Damnation Plan – The Wakening (Coroner Records)Friday, 19th April 2013
Originally forming in 2004, melodic death metal act Damnation Plan have slowly developed their style, solidifying their lineup over the course of eight years and finally ready to unfurl their debut album to the public. These Finns incorporate two distinct singers – Asim Searah for the clean melodies and MyGrain’s Tommy Tuovinen for the harsher passages as well as harmony back up – and musically travel across a sound that’s similar to Soilwork than say Dark Tranquility or Children of Bodom.
What this means for the listener is expect the hooks to come from all directions – early and often, be it from an easy to handle clean chorus merging with haunting symphonic keyboards for the title cut, or the low, almost doom-oriented guitar riffing for the pseudo-ballad “Ashes.” I anticipate plenty of windmill action based on the mid-tempo crunch exhibitions out of lead guitarist Antti Lauri and rhythm guitarist Kalle Niininen- as “Resurrected (Within Ourselves)” and “Edge of Machinery” are two classic Damnation Plan efforts to make audiences lose their minds.
The focus even in longer tracks like the 6 minute “Walk of Illusion” and seven-minute plus closer “Grand World Anthem” is squarely on constructing riffs and parts that match up seamlessly, which probably places Damnation Plan into more of a veteran category. The staccato elements are never forced, and the open instrumental elements give each musician a chance to flex their collective metal muscles.
What’s the bottom line then? The Wakening proves again that Scandinavia seems to breed the best skill set and emotional outpouring for all types of heavy genres. I’m looking forward to Damnation Plan’s future recordings, as this is a pleasing start.