Finnish four-piece Progressive Metal is a thing, and you need to hear it. Damnation Plan uses two guitars and layers of keyboards and orchestration to build on a very solid rhythm section, augmented by vocals that range from lower register to almost falsetto and add in multiple styles, including serious belting, warbles, cry, and everything in between. There is a depth of emotion in the music and the voice, giving the listener more than just something to hear; you will feel this record.

Band Members:

  • Asim Searah – Vocals
  • Kalle Niininen – Guitar
  • Antti Lauri – Lead Guitar
  • Jaakko Nikko – Bass
  • Jarkko Lunnas – Drums

September 8, 2023 – Inverse Records


  1. The New Horizon
  2. Dreamdead
  3. To The Sun
  4. Under The Veil Of Sea
  5. Emotional Trials

Damnation Plan is in a dark place. The themes of the songs are darker and will weigh on the soul if we let them. “The New Horizon” is not completely negative, but comes from that angle. Over the last 10 years, there has been a shift towards negativity in the world. Social media trolls get more traction than positive people; the news is all cataclysmic. At almost eight minutes, the track has time to explore this both lyrically and musically. The tone of the track is heavy and gloomy. The bass and riff are both close to Doom and the keyboards are eerie and haunting. The vocals spend a lot of time in the lower register, evoking a harsher feel than the actual singing tones.

So much Progressive Metal is more uplifting, using lighter tones, so this feels like a different style. The “Melancholic/Dark Progressive” is quite attractive. The Progressive Metal elements are shaped more by a need for heavier tones than a desire to showcase the ability to write a wild shift in time/tempo just to be daring. The Progressive shifts are more tone-based than time/tempo-focused. The drums often lead the charge on this, going from slow and melodic to a harder driving pattern.

The changes are absolutely on point, turning on a proverbial dime. The precision of the shifts is astounding and the effect is mesmerizing. Damnation Plan has no trouble with any of the technical aspects of the songs. The compositions are damn good, ranging through various tones of darkness, peeking up into the light, then descending back into the depths. Those short bursts of hope in the songs let the listener know all hope is not lost, but there is more tunnel before we get there.

I like this EP. A lot. The Progressive Metal focus here is not on incredibly technical or wildly outrageous changes. Instead, they let the tone of the song dictate how and when the shifts take place. In the end, you do not end up with a Dream Theater showcase, you get a musically focused, beautifully executed Prog Metal album that is worth every moment. The music is the catalyst, not the ability of the musician. There is a symbiotic relationship between the lyrics and the music, an organic link that builds a connection. I hope this becomes a new trend; Prog for the music, not the musician.

MZ Ratings:


  •             Guitars – 10
  •             Rhythms – 10
  •             Vocals – 9
  • Songwriting – 10
  • Production – 9

Overall – 9.60