Damnation Plan – The New Horizon

Damnation Plan – The New Horizon
Inverse Records
Release Date: 08/09/23
Running Time: 32:51
Review by Simon Black

Finland’s Damnation Plan have been around for about six years, but it’s taken almost that elapsed period since their 2017 debut “Reality Illusion” to get to this sophomore release. During that time, they’ve moved from a dual harsh / clean vocal pairing to a clean only approach with remaining lungs man Asim Searah, but don’t ask me if that’s good or bad as this is my first exposure to them. To be fair that’s the joy of this gig, because so much material lands every week and there’s never enough time to go back and research the back catalogue before embarking on a review, so we often get our first exposure to an act cold and fresh, which is how it should be if you want to be objective.

Now, this is quite an unusual album for a Progressive Metal act to be fair. Put that sub-genre on the table, and most of the time the expectation is for a convoluted and complex piece of music that squeezes every inch of CD run time out of it, whether it needs it or not, but despite the lengthy gestation period Damnation Plan have kept things tight and punchy this time out, with only five tracks over its thirty-three-minute run time. I’ve reviewed longer EP’s this month alone, and I have to say it works really well, as these songs say what they need to, and deliver a consistent and focussed thematic message that doesn’t have time to get boring.

With subject matter focussing mainly on the period of societal decline we appear to be going through, their focus is not so much on the risks of Artificial Intelligence, as the complete lack of cognitive ability in the world’s population finding itself dumbed down by our new media dominated world and leaching critical thinking abilities like a slow puncture on a tyre. The music is as dark and moody as the subject matter, with the kind of tone and mood arrangements that many Doom metal bands would love to nail, but these guys get that tone and pitch just perfect.

There’s plenty of technical virtuosity but delivered in an understated and inobtrusive way, that allows the subject matter to flow, and with heaviness, oh with such heaviness, that my internal organs can still feel the backbeats. If I have a criticism, it’s that that tone and pitch doesn’t waver, until the slower and more gentle ‘Emotional Trials’ that closes it, but this is dark, moody and emotionally intense music that deserves repeated spins. Now don’t leave it so long until next time please folks…

01. The New Horizon
02. Dreamdead
03. To The Sun
04. Under The Veil Of Sea
05. Emotional Trials

Asim Searah – Vocals
Kalle Niininen – Guitar
Antti Lauri – Lead Guitar
Jaakko Nikko – Bass
Jarkko Lunnas – Drums
Jussi Kulomaa, Jari Pailamo, Kalle Niininen & Jarkko Lunnas – Keyboards & Synths


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