Damnations Day – Invisible, The Dead
Damnations Day – Invisible, The Dead (2013)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
Slowly becoming famous in my book for cooking up some excellent traditional-yet-novel power metal with heavy and thrash influences (Black Majesty, Pegazus, Knightmare, Taberah, Dungeon/Lord, Empires Of Eden, etc.), Australia delivers yet again with power/thrashers Damnations Day who, after 8 years, have kicked out a debut full-length with the stimulating title Invisible, The Dead.
True to the formula of most bands that merge power metal hooks with thrashier riffs, Damnations Day keeps the focus neatly divided between solid vocal melodies, charging rhythm hooks, and some very good screams courtesy of singer Mark Kennedy. Kennedy may not have the most fine-tuned pitch control, and his softer clean vocals are sometimes (see below) lacking a certain conviction and warmth, but he’s really on the top of his game when he gets screaming. The vocal work on the ripping “I Am” and “Carried Above The Sun” is top-notch, and, along with the tight guitar work, a commanding asset for the band.
The guitars are a serious propelling force on Invisible, The Dead. Despite the occasional sparseness of sound here, the variety of riffs, licks, and lead melodies consistently do not fail to entertain throughout the entire album (well, on the quick songs, anyway). Dean Kennedy (Brother of vocalist Mark, if I’m not mistaken) of Teramaze fills the drum seat and, if I may be permitted to say, he often sounds as if he may be performing beneath himself. There are a few spots where the drums kick into overdrive however, and the listener is treated to punishing percussion.
Curiously enough, the album ends with a rather capable acoustic serenade in “A World To Come”, which features a dreamy melody, abrupt tenderness from Kennedy, and rich backing vocals that enliven the soft track and engage the listener up to the end. The net result is another of those rare ballads that properly captures my attention and may even be my favorite track on the album. Unfortunately, I don’t find the other acoustic track (“A Ghost In Me”) to be nearly so impressive, and it’s only effect is to break the momentum right in the middle of the album.
With the excellent closer and several other very strong tracks throughout (especially “I Am” and “Reflections”), Invisible, The Dead is a very encouraging first bout of metal. I can’t cite the band’s soft tunes as stumbling blocks, with as much as I enjoy “A World To Come”, but I feel that the groups’ strengths lie more reliably in their uptempo tunes and allowing the guitars to cut loose. I recommend this album to any that enjoy an accessible fusion of power and thrash metal, and anyone looking for some very good high-pitched vocal work. Invisible, The Dead is a professional, powerful, and accomplished debut that paves the way for a bright future.
3.5 // 5