Unlike many of its European counterparts, UK has not exactly brought an abundance of power and symphonic metal bands; you could probably list them all on the back of a stamp along with a detailed route planner from Plymouth to Manchester; so the emergence of Damnation Angels is quite a surprise. Just as surprising is the fact that they actually do it rather well.
On their debut album, “Bringer Of Light”, they have brought in all the essential elements of the archetypal symphonic bands: grandiose orchestral passages, soaring guitars and of course, a great slab of cheese. First song proper, the 10 minute (and thus aptly titled) ‘The Longest Day Of My Life’ leaves you in no doubt as to what to expect of proceedings with all such elements checked off to rather decent effect. Much of the rest of the album’s tracks are much punchier in duration (apart from the near 10 minute closer, ‘Pride (The Warrior’s Way)’) but still make effective use of these character traits. There are quite a few hooks in the mix which, although won’t be catching those who don’t worship at the feet of Nightwish, but will certainly please fans of the ilk.
PelleK’s vocals are certainly apt for such a style and at times are a very formidable force, at other times however there are a few notes which don’t quite hit the mark and get a bit too cringe worthy. Herein is another aspect which will make or break these guys in a lot of people’s standings.
Not a band that is going to radically shift people’s opinions on symphonic metal either way, nor one that is going to shake many of the big names of their pedestal, but Damnation Angels have made a formidable debut with a lot of promise for the future. Bombastic and reeking of stilton, just how it is meant to be.