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Opeth - Damnation CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.01 | 1467 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Damnation is currently the only one Opeth album that I know, so I can't compare it with any other predecessor or successor. The first listen made me immediately think to Porcupine Tree, then reading on the CD sleeve that Steve Wilson was in the album it was clear why.

I wasn't expecting anything so Floydian or "Porcupinesque" (what a bad word, bleah!), but it's not a bad surprise. No growl? No heavy guitars? no obsessive drumming? Why should I look for things like these? Sometimes I like them, of course. When Riverside growl at the end of a 12 minutes song it's functional. Without growl Ayreon's Day Sixteen - Loser wouldn't be the same...

However this album, far from being "extreme metal", is more in my pot than I was expecting. The opener is a good song and gives immediately the idea of what you are about to listen to. There's much of Porcupine Tree in the second track, as in all the album, but this one "In My Time Of Need" is a great song. Please tell me that there are other Opeth albums like this.

"Death Whispered a Lullaby" is a great title for a song. I didn't take care of lyrics too much, to be honest, because the music catched all my attention.

While "In My Time of Need" is my fav as song, "Closure" is a highlight in terms of progression. A great acoustic guitar work, an interesting melody over lightly discordant chords and the instrumental parts that make me think to...please don't think I'm fool...the Xing Sa debut.

"Hope Leaves" is very floydian, It needs more than one listen to be really appreciated, but it's another great song. I've read that Mikael Åkerfeldt is used to can a guy with a voice like this waste it with growling?

"To Ride The Disease" is probably the darkest track, but it's not much different from the others. The chorus is very nice and melodic.

"Ending Credits" fades in like a Mostly Autumn song. The sound of the guitar is different from Bryan Josh's but this short instrumental is not so far. I can imagine Heather Findlay singing on this base.

"Weakness" is the most floydian song and an excellent closer. All the album's songs are based on minor chords, with slow tempo and athmospheric guitars. Keyboards are in the background and the bass is what is closer to PT.

I like this album. It's probably not essential, and from what I have read seems to be not representative of Opeth, but while I will probably need to listen to other albums before giving an opinion about the band, I don't have doubts about the album.

It's a good album that I'm rounding down to 3 stars but it probably deserves a bit more. It's only because it's not very "original", but it's well played and all the songs are good. Some of them would deserve the fourth star, so regardless my rating if this is a kind of music that you like this album is surely not a waste of money.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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