Opeth
Damnation


4.5
superb

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
April 28th, 2007 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Some of the most rewarding experiences in life come from stepping outside your boundaries. Some people are merely content with making what had already been before, or endlessly variating on one common theme. But to truly create artistic greatness, one requirement is set, and that is thinking outside the box. Open your eyes to the wide world around you, and see there is more to music than a recycled riff, a rehashed 4/4 drum fill, or monotonous vocal lines.

Opeth, by way of recording this album, are an excellent candidate for making music that thinks outside the box. While being rooted in the some of the heaviest and darkest of musical subgenres, death metal and black metal, their album Damnation proves that it takes not only musical proficiency, but innovativity and variety to become truly known as masters of the craft of songwriting, and this pure, clean, acoustic progressive rock record can be safely ranked among the greats of its genre.

One thing that Opeth does keep returning to is a common theme of sombreness and gloom that besets every album they write. No matter how pummeling the drums, how distorted the riffs, or how ferocious Mikael's vocals were in the past, everything gave you the feeling you were in a black and white movie, walking through autumn forests, touching the leaves that fall slowly to the ground. This whole album evokes that feeling in an even stronger form. Where the solemn, quiet moments were usually punctured by ravaging death metal moments, on here, the whole album keeps the common feel of gloom and doom throughout. Mikael's vocals are clean, ethereal, and beautiful; Steven Wilson adds some vocal harmonies to underline the depressingly bleak atmosphere.

Musically, the band is on top of their game. Mr. Åkerfeldt's vocals are better than ever before. The acoustic moments are of eerie and breathtaking quality. The bass is never overwhelming, but subtly underlines the mood. The drums are effective, and Lopez displays some awesome fills and beats that keep you hypnotized throughout the album.

So once you get into this album, be prepared to dissolve from reality and consider your surroundings trivial. It takes time to admire music like this, but it is ultimately rewarding in the end. By making a totally averse, quiet and pure record, the band manages to outdo themselves once again. Even if you are a purist metalhead, this album touches you in the deepest corners of your heart, and there's a good chance it'll stay there for a good while, too.



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user ratings (3060)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Cesar
April 28th 2007


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really loved this review. I'm definetly voting. This album is great.

Mikesn
Emeritus
April 28th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album, it's one of my favourites. Just something about it. Finally bought it in London a couple of weeks ago.

Digging: Grimes - Visions

muchtallerthanu
April 28th 2007


648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really loved this review. I'm definetly voting. This album is great.

I completely agree. I'll also vote.

jrowa001
April 28th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great album, excellent review...got my vote. everytime i listen to this it just gets better and better. it might be album #3 of opeth that gets a 5 (BP ans SL are the other ones).

Shattered_Future
April 28th 2007


1541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow...how bout that. That was a feckin' good review. Great job. I love this album as well...the music is absolutely beautiful in every way.

hermitspancho
April 28th 2007


278 Comments


Åkerfeldt's Bloodbath involvement , albeit brief , got me interested in hearing Opeth , first few tracks i didn't wholly get and so it took reviews like this (superb btw ) here on Sputnik to push me into checking them out properly .Thankfully i did and now I'm hooked ! .

Duckhysteria
April 28th 2007


40 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, you realy put the feel of this album across!

TheHamburgerman
April 28th 2007


1297 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review fellow Hollander. You really did a nice job. Too sad I'm still having that writer block.

Thor
April 28th 2007


10200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, though I would have liked to see a little bit more detail, especially a couple mentions of some of the songs.

I haven't listened to this album in a while, but it's still one of the band's finest.

Altmer
April 28th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Do not pick out one single song, for you would disturb the musical excellence which can only mezmerize you in its entirety. To single out a song would do injustice to the rest of them.

Thor
April 28th 2007


10200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'd have to disagree with you on that one, as I feel there's some songs on here that really stand out. In My Time Of Need, Weakness and Hope Leaves, especially.

Death Whispered A Lullaby is actually pretty dull if you ask me.

Altmer
April 28th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I disagree, I like everything on here. :x

And I love Death Whispered A Lullaby

"over the hill, there are men returning."

That bit is so genius.



Wizard
April 28th 2007


19519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent review. You really summed up how I feel about this album.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

muchtallerthanu
April 29th 2007


648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Death Whispered A Lullaby is actually pretty dull if you ask me.

Sadly, I agree with Thor. I'm not much for "Death Whispered..." either.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what thats like the best one on here

kalkal50
April 29th 2007


2386 Comments


That was one of the best reviews I've read in a long time. Even though it was short, it flowed so smoothly which made the impact a gazillion times stronger. Kudos man. Haven't heard this album yet though.

lanchege
May 6th 2007


64 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really great review. That black and white forest thing was some great imagery. I give the review and the album 5/5

SynGates
May 6th 2007


2467 Comments


Death Whispered a Lullaby is great. lots of people hate it because Steven Wilson wrote it but I think its genius.

Mikesn
Emeritus
May 7th 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like it.

kalkal50
July 15th 2007


2386 Comments


I don't like Death Whispered a Lullaby very much, it's not very Opeth and it lacks the aestheticism



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