An album from 2013 that was probably overlooked by many people and should not have been is "Invisible, The Dead" by Damnations Day. The band is from Australia, which seems to be the hotbed for progressive metal nowadays. Damnations Day have their own style
that combines Fates Warning-type prog metal with thrash metal and even a Judas Priest
power metal influence. At the center of it all is lead vocalist Mark Kennedy.
Kennedy has an amazing range that is similar to Ray Alder in his mid range and Rob Halford in his higher range. He even sounds like the late, great Midnight at the very top of his range. Had Queensryche not found Todd LaTorre, Kennedy could have easily filled the role. To say he has an amazing voice is a huge understatement.
I had no real background on the band going into this album, but it wasn't long into the title track that I realized I had a winner. The songs are very well written. The title track could be on a Fates Warning record. "I Am" sounds like Painkiller-era Priest, with Kennedy using his higher Halford-esque
range throughout the song. The band is not just Mark, however. Mark's brother Dean on drums, Jon King on lead guitar and Luke Vinken on bass provide the urgency the songs need. The band is never relentless. Rather, they invite you along on an intense ride with
two breaks to let you catch your breath, the string-laden ballad "A Ghost In Me" in the middle of the album and the quiet acoustic closer "A World To Come." Both songs let
Mark really show the many tones and colors of his voice.
The other great thing about this album is how catchy it is. For those who just want their metal all brutal, I understand because I enjoy that as well, but sometimes you need to be able to sing along to a good lyric. If you aren't singing "Carried Above The Sun" by the end of the song ("A moment like this, seems to exist..."), there is just no hope for you.
With bands like Karnivool, Voyager, Dead Letter Circus, Arcane
and Caligula's Horse all making a name for themselves as up-and-coming Australian metal bands, I really hope
Damnations Day and their unique brand of Aussie metal don't get lost in all of
the talent. The bottom line is if you like good melodic progressive metal with one of the best vocalists to come along in a very long time, you NEED to buy this album NOW!