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Opeth - Damnation CD (album) cover

DAMNATION

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.96 | 1193 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Damnation is the seventh studio album from Swedish progressive extreme metal act Opeth. It´s a very unique album in Opeth´s discography as it does not feature heavy parts or death metal growling. It rather showcases the soft, melancholic and mellow side of the bands music. Damnation is a sister album to Opeth´s previous album Deliverance and it was recorded at the same sessions as Deliverance. Rather than making a double CD the band decided to make one heavy album and one softer album out of the many songs they had recorded ( or maybe it was the record company ?). Producer Steven Wilson contributes with Grand piano, mellotron, Fender Rhodes & backing vocals on Damnation and it seems that it was here that Mikael Åkerfeldt got the idea to include a keyboard player ( Per Wiberg) to Opeth´s ranks. He saw the great possibilities of adding new instruments to Opeth´s sound at this point.

The music on Damnation can be described as taking the softer melodic ideas from Opeth´s usual songs and turning them into songs themselves, leaving out the heavy parts and death metal growling. As a result the songs on Damnation don´t have the trademark heavy/ soft approach of the usual Opeth song. I think most songs suffer because of that. The simple melodic ideas generally don´t seem strong enough to keep my interest for whole songs with a few exceptions. Windowpane and To Rid The Disease are excellent songs with strong melodies and great mellotron and guitar soloing. But the rest of the songs really don´t make much of an impression on me. They are good and pleasant songs, but nothing special.

Mikael Åkerfeldt´s singing is of course beautiful but it doesn´t help much when the vocal melodies are not more interesting than is the case on Damnation. They should have waited a few years to make an album like this as Mikael Åkerfeldt is much better at writing melodic and memorable melody lines these days. Just listen to Isolation Years from Ghost Reveries or Coil from Watershed.

The production suits the songs. It´s organic but still with the clean sound that is Steven Wilson´s trademark.

As you can probably sense Damnation is not my favorite Opeth album. I do listen to it sometimes but it quickly comes of again. 3 stars is deserved here as Damnation is a quality product ( good production, pleasant songs and great musicianship). It´s just a bit boring IMO.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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