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Opeth - Damnation CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.97 | 1254 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.4 stars

Do you like Opeth's soft side? Do you cringe while hearing Mikael's growls? you may like this.

On Damnation, Opeth focused entirely on producing a mellow album without growls, and without heavy riffing. Also, Opeth has done well and managed to create a solid album without those 2 things that are essential to their classic sound. Steve Wilson being a guest must have influenced the band, and you could hear many influences of Porcupine Tree here. Not to forget, Steve Wilson plays keyboards (mainly mellotrons). This new instrument helps the music become more powerful and atmospheric. It is obvious that Opeth's music benefits from it. Therefore, they brought a keyboardist for their next album "Ghost Reveries".

This laid back album is quite good for background music. However, while not really prog, it reveals more things as your repeatedly listen to it. For example, Death Whispered a Lullaby. Sure, it has a simple melody, but check out the instrumentation in the background and the chaotic ending. The song that throws prog in your face has to be Closure. The complete sample is in this page, so you should check it out. Sadly, you could confuse it with a porcupine tree since the influences are just too obvious (hear those vocals before the instruments kick in, isn't that Wilson singing?). When the instrumental section begins, it stuns you with its unusual guitar line, background keyboards, and outstanding percussion (don't forget the bass either!). IT suddently stops and a very beautiful acoustic short part takes over until another unusual instrumental section finishes the piece.

IF you think the whole album would be like "closure", you might be disappointed since that one is the strongest song on this album, and its heavier than the other songs. However, I should add that the closer "Weakness" is a brilliant subdued song with a lot of emotion to it. If you are looking for a soft rock record heavily emphasized on acoustic guitars, you might like this. However, this is not a good place to start an Opeth discography as this album doesn't have some of their most important elements: dynamics, growling, metal, and being prog.

Highlights: Death Whispered a lullaby, Closure, Weakness Let Downs: The instrumental song, In My Time of Need.

My Grade: C+

Zitro | 3/5 |


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