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Damnation Plan - The Wakening

Damnation Plan
The Wakening
by Drago at 25 March 2013, 2:43 AM

With the release of their debut record on Coroner Records, “The Wakening”, Finland’s DAMNATION PLAN have created the perfect hybrid of combining harsh and clean vocals. Formed in 2004 by guitarist Kalle Niininen and drummer Jarkko Lunnas, they have been trying to solidify their lineup with a consistent vocalist.

Enter vocalist Asim Searah and current MYGRAIN vocalist Tommy Tuovinen. Vocally is where DAMNATION PLAN excel, they utilize their two vocalists in the same style as SCAR SYMMETRY. Tuovinen of MYGRAIN fame contributes harsh vocals and his interaction with clean vocalist Asim Searah is flawless.

Staccato riffs blended with huge luscious vocal melodies are accomplished seamlessly on standout tracks “Edge of Machinery”, “The Unknown Presence” and “Grand World Anthem.” The latter is a tour de force and at over seven minutes it is the centerpiece of the album. A simple guitar line accompanies double bass drumming before jumping into a verse that just knocks your head off. The chorus is Searah at his best as the melody is addictive. The outro builds into an epic climax, as drummer Lunnas is outstanding. His drum fills are extraordinary and it is my favorite part of the record.

First single “Blindsighted” comes firing out on all cylinders. Sounding like modern day SOILWORK, we have a brutal verse punctuated by a sing along chorus that will be stuck in your head. The drums bounce back and forth between double time and half time and the verses are bludgeoning before the open space of the guitars in the chorus balance things out.

The title track showcases Tuovinen at his most brutal. There is no surprise that DAMNATION PLAN pushed to get him into the group, as his voice is killer. MYGRAIN is also an incredible band and with his performance on the “The Wakening” it should put him up there with the best melodic death metal has to offer.

The sound of the record is outstanding as it is mixed and mastered by the legendary Dan Swano. The guitars sound huge and the keyboards are sporadically placed throughout the songs and are not overbearing. The vocals are right up front and blend incredibly together. Swano was an amazing choice and his trademark production helps strengthen the tightness and overall essence of the record.

It would do the band justice if they were to add more instrumental breaks and guitar solos. Sometimes it feels like the band concentrates more on the vocal melodies and could expand their musical direction. They are tremendous players and should be given the freedom to push themselves a tad more.

DAMNATION PLAN's debut is an excellent combination of melody and aggressiveness. The blueprint follows what SCAR SYMMETRY has already paved but they are unique enough not to be considered copycats. Both vocalists are utilized evenly and both play a crucial role within the band. The song writing is where the band shines the most and “The Wakening” is an addictive listen. This is a band on the rise that should make even more waves with their next release.

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. The Unknown Presence
3. Blindsighted
4. The Wakening
5. Edge of Machinery
6. Crimson Skies
7. Walk of Illusion
8. Ashes
9. Resurrected (Within Ourselves)
10. Grand World Anthem
Tommy Tuovinen – Harsh Vocals
Asim Searah – Clean Vocals
Kalle Niininen – Guitars
Antti Lauri – Guitars
JukkaVehkamaa – Bass
Jarkko Lunnas - Drums
Record Label: Coroner Records


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Edited 26 March 2019

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