Gotthard Domino Effect Nuclear Blast
· Produced By:

· Running Time: 55.30

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock

· Links: Gotthard Nuclear Blast
Songs: 95%
Sound: 93%
You have to hand it to Swiss rockers Gotthard. How many bands could live through a change of line-up, management and record label, only to deliver arguably their best album ever and one which even saw them pick up a new range of fans?
Lipservice was one of the coolest albums of 2005 - even if I did only rate it a 92 - and therefore suffer the wrath of unhappy G fans, who believed it should have been a sure thing for a perfect score.
Tell you guys what – I'll meet you half way – it should have been a 95 (is it too late to change?!) as the album continued to grow on me and impress further long after the review was added. So, in the case of the band's new album pardon me for taking my time with this review. I have had the album some 6 or 8 weeks now I guess and have absolutely made up my mind on it and how it fits into the scheme of the Gotthard catalogue.
You have to hand it to the guys again for not getting too comfortable with what was achieved on Lipservice and changing it up yet again.
I would have put money on the band recording a direct sequel to the last release, but no, Domino Effect takes the band back in a heavier, darker and somewhat more contemporary direction.
The guitar sound is the most noticeable difference here. I said initially that the band had updated and down-tuned, but I think that is now a little simplistic an explanation. Yes, the tone is different from Lipservice, but it is more a menacing and darker tone than actually being down-tuned.
Still, if I personally was given the choice over which guitar sound I would prefer, I'd stick with that used on Lipservice. I thought the band nailed it there, where as here I occasionally wish for a couple of more commercial rockers.
That said – there is nothing at all wrong with the songwriter here. Once again the guys deliver a selection of powerful and energetic numbers, all featuring a hook and chorus to hang your hat on, even if it is in a less obviously commercial manner as Lipservice.
Domino Effect flows effortlessly and I think although there is the usual number of ballads involved, on this occasion they are perfectly placed within the record and supplement the rockers rather than slowing things down.
For those wanting a second dose of Lipservice, it is the ballads which stick closest to that album's formula. I'm really impressed by the ballads here actually, they are all top quality.
I guess we should dissect this release track by track:
The opening chords of Master Of Illusion sets the tone for the whole record. A foot-stomping riff gets things pumping and immediately you know the guitar sound has changed this time around.
Vocalist Steve Lee has always had a raspy delivery and this is no different, but even he sounds a little more menacing in a take no prisoners kind of way. Nothing can take away from a cool chorus which is classic Gotthard.
Gone Too Far has a less obvious chorus and sees a little of the band's favourite influences in Led Zeppelin again seep into the song, which rocks along at a nice pace.
The killer title track Domino Effect rounds off an opening sonic assault – three hard rockers lined up in a row, with the best being this track.
The guitar sound may be dark, but the heart of the song is Gotthard at their best and the chorus is great.
Ballads are always going to be a big part of the Gotthard makeup and we now get a double dose, with two back to back ballads. Both are a little different from each other though and running them together works.
Falling is a dark and intense ballad with a dramatic chorus and remains quite heavy for a ballad. Some orchestration helps build the track and I'm guessing this will also be a single at some point. The Call is the lead single from the album and the most obvious commercially friendly track of the album. This is essentially a typical power ballad with a big sentimental chorus and a heartfelt verse. Steve's lead vocals and their raspy edge are perfectly suited to portray the emotion of the song.
The Oscar Goes To You is a feisty modern-ish rocker with a strong beat and uptempo pace. There are some production effects in play here, but a cracking chorus turns a dark classic rock song into a more anthemic proposition.
The Cruiser (Judgement Day) is another dark modern rocker but without a more obvious chorus. It keeps the pace and theme of the hard rocking album in play, but I don't find it to be one of the more likable tracks.
Heal Me is amore straight up hard rocker with a simple AC/DC style riff driving the song. Simple, effective, uptempo and rocking. Enough said!
Letter To A Friend is a cool track, building from a soft intro in to a quite intense rocker. It features a wicked heavy guitar riff – dark and moody and quite intense. The vibe of the song is added to by some multi-layered keyboard and organ parts and a ripping guitar solo mid-song.
Tomorrow's Just Begun is a far more relaxed track, which makes for a nice break from the intensity that is the album as a whole. This easy going breezy rock ballad has a simple chorus, but a strong overall melody.
A thumping drum beat kicks off Come Alive, which is a little different again. This is a groover of a track with a real swagger to it – reminding me of some earlier Gotthard material. Not the catchiest track on the album, but the groove will make it appealing to some.
Bad To The Bone is thankfully not a cover of the Thorogood staple, but rocks along nicely enough. Again, I'm not sold on this track and I'm hoping this isn't a decline in the album as a whole. Sometimes I think the band have a lot of tracks on their albums where a couple less would do no harm.
Thankfully the song Now proves my theory wrong, as this uptempo rocker slips right into the same tempo as the opening few tracks and is a strong track.
Again closing out the album with a ballad, the band chose wisely with the very classy Where Is Love When Its Gone. This is a nice, soft and sentimental track with a great melody.
I wasn't happy that Lipservce closed with two ballads in a row, this time it is only one and a damn fine track at that, so in my mind Domino Effect closes with a great rocker followed by a great ballad.
The Bottom Line
Lipservice was more commercial and I think will continue to have a wider appeal across the masses, but perhaps Domino Effect will mean more to long time Gotthard fans who appreciate the band's diversity and the harder approach used here.
The album is clearly another winner for the guys, who continue on their merry way, blowing the competition out of the water and proving there are one of the most consistent rock acts in Europe, if not the world.
If Lipservice should have been a 95, I'll rate this a 94 and hope it is sufficient a score so as to please those core G fans!
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Gotthard
· Dial Hard
· G
· Defrosted
· Open
· Homerun
· Human Zoo
· Lip Service
· Domino Effect

