Before I get underway with the review I want to say a little about the band. The Damnation Project are a progressive rock/Metal band from Greece, they were formed in Spring 2009. They released their first demo, which included 4 songs in January 2010 and have been working to develop ever since. The lineup for the band is as follows:
Ioannis Degdekis On Bass (Apart From “Υοu”), Guitar, Keyboard (Apart From “Stay Away”), Vocals
Ioannis Kakanis – Vocals, Hammond (At “Chronicles Of Life And Death), Piano Solo (At Fearless”)
Vassilis Gantzios – Drums (Apart From “Breathless”).
Tassos Karapapazoglou – Bass (At “You”)
Manos Skaramagas – Piano (At “Stay Away”)
Vassilis Stefanis – Flute (At “Reflections”)
Roxane Kearnopoulou – Cello (At “Elements Of Love And Hate”)
Nikos Tsilikoudis – Drums (At “Breathless”)
Anna Stefani- Vocals (At “Breathless”)
Now on with the review…
‘Chronicles of Life and Death’ opens with a great little guitar riff and some excellent vocals that do an awesome track title like ‘chronicles of Life and death’ justice. This track has a very classic rock/metal vibe to it and it does justice to the genre. It also has a pretty awesome electronic bit coming up to the two minute mark that I really enjoyed. All in all this was a great opening track with plenty to offer from the guitar and drums.
‘Tears of Love’ opens with a little drum sequence before getting right down to it, like the previous track it’s well built up, using all the instruments just right. I like alot of the track titles for this album and tears of love is no exception. This track is really good to listen to when you’re out and about, something about its rocky balladness just works well if you’re busy.
‘You’ A song about me…I’m touched. Joking aside ‘You’ was another smashing addition to this album, I loved the opening line ‘you are a flower, in the garden of my life’ It was incredibly poetic and touching, and that was just the first line, because it gets better as the track goes on. I talk about it often in reviews, but sometimes you get songs that aren’t meant to listened to so much as experienced, you just sit back, put the song on and let it wash over you, this is definitely one of those.
‘Stay Away’ has a distinctly different opening from the rest of the tracks so far, an electronic piano beat if i’m not mistaken, but I really enjoyed it. It takes a full 52 seconds before it breaks into the next part of the song, until the vocalists kick in. It’s worth the wait for sure because it’s just another great song to get lost in.
‘Reflections Part.1’ so the first half of the titular track on this album, usually I’m wary of tracks that are split in too, because there’s always one that’s distinctly better than the other one and you’re left thinking why did they make two parts in the first place but I’m glad to say that wasn’t the case here. Part 1 opens with a lovely piano intro that it joined by a haunting electronic horn of some sort, they both come together to give this incredible experience. The music is very haunting and gets you thinking, which makes sense for a track called Reflections.
‘Reflections Part.2’ has is a little more punch to it than the previous track, it’s a little darker and even a little mysterious. It has a fantastic guitar sequence near the beginning that reminded me a little of the theme for an old Batman cartoon I watched as a kid. I hope the comes across as the compliment it’s meant to be by the way.
‘Dorian Grey (Without a Portrait)’ has one of the best titles I’ve seen so far, enigmatic and seemingly designed to excite the literary nerd in me I expected to like this and the track met my expectations. It had a hard guitar intro like the previous track had, but it worked really well. It breaks out of that intro style after we hit the minute mark, becoming more sharp and focused but still delivering some kickass and challenging guitar sequences. It takes a while for the vocals to join in but when they do you’re glad they do, and they compliment the guitars perfectly.
‘Myself’ Oh great another track about me….sorry guys I promise to keep the terrible attempts at jokes to a minimum. This has a really good intro, long drawn out chords and an almost chanting vocal accompaniment that gives this track a surreal quality. I think this track is a personal favourite of mine from the album, something about it just had me listening over and over again. I suppose they flowing vocals do kinda carry you off with them.
‘Elements of Love and Hate’ an intriguing title if ever I heard on, it opens with gentle thrumming guitar and a tight drumbeat. The vocals come in and change up the song, it becomes a little harder and more upbeat. I like the stringed instrument they throw in as well it adds an interesting little tone to the entire track and balances out the more conventional guitars and bass and drums you expect to hear.
‘Fearless’ Has a piano intro that feels designed to put to you edge, it’s joined very quickly by a fast paced and shredding guitar that balances up well and provides a sense of energy and urgency to the track. I think this track is another of those that you need to get lost in and just experience.
‘Madness’ shakes things up with a unique electronic/synth opening that blends well with the rest of the instruments to provide a fantastic fusion of noises and tones that keep you engaged. I really like the chant feel of the vocals from this band, and it’s very clear in tracks like Madness how well they can work.
‘Breathless’ has a more traditional intro, just some great guitar and drum sequences that go together really well. Like the past few tracks we’re treated to a fairly long instrumental opening before the vocals kick in, I was expecting it by the time I got around to listening to breathless but by the two minute mark I was starting to think this was just a straight up instrumental track and then get the striking vocals of the group again.
So those are my thoughts on The Damnation Project’s new album ‘Reflections’ and if you want to get a copy for yourself then follow this link to their Bandcamp and if you just want to keep up to date with what the band is doing then you can follow them on their social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and their personal website.
First Published on: www.newhellfireclub.co.uk