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Opeth - Damnation CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.96 | 1217 ratings

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4 stars Give this album to anyone who has never heard Opeth. I believe they will love Opeth right away and quickly think that this is the kind of music Opeth plays. As most of you might have known that this album is not really Opeth in a sense that there is no growl or scream at all throughout the streams of music it contains in its entirety. So, this is not a good album to introduce for newbie as it will be misleading. For me personally, the first time I listened to this album was actually from their live DVD called 'Lamentations' whereby I was quite surprised realizing that the first set of the DVD they played soft music which basically taken from 'Damnation' album.

Originally this one was planned to be released as double-album with the heavy side of their music 'Deliverance' but it was then decided to issue in different album. 'Damnation' does not represent the music of Opeth and nothing wrong with it. Remember, this is totally new album and not old songs being played acoustically. That's why I do not consider it as an acoustic setting even though the music is basically acoustic with mellotron work as well as some Floydian guitars.

Almost all tracks contained here have good to excellent melody. The music moves slowly, opened with excellently crafted composition 'Windowpane' (7:44) played in an ambient mode, and I believe this is the work of Mr Steven Wilson. The melody moves nicely from one segment to another and it seems like one song has a solid connection to the next. Try spin the CD without being brother which track you are in ? you would not feel the changes between among tracks. Like what I am experiencing now, it's on the third track and I thought it's still first track 'Death Whispered A Lullaby' (5:49). In terms of harmony, this album emphasizes good harmony in vocal combined with acoustic guitar or soft electric guitar, accentuated by excellent soundscape and mellotron (played by Steven Wilson). While in terms of complexity, this album does not offer such kind of difficulty but it's not so boring to enjoy in its entirety. The music does not seem to change much in terms of style, however, there are some curves that it provides in the middle of a song where the change is made through the guitar playing. It's so cool and you can find it almost in every song there is change of notes that sound beautifully ? especially when it's backed with excellent ambient. There is specific thing that I need to mention at the end of 'Closure' where the music turns out to be a middle-east type of music which makes it sounds wonderful.

This album marks highly on structural integrity as all songs in the album from the opening track until the concluding track 'Weakness' they all form a cohesive whole. Not that the style are similar but also the flow and tempo of the songs shared similarity in the whole album. I personally like the stream of music that flows from 'To Rid The Disease' (6:21) to 'Ending Credits' (3:39) and it ends up nicely in 'Weakness' (4:08). At the end you seem to enjoy a band with distinguished style ? a combination of acoustic setting and ambience ? with melodic songs.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection. It's not in the same vein as Pain of Salvation's "12.5" as it has less energy than the latter but it has its own characteristic worth enjoying. Keep on proggin' ?!

Peace on earth and mercy mild ? GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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