The band that I invite you to know is called World of Damage they released their debut album Invoke Determination on 11th of June in digital format.

The creator of this album, without a no doubt one of the most gratifying releases of this season, is the Norwegian lead guitarist Kjell Åge Hartveit Karlsen, better known on the metal circuit as Mr. Damage.

Many of you, will recognize him for having accompanied Jorn Lande (Masterplan’s first singer) in the Norwegian participation Eurovision 2021’s race and others, will know him for his work in the Doomsday R’N’R band, Chrome Division. In my particular case, I met him the first way, because even being a follower of Chrome Division, in the albums that I have (Doomsday Rock n ‘Roll (2006), Booze, Broads and Beelzebub (2008) and 3rd Round Knockout (2011)) Mr. Damage was not yet in their line-up.

Before I start, I would like to say that I have had in mind the author’s own words. Mr. Damage says that the idea of creating music that does not need to be married to Chrome Division, already started in 2016. And although in the first seconds, it is difficult not to see the reminiscences that there are with them, the differences in between are that World of Damage is very clear on notes and Chrome Division is dirtier and badass.

Another thing that I have taken into account, based on his words, is the fact of letting the music speak without analyzing it too much, but it is difficult not to draw references. Even so, two things must be taken into account: first one is Mr. Damage’s american influences (Metallica, Pantera, Black Label Society… he names them many times in his IG as hashtags) that he shows when he creating his riffs and the second one is according to the voices, they print an underlying character to the song that makes it original and different.

Invoke Determination is composed of 11 original songs sung by different well-known vocalists from the Norwegian metal scene (in fact, in parentheses I have put the band that can be recognized the most by the reader regardless of whether the vocalist is in their ranks or not) and a bonus from the first song I Will Not Conform.

So let’s go through them one by one.

I Will Not Conform is the theme that opens the album. The voice of Maurice Adams (Breed), has a classic Heavy Metal aftertaste and gives the song a very German 80s Heavy Metal dimension like UDO that makes it fresh and very powerful. The drums have a lot of punch and that appearance of Shagrath in the middle of the song before that drop in tempo is a plus because it gives it a lot of intensity. The solo is full of splendid virtuosity. That continuous rise and fall in tempo like a roller coaster lives up to the title: I’m not satisfied. Pure lash to start.

Invoke Determination. The subject-title is shocking. This electrodark intro, as if it had escaped from the song Invade Your Cell from Kasstrick Bacteria (a Japanese band that only those with a higher musical background will know), gives you the feeling of being in front of a totally different group. The vocal work of   Björn Strid (Soilwork) with his contemporary and rough register, gives the song considerable strength. The drums are present throughout the footage and both the bass notes and the bright solo clearly mark the title. A great song from 10.

The Petrol and The Blood. The third track on the album begins with a very soft acoustic guitar intro and then goes up to a full headbanging rhythm thanks to the constant weight of the drums and the forcefulness of the guitar. The keyboards’ work, commands the theme together with the dark and rough voice of Bernt Fjellestad (Guardians Of Time) and makes it the most extremely track of the album, and curiously, one of my favorites.

Fire Burns My Name. Björn Strid repeats the voices in a song where the American sounds are more than evident with that rude-cowboy style that HellYeah knew how to do so well. The raw voice combined with the clean chorus gives a lot of clarity to the architecture of the song. The rhythmical bases are very well adjusted and Mr. Damage shines with a sharp and brilliant solo that only a few know how to do. Drums round off this theme with a bombastic and sweeping ending.

Until the End Of Days. We reached the equator of the album. The song begins with a very relaxed intro, but is only a mirage. The very clean progression of the guitar introduces the beautiful voice of Chris Clancy (Wearing Scars) that gives the song a contemporary powerful Heavy-Rock sound with very round notes. A brilliant and well-built theme that more than one already wanted for himself. The ending that includes the initial progression is a total success. Pure WOD sound.

Breathe (Little Angel). The appearance of Roy Khan (Kamelot, Conception) on vocals, already marks that the Power Metal sound will dominate it. His clean and almost ethereal voice goes to the hair of the title. The orchestral arrangements plus the backing vocals make it the most solemn song on the album. A jewel.

Insanity. This theme begins with a guitar picking that gives way to the hardest notes of guitar and drums. The voice of Pål Mathiesen (Susperia, Chrome Division) with his rocker/vintage register, dyes the theme of classicism, but Mr. Damage’s solo, full of purism, turns the theme into something totally fresh. The particular sound of WOD is more than defined at this point on the album. Another one of my favorites.

Cancel. This song begins harder with the drums and the strings and then introduces Bernt Fjellestad on voices again, which stand out from the dark tone used in the third song to give it a totally classic heavy dimension with a clear and well-set register. The guitar solo, simply masterful. The final climb invites the most beastly pogos that can be made. Another one of my favorites.

Unleash the Rage. We arrive to the ninth theme of this impeccable Invoke Determination. This fast-paced cut marks an aggressive tempo that lives up to its title. The drums shine with all its splendor accompanying the thick and cutting voices of Thebon (Keep Of Kalessin) who gives this song an extremely view. The encore is impressive and the solo, triumphant as in the entire album.

Black Moon. Here we find the instrumental of the album. As I have said before, the words of Mr. Damage already made it clear that his intention in this debut album was to be able to put songs of all kinds, and that includes instrumentals and ballads like the one that officially closes the album. Black Moon is a precious song full of delicate, elegant and clear notes where the strings are the main protagonists. With a quasi-epic aftertaste, the drums accompany this piece without stridency, as if marking the passage of time within the story that each listener can imagine. It should be noted that at minute 4.25 the change of rhythm where the drums get more punch is like the prelude to entering the battle. Magnificent and round.

Spoke in the Wheel is the ballad of the album, which recovers American West’s tone thanks to the impeccable voice of Eddie Guz (Chrome Division) with his rough, raw and cazallero register that only he possesses (Cazalla is a popular valencian beverage and many times I use it to define a very personal and rusty voice). A slowly and so well constructed track that it becomes the surprise of the album and another of its jewels.

And as in a loop, the album is closed by I Will Not Conform where the big difference with the first one, is the entry on keyboards by Derek Sherinian who joins to finish the matter in the solos along with Mr. Damage.

With all that has been said so far, the World Of Damage’s debut is fresh, forceful and original. Its own established sound, adapts perfectly to the registers of the guest vocalists who, although they give it their touch personal, each song is perfectly identified and recognized as WOD. We hope this is the beginning of other good albums.

World of Damage Invoke Determination‘s debut album has been released in digital format and you can find at

Apple Music

https://music.apple.com/no/artist/world-of-damage/1559068668?l=nb

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8SyBBfQPpu6lteEVlREG1Q

Spotify

open.spotify.com/album/1yxW10vVQVQS338LURGOhl?si=J9fQHqlERW6wEqMZ-97AY

To follow World Of Damage

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/worldofdamage/

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/worldofdamage/

To follow Mr. Damage

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/mrdamagewod/