1) Time Is Up
2) Long For Days
3) Call Me Crazy
4) Sweet Design
5) The Past
6) Stuck In A Web
7) N.O.D. (Nation Of The Damned)
8) Fighting For
9) Devil Is In The Details
11) The Embrace
12) Toward The Darkness
13) Head In The Clouds
14) Worst On You
If you’ve been a longtime, or hell, even more recent, visitor of The Deadhouse, then you will be familiar with Damnation, whether it be from my Stereo Terror review of their first album After Midnight or the DeadTube feature of their video “Fighting For”. The trio consisting of guitarist/vocalist Isaac Aldrich, bassist Brad Touchette and drummer Benny Austin have made quite the splash in the horrorpunk scene over the past few years with After Midnight seeing success and the band also becoming the touring companions of Shadow Windhawk and serving as his backing band, The Morticians. And now, they are readying the release of their sophomore album, The Equinox. And not to reveal a spoiler too early in this review, but they certainly aren’t worrying about the sophomore slump, coming through the speakers with a confidence most bands can’t touch.
The group doesn’t waste any time getting things rolling with “Time Is Up” featuring what is sure to be a great live track that any audience can jump into the chorus along with the band. “Long For Days” settles back into more of the traditional Damnation sound that was established on After Midnight, less of a straight-away punk track, but still heavy and melodic. “Call Me Crazy” continues along the same vibe, showing the band have a firm grasp on what makes them special. Upon first listen, this was the track that immediately stood out to me, with fantastic lyrics. As was noted by the band in the previously mentioned DeadTube feature, the band worked to have a balance between the darker side of things with more hopeful and new reaches of both sound and lyrical content. “Sweet Design” is one of those songs that moves outside that older realm with an insanely melodic chorus.
The album continues along through “The Past” which, while a good song on its own, hits a little less than many of the other tracks on the album. Things pick right back up with “Stuck In A Web” and ventures back into darker territory for the wickedly good “N.O.D. (Nation Of The Damned).” This is followed by the album’s first single “Fighting For” which much like my personal favorite song on After Midnight, “All I Need Is Me”, has more of an inspirational approach to it. It is also far and away the lightest song on the album, so if you were fearful after hearing it that the band was mellowing out, you don’t have anything to worry about in that regard. “Devil Is In the Details” is a slower song with an almost chugging like riff that drives the song and builds to the chorus before starting all over again.
“Traces” slows things down further but speeds right the hell up about a minute and a half in transforming the song into one of the best songs of the band’s catalogue. With “The Embrace” we get the Damnation spin on the love ballad, or at least as close to it as we are likely to get, and it works damned well. “Toward The Darkness” is similar in vibe to “Fighting For” sonically but as its title suggests, it leans a little more into the darker side of things, while still retaining that hopeful feeling and message. “Head In The Clouds” is another fun banger of a track, and is sure to be a great live staple if the band are to add it to their live show. Arguably one of the catchiest tracks on the album, it’s one of the those tracks I implore you to check out if you aren’t fully sold on getting the album. The album comes to a close with “Worst On You” which features some of the best examples of the vocals on the album while featuring a message we all know too well, that being that karma will come for everyone regardless of us ‘not wishing the worst on you.’ A great closer that once again will leave listeners wanting more, this is another of those albums that is perfectly sequenced.
The Equinox is a wonderful follow-up to the band’s debut, and is sure to help make a dent in the scene for those who check it out. Damnation are so far one of those bands that have not let us down in any way, and The Equinox stands tall as one of the best records I’ve heard in 2019, regardless of genre.
The Equinox is set for release this Friday, April 12th, and you can give the band a Like on their Official Facebook page to stay up to date on all their new tour dates as well as news on the band!
“N.O.D. (Nation Of The Damned)”