One thing's for sure. Damnation Angels is consistent. Their latest album, The Valiant Fire, is simply another chapter in the same symphonic power metal book which they started a few years back.
If you don't know them, Damnation Angels put so much lavish film score orchestration into their heavy metal to make Rhapsody Of Fire sound like a bunch Middle School hacks. The symphonic layer is THE thing, the single element that defines the band and their arrangements. Sure they also have a deep rhythm section which merely makes them sound more bombastic. And they the wall of riffage to make things even more epic, with a few blistering solos to boot. Pelle K offers melodic vocals over top but, except in the lighter moments, merely treads water to stay above the grand symphonic fray. Yup. They put the symphonic into symphonic power metal, and don't look back. But I'd be more impressed if I knew that this element was performed by a live orchestra rather than synthesizers.
But it all sounds pretty cool and rather impressive for the simple reason that, though the symphonic layer is larger than life, all things blend together quite well. Two good examples are The Icarus Syndrome and This Is Who We Are where the orchestration combines with the guitar line and rhythm section to a seamless whole. Alternatively, within Everlasting the guitar line and riffage command nearly the entire direction of the song. The orchestration appears as accent, though a rather large one. Within Fire Inside, particularly in the latter half, the riffage and orchestration seem play off each like tag team wrestlers. Then there's The Frontiersman, after some light acoustic guitar, it moves almost entirely by the symphonic orchestration and the underlying drums. But, then, about two-thirds in the guitar jump in, first for a subtle solos and then to add riffage to the canvas. The Valiant Fire is all rather lavish and overwhelming, in the best sense. Damnation Angels wants to sound epic and grand with their symphonic power and do so with nearly effortless ease. And they do it without female operatic vocals. Now that's a good thing.
The Valiant Fire is all rather lavish and overwhelming, in the best sense. Damnation Angels wants to sound epic and grand with their symphonic power and do so with nearly effortless ease.
Drummer Ossi Sivula, the creator of Finland's One Desire, said his aim for the new band was "to create music that could change the world." That's a bold statement, potentially putting you in the company of Elvis ... [ Read More ]