Review | Dogma – Dogma
At the time I was browsing the web searching for new music when I stumbled upon ,,Father I have Sinned” a video of Dogma. The YouTube single immediately struck me for its content. The congregation of nuns in sexied up robes wearing corpse paint struck me as sexy and blasphemic at the same time. With Ghost in mind it was only a matter of time for a female counterpart to surface, and this congregation has more to offer than it reveals at first sight.
Drawing from an identical musical well, Dogma takes things next level. They are ravishing and bedazzling, breaking boundaries of expectations for the faint-hearted. Their Dogma cult has its own 13 commandments and statement of purpose, and thrives on spiritual liberation proclaiming they’re Dogma and they are anti-Dogma commanding you to open your eyes!
SHOCKING AND PROVOKING
Their veils tight around their faces, habits revealing cleavage and cut thigh-high below the waist, their appearance is mysterious and daunting. Corpse paint does the trick evoking a dark nuance that is endured in their “shocking” video content. Scissoring nuns on an altar in ,,Made Her Mine”?
Yes, Dogma is provoking as much as evoking. They easily outdo the mystique of Ghost’s ghouls and pope papa Emeritus while raising entertainment levels to the max. Thematically all their videos are shot in a recognizable color-range and the reoccurrence seals their identity as well as setting the beacons on their shocking and provoking guise. The concept balances on a much sharper and insanely jagged edge than Ghost’s concept and this contradicts with their music.
DARK AND EERIE VIDEOS
The rising dark and eerie videos balance out Dogma’s clever melodic metal songs which are loaded with classic elements from rock’s in its widest variety. Chugging riffs and memorable melodies, ponderous grooving drum and bass, topped off by channeled vocals with melodic nesting tendencies. The musicians’ names add to the suspense, not revealing any musical background. Nixe (bass), Abrahel (drums), Lamia (guitars) and Lilith (vocals) are rounding up the mystique, especially since all names hail from the occult representing dark deities. Lilith as the sexual goddess making concept spin well.
CLASSIC HARD ROCK
Classic hard rock at its finest, opening in style with the ominous zested ,,Forbidden Zone”. Organ and piano create a dwelling atmosphere with Lilith wailing with bright echoing clean vocals before anteing up for a huge powersurge and intense hook. Very Alice Cooper, albeit lamenting melodic punches.
Another cracker follows immediately with ,,Feel the Zeal” packed with loud hammering drums and double bass rolls thundering underneath the jagged riff and guitar hook. Pitching its chorus, the melody contradicts heavily with the song’s dynamics. Catchy and nesting, much like the arena rocker ,,Bare to the Bones”, packing serious 80s swagger. Heavy on hooks, the song sees Lilith shine with towering pop unload while packing heavy strut. It is a wonderful display of power with minimal flaws on this debut.
,,My First Peak” is absolutely great. There’s a cinematic touch and the piano opening is dramatic. Low droning bass propel is and the groove is simply exceptional. Highly melodic the song powers up in Dio style, with nesting chorus and harmonies. Punchier and chunkier is their single ,,Made her mine” with its progressive hooks and tremendous drive. Raining keys add zest and drive that finds laurels in the synth-guitar interplay. It is well-balanced and packs tremendous drive. The lyrics rime with the song’s video which is downright shocking for ye faithful. (I luv it!) When the pace really goes up, the dynamics increase like on ,,Carnal Liberation” bordering with Ghost’s most pompous lamenting tracks. The band’s stamina is welling from its delivery, with mother superior Lilith in control.
Like a mass opened with intense Gregorian chants ,,Free Yourself” grips instantly. Stabbing keys roll into a swagger-packed and parading rock song with ominous and eerie organ/synths welling atop. The parading strut reminds me somewhat of Marilyn Manson’s ,,Beautiful People”, yet packs an organic stamina. Suddenly breaking from its root Dogma pumps out jazzy swing, warping us back into the crooner era returning to full rock bliss moments later. Tolling bells and heavy chants uncork a heavy lick that enrolls a tedious hook in 80s Craig Goldy style.
Howling pitches atop the burning riff, the song is backed by a wonderful groove Abrahel kicks into action with dynamic breaks and sudden energy bursts. Ominous are the synths constantly returning to the front. Fusing the dynamics of drums, Lamia’s guitars lean on the shoulders of the organ welling before unleashing a colorful brisk solo resonating off the interplay. Rousing are the outcalls backing Lilith’s high-octane yells.
More 70s rock tinged is the opening of ,,Bare to the Bones”, gelling the guitar opening onto a keyboard offset oozing an organic fire. The vocals are immensely poppy and the melody blends into the power-pop chorus. It builds into a solid meandering guitar solo by Lamia that starts to whirl progressive over the choir-section that paints a colorful picture. With isolated vocals resetting the score, the song works its way to a grandiose ending full of powerful pop hooks and metal swagger.
Wrapping up this debut album in glittering foil, the smack in the back starts with ,,Make Us Proud” and its atmospheric dark acoustic guitar underneath bells tolling while the crawl of the song intensifies. Male vocals balance out sister Lilith’s withering narrative vocals. Cinematic like a spaghetti western, the musical interplay emphasizes Dogma’s deeper emotive drive, as well as it reveals a longevity in musical exploration. ,,Pleasure from Pain” feeds of the characteristics of ,,Free Yourself” in terms of its colorful opening. The song starts to develop with more metal swagger with increasing rhythm changes and jagged raw riffs unleashed.
Lilith delves deep and brings her rawest delivery to the front. Growling with anger-laden precision, she injects the right roar. Keys start to swirl dominant over the galloping drums that take it into the melodic solo. The cinematic section is perfectly matching the mood swing of the song and Lilith calls out her agony. Rousing calls and a roaring grunt take the song to its peak.
,,Father have I Sinned” is pulled into action with raucous guitars and insanely nesting melodies. Drums are hammering and bass is droning low. Lilith packs pop power in her vocal execution. Phrasing the lyrics to carry the melodic content. Pitching in clean voice to the harmonized chorus, Dogma displays tremendous energy. Increasing keys well underneath, making the song well with pompous accolades. The guitar solo is short and lively. Well-constructed with enough power and melodic precision.
It all leads to the magnum opus of ,,Dark Messiah” with its stabbing key and riff interchange. The vocals are gloomy, twisted and somewhat neurotic-packed. The bridge is insanely melodic while the melodies underneath is proggy. It is metal in its most melodic reigning format. Pompous power unleashed, the song is one that stays with you for a long time.
This self-titled Dogma debut is a solid first experience. There seems to be an idea and marketing strategy behind it, balanced on the edge of musical marksmanship and excellent songwriting. The execution is in line with the high-end production of their videos and the concept is striking as it is arousing with these 4 nuns trailblazing the blend of sex and religion. I expect Dogma to deliver an earth-shaking and controversial show to the stages and look forward to the next chapter in their career. Dogma’s congregation leads you to salvation…. Bless me sister for I have sinned….
Release date: 17 November 2023