews, mp3 teasers, etc. and now I finally have it and I won't stop playing it for the next forever!

These songs are heavy metal anthems, and the synergy amongst the band members is palpable in the composition and execution of every lick. Blackie's vocals are at their best, clear and cutting. Mike Duda on bass, Doug Blair (from the Crimson Idol tour) on lead guitars, and the new drummer Mike Dupke come together in clear group effort. The external influences from the rest of the line up are very apparent in Dominator.

The sound and production has improved significantly from previous W.a.s.p. albums and the sounds on this one are crisp and clear.

The only thing that could have made Dominator even better is one more track, but even as it is I'm giving it the maximum rating because it is such a solid work.
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on 26 April 2007
The first thing that struck me on first listening to this album is the vast improvement in the mix. Once again we can actually understand what Blackie Lawless is singing as the lyrics are completely legible for the first time since, probably, Helldorado.

This album is a grower so don't judge it upon your first listen. The songs are well written, and performed, with a special mention going to Doug Blair for his exceptional guitar solos. Blackie's vocals are strong and rasping again and on the whole the man just seems to get better with age.

Having said that however, there are a couple of gripes. The album is a little short, at just over 40 minutes, and the last two sings (a reprise of an earlier track and another dreadful 12 bar rock n roll tune which is best left to Status Quo) are quite clearly there as filler. I'd also like to see Blackie chill a little bit with all the political stuff, on the Headless Children he managed to address some serious issues but still had some great fun songs like Mean Man and Rebel in the FDG. C'mon Blackie write the new Wild Child or Restless Gypsy for all us old romantics out there!!

On the whole, an excellent album, a vast imrovement on the last three and, whilst the songs are not AS good as those on Unholy Terror the infinitely superior mix makes up for this. One to buy.
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on 19 November 2015
WOW!!!!!

Heaven's Hung In Black - inspired by Lincoln's comment after Gettysburg, is the highlight! An anthem! A classic! Stunning, dark and beautiful, in equal part.

The voice is amazing and the guitar work is better than outstanding!

I am a "silver surfer", who only discovered this band three years ago.

What a discovery!!!!!
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on 27 December 2013
DOMINATOR has to be one of W.A.S.P best studio albums of all time! I rate it right up there with anything the band have ever done, well produced and well written and lead vocalist Blackie Lawless has never sounded better. W.A.S.P must be one of the most underrated bands in rock music history, overlooked and underrated by many because of their theatrics, yet they can rock with the best of them. Nine songs but really only eight because "Heavens Hung Black" is only a reprise (alternate interferer version) of track five. Some might feel short changed by this but for me quality is always more important than quantity! So no weak songs so no need to skip anything hear. Bottom line? If you like anything from W.A.S.P early back catalog you can buy this blindfolded. Full marks from me then!
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