Line Up:
· Steve Lee: Vocals
· Leo Leoni, Freddy Scherer: Guitars
· Hena Habegger: Drums
· Marc Lynn: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
· Gotthard!
Track Listing
· Master Of Illusion *
· Gone Too Far
· Domino Effect *
· Falling *
· The Call *
· The Oscar Goes To You
· The Cruiser (Judgement Day)
· Heal Me
· Letter To A Friend *
· Tomorrow's Just Begun
· Come Alive
· Bad To The Bone
· Now *
· Where Is Love When Its Gone *

--*Best Tracks

05/06/08: Harv -
Rating: 95
They went floatly and acoustic for awhile, but they have bounced back in a big way. Gotthard just rule! If you liked a harder Gotthard, then buy this cd.

04/08/07: Nigel Spate -
Rating: 100
I only really got into Gotthard recently but this album is brilliant.Every track enjoyable and it really rocks.

22/06/07: Neil Higson -
Rating: 97
Another awesome release by the swiss boys. I think this is a natural evolution of Lipservice and is proof that Gotthard are one of the most underrated bands out there. If certain hi-profile bands had recorded some of this stuff people would be wetting themselves. Some of the comments both for this and Lipservice seem a little unfair - Lipservice too commercial, Domino too dark, moved on from Lipservice gets mentioned but if they hadn't then probably would have been critised for that - sometimes whatever you do you can't win. Put Harem Scarem's or Jeff Scott Soto's name on the last two albums and we've got 2 100& ratings here. Winding up Andrew aside and irrespective of personal taste this is another massive album from a truly great band.

25/05/07: Danny -
Rating: 95
I think this is yet another masterpiece from one of the coolest and most talented "non worldly popular" bands on the planet. Just another addition into their top notch 90-100 rating catalogue. A must have for any Gotthard fan.

25/05/07: Adriano -
Rating: 98
Wonderful, This excellent cd haves a modern song and great compositions.
Maybe the best album of the year at the moment

21/05/07: Craig Chapman -
Rating: 90
I'll give 90 after two listens.

Steve is on great form again but I'm more of a fan of the boogie-ing guitar on Lip Service than harder approach taken here. Still got some awesome twin lead breaks, some excellent songs and like many, I wondered what was happening when one song ended as though the CD player had a problem - great effect, but not whilst I'm driving chaps, eh ?

"Bad To The Bone" has already experienced the skip button.

Can't wait til they hit Dudley again and I'm sure there will be a lot more present on the night than last time.

21/05/07: jerry -
Rating: 100
This release is just plain awesome! Even through changes in the lineup Gotthard does not disapoint. should be in the top 5 of 2007

18/05/07: Rob -
Rating: 99
Another perfect release. These guys are the best!!

