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Opeth - Damnation CD (album) cover

DAMNATION

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.92 | 887 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Negoba
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album stands alone among its peers. It changed the rules, it changed perceptions, it caused people to discover music they never would have otherwise listened to.

How many new album sales does Camel have because of this album? How many people who wouldn't touch a death metal album with a ten foot pole went from this album to the rest of Opeth's catalog to open their minds to harsh vocals and the extreme metal realm in general?

Like many, this album was the first I'd ever heard of Opeth. The opening riff of Windowpane which explores 3 different ways to feel 6/8 within 4 measures, yet makes perfect sense, opens the disc and instantly you know you're in for something you've never quite heard before. When Akerfeldt's voice comes in, you ask yourself This is a DEATH metal band???? And as the disc progresses, you hear mournful harmonies, mellotron, multiple rhythmic feels, a little ethnicity. At the time I first heard it, I'd heard nothing like it in anything but early Genesis, and this was certainly distinct from Genesis. I've listened to Camel now too, and though Mikael and the boys show their influences, those bands from the 70's both could not and would not choose to make an album with this much melancholy and darkness.

Sure, Windowpane is overlong, and after the 30th listen there is homogeneity to the album. Other bands have used more and more of Opeth's elements (Borknagar's _Origin_ is an interesting contrast of a death band gone folk). Sure, Steven Wilson is probably the second most important member on this disc. It's not quite Opeth, really, but it's certainly not Porcupine Tree either. The seeds of the disc were sown in Akerfeldt's side project Soksgarden (you can download their VERY Camelish progenitor to To Rid the Disease for free) and the disc is first and foremost his.

And he is perhaps the strongest voice in prog music now, with Wilson as a close second. This is the disc that perhaps started and showcases that fact.

A prog classic, not without flaws. But neither are Foxtrot, Mirage, ITCOTCK, Mindcrime, on and on....

Essential listening for any proggie - 5 stars

Negoba | 5/5 |

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