Damnation Angels – Bringer Of Light
Bringer Of Light
The power metal scene in the United Kingdom is a pretty barren landscape. Other than the titans Dragonforce, there are very few power metal acts hailing from our neighbor across the pond [Editor’s note: Neonfly, Dark Forest, Ascension, Power Quest, Balance Of Power, Dakesis – but yes, relatively few]. That the landscape is barren however, does not mean it is completely desolate. Unfortunately, after hearing the debut album from Damnation Angels, Bringer Of Light, I can see a few tumbleweeds blowing across the UK metal landscape. Fronted by the ever-obnoxious PelleK, this album goes downhill right from the start.
For power metal, the album leans on the slow side. Many of the songs begin with a keyboard melody and a guitar riff before moving to a quieter section for the first verse, usually with just a keyboard accompaniment. So, when listening to this album, the listener can expect a barrage of riff heavy mid tempo power metal songs (oh boy!). Unfortunately, Damnation Angels fall into the same trap many other bands of this style do – many of their songs are extremely formulaic. The band tries to mitigate some of this damage by including a couple of longer songs like “The Longest Day Of My Life” and “Pride (The Warrior’s Way)” each roughly 10 minutes long.
“The Longest Day Of My Life” is the first full song on the album, following the two minute orchestral track “Ad Finem” (what is it with power metal bands and Latin intro tracks?). After listening to this song, I know how the band must have felt writing it, because these are 10 minutes of my life I’m not going to get back. Throughout this song, the orchestrations are routinely the highlight, written by the bands guitarist. PelleK’s vocals are good, I suppose, but boring, the riffs are bland, and the song drags more than it needs to, which is only exacerbated by its length.
The other epic concludes the album, and begins with a decidedly oriental flavor. It maintains this flavor throughout, returning to it multiple times both as instrumental sections and as backing music underneath vocal segments. The orchestrations here are amongst the best on the album. While this song doesn’t suffer as much as the other epic from being too long, and does a better job of remaining interesting throughout, PelleK’s vocals continually fail to impress me.
The guitar work on this album is mostly underwhelming. This is a band that tries to get by with riffs, breakdowns, and orchestration, leaving room for only small solos and leads in most songs. When present, the guitar solos are the mark of a skilled but not exceptional guitarist (though as I mentioned, he has a good ear for orchestration). Songs like “Bringer Of Light,” and “I Hope” feature guitar solos, but even here they act more as an accent to the music rather than a display of instrumental prowess.
This album is a poor example of symphonic power metal. It is too long for its own good, and too bland in every way to stand out. It features a mediocre, self-inflated vocalist, an average set of musicians, and an unhealthy supply of mid tempo melodic metal. This album would be more appropriately titled “Bringer Of Sleep,” because that is all you’ll want to do after slogging through an hours worth of this. Skip.
Graham’s Rating: 1.75 out of 5