17/05/07: Peter -
Rating: 85
I definitely like the heavier guitar sound on this album, the point is that Steve Lee would even take the hard edge out of a Slayer album. His style is more AOR orientated which doesn't fit as good in the darker and heavier Domino Effect as it does in Lipservice.

Overall a very good album though.

17/05/07: Tuomas -
Rating: 97
Clearly stronger than Lipservice although Lipservice did have some glorious choruses!!!Great job,once again!!:)

16/05/07: rocknut -
Rating: 85
A very good and, more importantly, very consistent album from the Swiss rockers. Steeped in the classic 80's hard rock sound the production beef's up the bottom end and, as a consequence this album hits a little harder than Lipservice. In that respect I like it a little better than Lipservice, although both albums are solid and, again, consistently good throughout.
Steve Lee sounds in fine voice and the songs are both heavy and melodic without losing any focus on the art of actually writing a catchy tune.
Of their genre I would say that Gotthard are probably the strongest band out there treading the boards at this time, I'd love to see a double bill with The Scorpions. That would be something to behold.
Classy, expertly played and produced hard rock from a band at the very top of their game.

15/05/07: Peter -
Rating: 99
While the once great band TNT have just released the downer of their carrere, swiss band Gotthard kicked their butts with this killer release. Fantastic rockers and ballads on this one, perfectly produced and with a nice album artwork. This is how rock band should sound in 2007. Modern and fresh. Not like the new TNT album: they sound retro and uninspired these days and should better retire! Gotthard is on the way up and it is clear to see (or hear actually ;-)) that this album will take them to the top. 99 points!

15/05/07: Kurt -
Rating: 95
Another great album by my favorite band! A little darker than Lip Service and may not be as commercial, but still incredible.

15/05/07: Shane -
Rating: 95
This band continues to amaze me with another 'A' Class album.
I only discovered this band through melodicrocks review of Lip Service. Since then I have collected every Gottard album. This is what rock music should sound like. This band deserves the same popularity as Bon Jovi, Def Leppard ect.

15/05/07: pacopuma -
Rating: 90
Nowadays, Gotthard is the best melodic rock band in the world.

15/05/07: Doose -
Rating: 99
I think Gotthard is one helluva band,and this cd is GREAT just like the rest of them.I wish they'd come to the U.S.A.

15/05/07: Frode -
Rating: 97
Once again a classic release from one of the leading AOR-bands. No fillers, great guitar, vocals and great chours.....a must have in 2007

14/05/07: Frank -
Rating: 82
Good album, but certainly not as good as Lipservice. There are no real highlights like "Anytime Anywhere" and "I Wonder" on Lipservice and "Bad To The Bone" is really awful. Favourite songs: "The Call" and "Domino Effect".

14/05/07: wiljan -
Rating: 99

This cd rocks like hell and though it's not better than LIPSERVICE it's still one of the best releases at the moment!!

1. The oscar goes to...
2. Falling
3. Where is love When it's gone
4. The Call
5. Domino effect

And the production is still the best like all the last 5 releases

14/05/07: Tom Lindström -
Rating: 99
Great album no fillers , this is the album of the year for me no doubt. After seeing them live last summer they became my fav band.Classic Rock at it´s best and just as good as Lipservice.

14/05/07: Archie -
Rating: 95
Quite simply the Album of the year to date this band is the most underated band on the planet....Rock n Roll is alive and well.

14/05/07: Damir -
Rating: 99
Gotthard one again At the top of the world!
Catchy,powerfull,melodic....all what most of the other record don't have.
Worth buying!!!

14/05/07: Scott Watson -
Rating: 95
Gotthard succeeds again. Andrew's review pretty much sums it up. Except "Bad to the Bone" is a good rockin' song. If you haven't purchased this cd, do so immediately.

14/05/07: Dag H Moldskred -
Rating: 86

Hard rocking album ,but not as catchy as in the past.
Falling and the call are great-
In my opinion the weakest Gotthard album ever,guess i am the only one ..


14/05/07: patiscat -
Rating: 95
I love this rocking album from start to finish including the great track "bad to the bone" ;-)

Buy or die !!!


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