Damnations Day - 'A World Awakens' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 29, 2018    
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Doesn't lack in ambition and proves an impressive journey.

...And so... would a world awaken at the sound of the Mark Kennedy-led monolith of sound which announces the returning Damnations Day.

This is a band made up of the Kennedy brothers – guitarist/singer Mark and drummer Dean – plus the lead guitar of Jon King who are all accompanied by the bass and string-arranging skills of Dean Wells. All members are active players in the Aussie Metal movement who collectively touch a few more bases than basic Metal, erring towards arrangements which tick the Progressive box, yet with elements verging on the powerfully melodic and Symphonic, whilst also being big on the drama. Support slots with the likes of Accept and Nightwish have gone some way to cementing their reputation and potential, but how do they shape up in the studio?

Lyrically, we're delving into dark areas; there's an early indication of the direction with the declaration "we're witnessing the falling of it all". Everything is penned in a sometimes disturbing and cryptic narrative via the first person, songs in the manner of 'Dissecting The Soul' and 'Colours Of Darkness' provide a commentary to accompany the deeply burnt amber stone towers of the cover art, while completing the experience is a resonant musical soundtrack. By the time the album reaches 'Into Black', an angst-filled acoustic-based number which comes swelled out with a string arrangement, it signifies the half time whistle and a welcome respite following the passionate workout of 'I Pray'. The latter is a track that concludes an energetic opening twenty minute burst that sees the gods of thunder pouring out one dynamic and vital climax after another.

The restart sees 'To Begin Again' evolve into a huge spectacle from subtle beginnings, while the drama is reined in for a more back-to-basics charge through 'The Idol Counterfeit'. Suddenly, the thought occurred to me that Mark Kennedy is sounding a bit like Sammy Hagar (Van Halen era). The combination of a lilting and contemplative acoustic intro is used again to close out the album on 'Diagnose'. A lick and spit of studio polish ensures any raw edges are smoothed out and the overall impression evokes a sense of grandeur.

This, the second Damnations Day album, whilst maybe not setting any new markers, doesn't lack in ambition and proves an impressive journey.

Mike Ainscoe

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