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Opeth - Damnation CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.98 | 1295 ratings

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2 stars Opeth's 'Damnation', the mellow half of the 'Deliverance/Damnation' double album, is a curious and somewhat difficult album to review. The musicianship is impeccable, the compositions refined and the production, courtesy of Mr Steven Wilson is obviously top-notch... But (there had to be a but). Despite all of those things the only thing I feel when listening to 'Damnation' is cold and empty. Maybe that's the point?

Opeth really did get the dark and depressive thoughts down on this record - but where is the emotive joy to balance things out? And I'm not talking about happy-go-lucky lyrics or anything inane like that, but the odd major chord progression or positive uplifting melody would have done wonders for this record. Everything, or almost everything, is played in minor key and just sounds way too depressing, and, dare I say it, a little bit sterile. If I want to be depressed I'll listen to a Radiohead album! Okay, there are a few exceptions to this, such as the very cool track 'Closure', but overall the musical theme is just too bleak throughout.

I have read that 'Damnation' was some sort of tribute to the progressive rock bands of the 1970's that we all love. And I definitely hear that in some of the passages, particularly with the use of the mellotron, but here's the catch - those classic albums of the 70's that we all love had the full gamut of emotions running through them, not just the darkness. Imagine 'Suppers Ready' without all the fun bits? Just wouldn't be the same, would it?

Technically I think 'Damnation' is very good I just hardly ever want to listen to it despite being a huge Opeth fan. And while I'm at it I don't think much to 'Deliverance' either! I think this is a bit harsh, but 2-stars is about all I want to give this one.

AndyJ | 2/5 |


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