Opeth - Damnation
Whoa, here we have an album that is a complete contrast to their normal metal sound. Opeth have seeped into a more mellower, progressive sound where the focus is on the mood of the album rather than the normal rush of heavy guitars. But by no means is this record a bad album, it is f**king awesome.

On their last album, Deliverance, you might remember all those breaks of a more mellow, laid back sound that would be placed in between the wall of guitars, well her is an album filled with it. There are almost no distorted guitars, with the exception of the occasional solo, mostly just clean electrics played through very warm amplifiers as well as bright sounding acoustics. Vocals on Damnation are clean, with no growling, being very melodic, not to mention the vocal harmonies used are done in perfect pitch.

Accenting the mood on the album is the use of the Mellotron, which adds ghostly string and choir sounds (think of the way many of the prog-rock bands use it). Other keyboards such as Fender Rhodes Electric pianos and guitars played through the Leslie Speaker Cabinet, add a neat effect while grand acoustic pianos mixed in with an abundance of reverb add a huge ambience to the rather dark album, making you feel like you are in a cathedral.

The albums overall sound could be compared to some of Rainbows earlier mellow stuff (like the song "Catch the Rainbow"), Porcupine Tree and RWPL due to the progressive backdrop, Anathema, late period Amorphis, and the mellow mood on some of the more laid back cuts on OSI's recent release. Lets maybe say that there are hints of early King Crimson (especially with the use of the Tron) and even more experimental Radiohead. Lots of different studio effects used really add to the album's sound, used discretely without muddying up the albums mix or production value.

For the songworthy stand out tracks include "In my Time of Need" with the glistening guitar intro and tin can radio tone vocals standing against the spacious vocal harmonies. "Closure" is the most progressive song on the album, complete with world music percussion. This record in general has a dark sound to it, with most songs being at slower tempo.

The fact that this record has a clean sound to it showcases Opeth's musicianship, being able to go beyond your basic plethora of loud guitars and pounding bass drums. Word has it that this album is not the permanent step that the band will take, obviously returning to their regular metal sound in the future, these songs were apparently ones written during the Deliverance sessions, just not released due to the fact that they obviously fit on release unto themselves, so don't let this scare you. This album is not heavy by any means, but it will please any of the Opeth fans as well as progressive rock fans as well.

Written by Hashman
Thursday, May 22, 2003
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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by Yoni - Staff (Anonymous) - Friday, May 23, 2003
Very true hashman, this album is not a step forward in the band's direction. Or at least i hope not, i wasn't so impressed with this album. I also thought it was SLIGHTLY conceited of the band to take such a daring move. They explained in interviews that essentially this was a move for them, but i think they got bored with their sound. ...i dunno, DAMNATION is cool, but really doesn't even come near to the majesty of their past stuff. Especially in the face of DELIVERANCE which was super.!

Comment by lars (Anonymous) - Tuesday, May 27, 2003
i love your style... yeah baby.. this is my favourite kashman album..

Comment by El Senator (Anonymous) - Monday, June 2, 2003
When Opeth started working on their new album somewhere back vefore Deliverance was delivered, Mr. Åkerfeldt decided that much of the stuff he had written for the new album would fit perfectly on an album all by it self. So, he decided to make two albums - one heavy and one melodic and peaceful. So, basically, Deliverance and Damnation is actually one album, just split into two.

Comment by rob v/d p (Anonymous) - Wednesday, June 4, 2003
Great that's all i can say..

Comment by Fat Friar (Anonymous) - Sunday, June 8, 2003
I agree with HashMan's assessment of the record. It is a shear feat of brilliance. I got "Damnation" before "Deliverence". "Damnation" was the catalyst to get me into their other records. I am not a huge Death metal fan because of the lyrical content and the sound of the vocals but Opeth have made me see the light so to speak. They just go to show that you don't have to sing about licking Satan's balls to be good and heavy, although i'm not sure what the hell they are saying. That being my only beef with the "Damnation" Album. I mean just what in the hell does "this failure has made the creator" from the song "To rid the disiease " mean. Is it a bad translation from Mike Akerfeldt's Swedish heritage into english. Over here we'd call that an incomplete sentence and the lyrics before or after don't do anything to clear it up either. Like I said though that is my only beef with any of their albums. I look forward to more genius from these guy's.

Comment by Mads (Anonymous) - Saturday, September 27, 2003
8/10 is right on... this is one of the best albums I have bought this year, I like the way that the album keeps sounding like it's going to explode with some heavy ass riffs, and keeps the listner on his/her toes... a great work of art both the cover and the music/lyrics... I like-I like it alot...

Comment by Mads (Anonymous) - Friday, October 24, 2003
how would you rate deliverence... that album kicks so much fucking ass... the first three tracks are so different from each other... but still filled with the brilliant music that is opeth...
I really like opeth a lot...
Mads Erdland Aanum

Comment by Anders - Staff (Anonymous) - Thursday, October 30, 2003
This one is an 8 in my book too. An excellent album, but I agree with Hashman, it is not exactly a metal album. I think it should be forbidden to release an album without growls, when you're so damned good at it. Make no mistake about it, I like Åkerfeldts clean vocals, but his growling is simply unreal.

Comment by Rayman (Anonymous) - Friday, December 26, 2003
Umm... a bit on that high side. I love this band though.
Its for the first time that they sound forced. And by that I mean that the songs seem to come to the verge their trademark transitions to heavy parts, but stay mellow. Also, I have been listening to them from 2000 and this is the only album that has started to age on me.

Comment by Alex (Anonymous) - Friday, March 16, 2007
One of my all time favorite albums it kicks ass.

Review by Hashman

Released by
Music for Nations/Koch Records - 2003

1-Window Payne
2- In my Time of Need
3- Death whispered a lullaby
4- Closure
5- Hope Leaves
6- To Rid the Disease
7- Ending Credits (Instrumental)
8- Weakness

Although the band itself is Heavy Metal, this album in particular is Progressive Rock

Related links
Visit the band page

Other articles
Still Life - (Yoni)

Live at Voxhall, Aarhus - October 23rd, 2003 - (Anders)

Lamentations - (Yoni)

Ghost Reveries - (Morten)

Watershed - (Tommy)

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