Opeth - Damnation - 2003


This is a very surprising new, a breaking new coming from Opeth. We hope this is not a one and only record, we would like to enjoy more works like “Damnation”. As I tell you this new album from the Swedish band is a sheer transformation, a radical change, a group which has landed on progressive moors coming down right from the heavy metal field. A band that after building a hard edged reputation has decided to surprise everybody erasing completely their metal thing.


A group which has a good status in his country of origin, even owning a Grammy, which the band was awarded with at the beginning of the year, something absolutely unknown in progressive rock. Their will was to develop different things and experiment after releasing their previous record “Deliverance” in which they used the musician-producer Steve Wilson, who has become some kind of priest of progressive rock.

Its creator is Mikael Åkerfeldt. A dark and extremely creative mind. A musician who leads his creature through the paths he feels like and this time he has taken it to a huge mellotron scene. A record that is part of the “Deliverance” project but that finally has been set aside to create a different work.

We’ve got seven songs elapsing 5,6,7 minutes. A set of songs that doesn’t go beyond the light-grey color. It’s a great album for the ones who like gothic rock, darkest heavy metal or for the fans of dark prog-rock coming from northern countries. The pieces are not very changing, because their music is not based on breaks and twists, they are linked by a peaceful mid-tempo thread with some kind of ghost feeling. “Windowpane” is the first song and showing the general meaning of the whole record. A voice that unfolds the lyrics in a delicate way with a huge mellotron keyboard sound. “In my time of need”, “Death whispered a lullaby”, “Closure” give a solid structure to the record guiding the music to some of the great moments which is “Hope leaves”. An extraordinary piece where the lines of rhytm guitar, bass and mellotron sound leads the song to a stunning final section. “To rid the disease” is a part of this fantastic end which is an instrumental piece based on a great guitar riff and again a delicious keyboard sound. The records ends with “Weakness” which is a simple but emotional masterpiece.


A CD that it’s not very difficult to understand. It’s a simple song collection wrapped up in a delicate and special music. A shape that makes it one of the most interesting productions of the year. We hope they keep on experimenting like this.

author - date - rating - label

Jordi Costa - May 2003 -   - Music For Nations