Full metal racket

Dominion NV

Amplified to rock: Dan Collings, Casey Wadman, Doug Klein, Jimmy Grove and Morgan Cooper of Dominion NV.

Amplified to rock: Dan Collings, Casey Wadman, Doug Klein, Jimmy Grove and Morgan Cooper of Dominion NV.

Photo By lauren randolph

Dominion NV performs with Fire to Reason, from Arkansas, and others on Saturday, July 18, at 10 p.m. at Knuckleheads Bar & Grill, 405 Vine St., $5. For more information, including other upcoming shows, visit www.myspace.com/dominionnv.

When I asked Dominion NV where they fit in the wide and subgenre-pregnant world of metal, they replied, “That’s up to you, isn’t it?”

Fine, then. Dominion NV’s metal is amelodic and riff-focused, which might normally file them squarely under death metal. But the riffs have a woozy thickness to them reminiscent of stoner metal, like Kyuss and High on Fire, and were the drums less propulsive, the band would decidedly fall beneath that header.

When pressed, though, vocalist Morgan Cooper invented his own label: “compound fracture metal.”

Dominion NV’s ideal response for listeners is for them to feel “like beating the shit out of each other … for fun, though!” according to guitarist Dan Collings.

Dominion NV was originally known as simply Dominion before being forced through threatened lawsuits by, in Cooper’s words, “overseas bastards” to append “NV” to their name. They’ve been active for four years.

Collings and drummer Doug Klein were introduced by a mutual friend in March of 2005 and have been playing together ever since. About two months in, they decided they needed a guitar player and so invited in Collings’ friend Jimmy Walker Grove.

“They forced me [into the band], dude,” says Cooper jokingly. Truthfully, the band had an original vocalist and hired Cooper to accompany him.

“Our original vocalist got diagnosed with throat cancer, though,” says Klein. “So Morgan stepped it up.”

Bassist Casey Wadman joined by approaching the band backstage post-show and simply stating, “I’m going to be your bassist.”

The thoroughly bearded five-piece practice in the basement of a house in Sparks.

The walls of their practice space are pure sound-deadening foam. A makeshift foam wall separates the drums from the rest of the band. Pressed tight against the wall are miles of amps, some decorated with metal grating upon which the band’s name sprawls in stenciled letters. Despite the frigid air pumping in, the atmosphere smells foul by the practice’s end—the energy the band expels is not easily diminished.

The room is also adorned with extensive recording and mixing equipment.

“We have way too many buttons and nobs,” says Wadman.

The equipment is not only for their benefit, though.

“We also record other bands,” says Collings.

Dominion NV’s music is propelled by Klein’s inventive drumming. He lacks the overused double-bass pedal of most metal outfits. He makes up for it by incorporating unusual elements into his drumming, from genres as disparate as grindcore and jazz.

“I just try to keep it different, keep it changing, by shoving all different kinds of stuff into one beat,” says Klein.

“He doesn’t write basic riffs,” says Collings. “He’ll write something made for our parts in the song.”

The other members are also influenced by a wide-range of artists, even within the world of metal.

“It’s a mix of old school stuff and new school stuff,” says Grove. “I’m particularly into old school stuff like Slayer.”

Cooper’s interests fall more in line with nu-metal.

“I grew up listening to Fear Factory and Spineshank,” he says.

There are a few bands that they all completely agree on, though.

“I think we all love Pantera,” says Collings.

Eventually the talk of influences degenerates into joking, with names like Beethoven and Bon Jovi being bandied about in equal quantities.

“If you want to keep metal alive you’ve got to come out to shows,” says Klein. The members of Dominion NV absolutely care about the kind of music they play, and hope their audience and their scene grow. “We play this music because we can’t stop.”