Review: DAMNATION PLAN – ‘Reality Illusion’ [Song Stream]

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Finnish progressive metal band Damnation Plan are here in 2017 to release a masterpiece for the masses. Damnation Plan formed in 2004 in Espoo, Finland. The band released their first EP in 2007, ‘Darker World’. They took a little bit of a hiatus after that but then regrouped in 2011 to begin work on their first full length album. In 2013, that album, ‘The Wakening’, was released on Coroner Records. The lineup of the band has not changed since 2012 and consists of: Tommy Tuovinen doing harsh and clean vocals, Asim Searah also on clean vocals, Antti Lauri and Kalle Niininen on guitars, Jukka Vehkamaa on bass, and Jarkko Lunnas on drums. Starting work on this new record almost two years ago, the time has finally come. Damnation Plan’s second full length album, ‘Reality Illusion’ will be dropping on March 10th 2017 on Inverse Records. The mixing was done by Dan Swanö at Unisound Studios. You can preorder ‘Reality Illusion’ here. Drummer Jarkko Lunnas had this to say about the new release:

“Creating this album took us 2+ years of hard work, driving me and some of us almost insane during the process of recording the album almost entirely ourselves. It was a massive task but I believe it served the end result well! The album deals with separating the truth from the beliefs and seeing it (or not seeing it) through the different bubbles that we’ve learned to live in our stable and modern societies. We are estranged from the reality until we are forced to face it. The album delivers the message covering a whole spectrum of feelings from an atmospheric and emotional perspective, all the way to the maximal intensity.”

The album starts with a nice, calm chugging intro before Tuovinen explodes onto the soundscape in “Beyond These Walls”. The song is filled with glorious breakdowns and melodic guitar as Tuovinen and Searah trade off on the vocals. The band produces and elegant but extremely heavy piece that produces something for all listeners to enjoy. “Rulers of Truth” starts off with a blistering, memorable lead from Lauri and thought provoking lyrics make the song shine. The track begins to slow about halfway through before roaring to life with an amazing guitar solo and smacking you in the nose with a powerful bass slide from Vehkamaa to go back into the chorus. It has a nice orchestral finish to it to create some suspense to get ready to be launched into the next tune. Damnation Plan does an outstanding job trading off between clean and harsh vocals so that you never get too wore out on either. Throughout the album you feel your heart pounding to the drums as Jarkko Lunnas thunderously hits them with aggression. “Blinded Faith” continues to rip into your soul with wicked riffs, spectacular screams, and the booming rhythm section. “The Empowerment” commences with a djent-like prelude while also matching up with a heavenly lead and quick, complex drumming. It is a great instrumental track to help us dive right into the “Maze of Despair”. You can tell from the very start it will be one of the more dramatic tracks of the record. It is slower paced than everything else so far to give it a deeper emotion. You can hear the pain in the vocals as he tells of his feeling of hopelessness, isolation, and despair. This is my favorite track of the album because it is so different from the rest of it but still fits in perfectly. The band wastes no time getting back to the high-level energy with “Iron Curtain Falls”. The synth playing over the breakdown is interesting and adds more depth to it to make it more atmospheric. Like most prog death metal albums, the guitars on this album are astounding. The song comes to an intricate close that would give most a headache trying to figure out how to play. The title track encompasses all of what Damnation Plan does into one song. The mind stimulating lyrics, vocal trade-offs, epic riffage, a rapid rhythm section, and magnificent soloing shows what they are all about. You can listen to “Reality Illusion” below. “A Chapter In Greed” is a short addition with some nice, harmonic guitar with some spoken word before rolling into “The Final Destination”. This is another track with more convoluted patterns that will grab the attention of all progressive music lovers. It clocks in as the longest track on ‘Reality Illusion’ at 8 minutes and 25 seconds. Vehkamaa’s bass tone stands out strongly in this song and demonstrates his monstrous ability on the instrument. To conclude the album, “Don’t Talk To Strangers” delivers a profound sound that will strike a nerve with the audience with important lyrical content. It takes us home with a compelling ending to leave you wanting even more. “Don’t Talk To Strangers” can also be streamed below. If you like progressive, death, or a ton of tempo changing in your music, this Finnish metal band is for you. Be sure to listen to the songs below, check out their website and follow the band on Facebook.

Track List
01. Intro
02. Beyond These Walls
03. Rulers of Truth
04. Rise of the Messenger
05. Blinded Faith
06. The Empowerment
07. Maze of Despair
08. Iron Curtain Falls
09. Reality Illusion
10. A Chapter In Greed
11. The Final Destination
12. Don’t Talk To Strangers

About Low Gain

I’m just a teenager, living in Southern Illinois, that loves music in general. I love attending festivals as it feels like everyone comes together as a giant family. I also look forward to hearing new music and passing it onto the masses. In my free time I play guitar, basketball, and attend high school.

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