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Damnation Plan - Reality Illusion

Damnation Plan
Reality Illusion
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 07 August 2017, 9:35 AM

After an interesting intro, the Finnish Melodic Death band’s second album, “Reality Illusion,” kicks off with the groovy and thrash “Beyond These Walls.”  Kalle and Antti really work well as a duo, complimenting each other as they trade off crushing, fast paced riffs and sharp melodies.  The dual vocal approach is catchy as hell, especially on the choruses, such as on the aforementioned track.  Tommy’s harsh vocals are arresting yet clear enough to understand, similar to CHILDREN OF BODOM or old IN FLAMES.  Asim’s cleans are perfectly pitched, not coming off too mainstream or soft.  The two vocalists work well together and feed off the other one’s energy and style.

Most of the songs are on the fast paced side; with their speed and interweaving melodies they really remind me of fellow melodic metal masters SOILWORK.  Like them, they have an uncanny ability to meld melody into catchy songs while still retaining the heavy framework of a kick ass metal band.  Speaking of which, Jarkko and Jukka really provide this framework because even when the album gets really melodic or there are a lot of cleans, their bass and drums keep things more on the extreme side. “The Final Destination,” is an 8 and a half minute roller coaster of a track.  Epic keyboards begin as the riffs fill the space up, opening up to a melodic solo that fuels the early part of the track.  The highlight of the track is the middle of the song where it goes super melodic into a passage of lyrics sang with strikingly good clean vocals. The DIO cover at the end, “Don’t Talk To Strangers,” is one of the better covers I’ve heard in a while. It holds down the feel of the original but they make it their own.  I think DIO would be proud of this version.

Other highlights include the title track and “Rise of the Messenger.”  “Messenger,” begins with a speedy gallop that gives way to short but sweet melodic passage before going back to the guitars and their metallic crunch.  The ending of the song is great, featuring a killer solo, melodic riffs, and both the vocalists singing/screaming their asses off.  “Reality Illusion,” is one the most rocking on the album in no small part because of the spastic and energetic harsh vocals; the clean sang chorus is equally as good.  All in all, this is a solid Melodic Death Metal album.  They are not going to win any points for innovation but sometimes it’s not what you do but how well you do it that matters.  This band does it very well.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Beyond These Walls
3. Rulers of Truth
4. Rise of the Messenger
5. Blinded Faith
6. The Empowerment
7. Maze of Despair
8. Iron Curtain Falls
9. Reality Illusion
10. A Chapter in Greed
11. The Final Destination
12. Don’t Talk To Strangers
Antti Lauri –Lead  Guitars
Jarkko Lunnas – Drums
Kalle Niininen -Rhythm Guitar
Jukka Vehkamaa – Bass
Asim Searah – Clean Vocals
Tommy Tuovinen – Harsh, Clean Vocals
Record Label: Inverse Records


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