It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed an album from an Australian Prog Metal band. The land down under has certainly shown its ability to generate talent as seen with Voyager, Teramaze, and Caligula’s Horse, to name a few. Now we have Damnation’s Day with A World Awakens on Sensory Records.
Damnation’s Day fits in nicely with their fellow countrymen (and women) as a superb example of Prog Metal with a touch of Power. The three piece (with a studio bassist) consists of brothers Mark (singer and guitarist) and drummer Dean Kennedy, along with lead guitarist Jon King, comprising the core of the band. Along with Dean Wells on bass, the band puts on a terrific auditory show. A World Awakens captured my attention on first listen and has only gotten better with each additional spin.
The Witness opens things up – fantastically. Musically each instrument is heard and is allowed to shine independently and as an ensemble. Mark’s voice isn’t terribly remarkable or unique, but the man can sing and has a good range. Definitely a positive asset for the band. While this song (nor a lot of the rest of the album) isn’t especially complex Prog Metal, there is enough variation to it to keep it interesting. Dissecting the Soul is a sort of typical Prog Metal song in the verses, but the chorus is executed at quarter speed which makes it slightly different. Although it starts as a ballad-ish song, Colours of Darkness evolves into a superb track, eminently headbangable. Really enjoying how they morph from a dark and solemn place to one slightly less dark and definitely not solemn. I Pray takes a similar tack, but alternates between lighter and heavier throughout the song.
Into Black is an acoustic driven ballad, simple and well done, reminding me a bit of Queensryche. There are a couple of places the Queensryche similarities pop up. Certainly this song is a breather in the course of the album. To Begin Again keeps the ballady feel, though doesn’t go the acoustic route. The Idol Counterfeit proves to be a bit of a relative barn burner with an up tempo pace, simple yet outstanding riffing, and Mark sounding quite passionate as he sings. Totally digging this track. The title song follows, a darker tune for sure at the beginning. Once it gets going, the track is memorable and really well done – probably one of the more Prog tracks on the album. I get a Voyager feel from the construct of the verse – that’s a good thing! It’s a sweeping, epic song evident in naming the album after it. Closing things out is Diagnose, a song similar to Into Black. Damnation’s Day takes the acoustic base of the track, electrifies it for a while before returning to the more subdued delivery.
From Mark Kennedy: This being our second release promises a more refined and mature sound, this beginning a new exciting chapter for Damnation’s Day.
Here’s the title track:
A mature, professional, and honest band, Damnation’s Day is one I’m glad to have found. It’s not fair or easy to pigeonhole the music into a specific genre, something that makes the band and album, A World Awakens, appealing to me. Be sure to search out this album and discover another band from down under that delivers the Metal goods.
I hear the sound in a Metal way.
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