Review Summary: I thought that Opeth was metal... I guess I was wrong...
Every metal fan know who they are, even people outside the metal genre seems to know who they are. People sees them as metal gods, metal geniuses, lyric masterminds and experts when it comes to create innovative music. Mikael Akerfeldt is the frontman of this monsterous band, and that band is known as Opeth. This unique band has taken the world of metal to levels where few bands can be found. Opeth is often labelled by the people as a melodic death metal band, but perfectionists prefer to call their music as extreme progressive metal. Bludgeoning heaviness and unpleasent brutallity is mixed with emotional acoustic moments, deep intimidating growls to clean and sensitive vocals. This formula has proved to be very effictive amongst people and therefore everybody knows who they are.
Opeth has delivered a large amount of quality albums, Blackwater Park is claimed to be one their most powerful and innovative albums. Mostly because that they started to get soft after that particular album. Everywhere and all the time people showers the band with praises, and this is a huge problem for those who haven't heard the band. The hypes sometimes goes beyond extreme, people don't say that the band is ''good'', an Opeth fan will most say that the band is Godlike or something like that. I bet that there are people who ''pretends'' to like the band because of the fear that people will hate you because you don't like the band and their music. Who listens to one person with a negative opinion compared to nine persons with positive a opinion? The pessimist will most likely loose and then there is a chance that people will dislike the music but still pretendes to like it to avoid getting flamed by others. Every time I have come across an Opeth album people always claim that it is the
GREATEST Opeth album but when I picked up Damnation
I freakin' snapped!!! People told me: ''It is all about acoustic guitars man!!!''. Great!! I love acoustic and melodic guitars I said to myself, but I didn't knew that the album was going to be completely soaked of it!!! GAH ***!!!! I thought that Damnation
was going to sound similar to the previous albums. I knew that is was going to be unusually large amounts with acoustic guitars but I thought that there should've been some death metal influences, at least in the vocals, not nessecarily instrumentally. But no!!!! This was just like the members of Dethklok said in one episode regarding acoustic guitar music: ''That's Grandpa Metal!''.
To begin with, Damnation is nothing else than clean moaning vocals and dream-like, odd sounding acoustics. Everything is repetitive due to the melodic guitars, melodic atmospheric back grounds sounds and the same clean vocals. True, Mikael has an impressive vocal capacity but his clean vocals are generic, pure and simple. There are several moments when the clean vocals acutally sounds pathetic and weak, especially in the intro to [u]Closure[/i]. He could at least sacrifice some strength so his vocals could be loud, not just some half-messured moaning, and that goes for all songs. Like I mentioned before, I enjoy acoustic guitar music but this was not what I expected. The melodies just makes the album pale and grey, like the album cover itself... Everytime I listen to this album I always imagine this in my head: A man sitting in his dust-filled apartment, in his bathrobe, drinking piss-warm coffee and smokes old ciggarette butts. The weather outside is grey and cloudy, the rain dripps against the window and the only view is just some grey and cold concrete buildings that slowly turns into a darker shade of grey due to the rain and fog. And people keeps babbling that the album is so emotional, magical and beautiful. Well, that's not the case in my opinion. To me this is just a broken mix of indifferent, uninspried and weathered-down musical elements that people claims to be genuine music. Give me a ***ing break...
The overall guitar peformance feels so empty and hollow, and thats because of the fact that everything you get is acoustic melodic guitars. Slow and sludgy drum beats are backed up by a loud and lost bass and single notes picked on electric and acoustic guitars. There are hardly any real guitar chords, maybe there are some but in that case all of the chords are lost in the back ground mix. Some moments are more atmospheric than others but there is nothing that makes you particullary relaxed or comfortable. The eyes-lids gets heaiver and heavier and the yawning progressivly increases when I try to force myself to listen through the incredibly boring album. Most melodies are barely changing in the tracks... and this is supposed to be progressive music where everything is supposed to change! Every song follows a similar song pattern. Slow and melodic, every song is slow and melodic and no melody strikes harder than the other. Only the electric guitar solos adds a bit of variety to the same-shaped songs. Some melodies here and there, atmospheric noises there and a melodic solo here and there... One of few things that actually surprised me was that I could notice a keyboard in To Rid The Disease
, I guess that the keyboard is also the background noise that attempts to fill out the songs with additional sound. Everything gets so boring and one-dimensional so you will eventually fall alseep... by BOREDOM!!!
Opeth fans and metal fans as well claims that an Opeth album is so deep, dark, gloomy, mysterious etc, etc. Yea.. let them have it that way... But it is the same ,no matter what music you like, die-hard fans of this band love this album because that it dosen't sound like the other Opeth album. Damnation is a weak album, it is not dark, somber or emotionally deep or whatever you want to call it. This is to me just a dull, completely meaningless peice of music that ANYBODY could've written!!!! This is what really makes me pissed off, it is by the pure thought that ANY
other artist (or band) could've made an album just like this and just as good as ''Opeth''. Fans of Opeth will of course like this album nonetheless but think twice if you are planning to get this album. If you approach this album with extremely high expectations you will most like it or even hate just as much as I do. Approach this with extremely low expectations if you ''want'' to like. People claim that this is a masterpiece of an album but I did the critical mistake to approached the album with high expectations, and I was so disappointed that I wanted to return the album and get my money back. Get this album it if you want... it is your own free choice but just because nine of ten people says that it is great doesn't nessecarily make it so, remember that...
+ The guitar solos, the only thing that provides a little bit or variation in this godforsaken album.
- Utterly repetitive and dope-like music
- Completely unorignial music
- Even the Idol jury would deny Akerfeldt for his weak vocals
- People who suffers from sleep disorders, here is your cure. You will fall asleep as soon as you listen to the first track. ZZZZZZzzzzzzz
-- Closure This is the only track I enjoy thanks to some simple guitar chords and a good guitar solo and that the vocals actually fitted the rest of the whole damn thing.
Final rating: 1.5/5