World of Damage – the solo vehicle for Chrome Division alumnus Mr. Damage – is an ambitious attempt to draw together the man’s favourite styles of metal under one umbrella. That umbrella covers a dozen songs (if you get a copy with the Derek Sherinian-featuring bonus track) and nearly as many guest vocalists; understandably, this throws any notions of uniformity of sound out of the window, so you’re lift with a selection of stand alone tracks, which you’ll select or leave on the shelf depending on what you think of the singer at the mic at any particular time.
Me? I like almost everyone here, with a leaning towards the heavier end of the spectrum, but the only real stinker as far as I’m concerned is the modern metal of Until The End of Days, featuring Chris Clancy of Wearing Scars. Let’s just say it’s not actively appalling – just a little populist for my old, battle-scarred ears.
Far more palatable is the heads down madness of Unleash the Rage, which features a committed appearance from Thebon (who I seem to remember held down a day job in Keep of Kalessin for a while), or the world-weary balladry of Spoke In The Wheel, which actually doesn’t sound that far removed from Chrome Division in reflective mode thanks to the vocal presence of CD throat Eddie Guz.
Of course the guests are really here only to embellish and add a bit of colour to proceedings; the real reason to stop by is to witness repeated expositions of pyrotechnic guitar exuberance from Mr D himself. And blow me down if he doesn’t deliver; For your cash you get one sumptuous, guitar-led instrumental which features some epic acoustic work from our hero (it reminded me a bit of the theme from hit TV show Doc Martin – Ed), and a whole lot of finely-honed and fully electrified heavy metal on almost every other track. Obviously this is going to appeal to Chrome Division fans first and foremost, but there’s an awful lot to like for a broader audience as well. Let’s hope a few of them decide to dip their toes into the water…
Invoke Determination releases on June 11th