This is the first full-length release by Doncaster, UK’s Damnation Angels, the follow-up to 2009’s Shadow Symphony EP. When I first heard about them, I thought that this would be more in line with Symphonic Power Metal bands like Rhapsody of Fire or Stratovarius, but the music here is closer to the likes of Nightwish or maybe Kamelot. It’s still kind of symphonic in style, but I wouldn’t call it strictly “Symphonic Power Metal” because there’s a substantial amount of Gothic atmosphere on Bringer of Light that you don’t find on LPs by Stratovarius. For me, the inclusion of the Goth sound to their music gives them a darker feel. Power Metal tends to be far more upbeat than this, and I like the more melancholic, depressive edge that Damnation Angels has. They even manage to turn a cover of Metallica’s “No Leaf Clover” into something dark and atmospheric. The only track that felt out of place was “Pride (The Warrior’s Way),” mostly because unlike the other tracks, it has an Asian influence. The problem with that song is that the Gothic atmosphere that the band built up is lost and replaced by something completely different. It breaks up the flow of the album in a way that’s disruptive. It also prevents a good record from being great. A great album is one that flows well and each song feels like it belongs there, exactly in the spot it’s placed on the tracklist. By itself, the song “Pride (The Warrior’s Way)” is solid with no real flaws. It just doesn’t work on this album. The style and sound aren’t suited for the atmosphere that Damnation Angels built up throughout the course of nine songs. Still, this is an impressive debut LP. Producing a great album is a rare thing. Few bands can ever accomplish it. These guys came awful close. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for their next release based on what’s here.
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