Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#33: Opeth - Damnation

Release Year: 2003

Beauty in despair.  Those are the first things that come to mind when I think of this album.

Opeth originally intended to make Deliverance and Damnation (both produced by Steven Wilson) a double album, but the powers that be wanted them separate.  So we have the balls-to-the-wall heavy Deliverance, and its antithesis, Damnation.  The former is somewhat mediocre (though it has its moments), but the latter is one of the most beautiful albums I've ever heard.

If you listen to any song here, you'd probably be surprised to find out it was made by a death metal band.  It is all clean vocals, rich melody, unplugged guitars, keyboards, and the signature Steven Wilson atmosphere.

This is one of those albums that you can't listen to repeatedly, because there is nothing upbeat here.  Yet, it's one of those albums you have to have in your collection, because there is nothing else like it available - not even from the band that created it.  It has a thread of sorrow woven throughout every aspect of the music, from the lyrics, to the instrumentation, all the way down to the actual packaging.

Incidentally, I listened to their new one, Heritage, for the first time today.  I might need to add a disclaimer to this list, that it only includes albums released before this month.

Standout tracks:
  • To Rid The Disease
  • Death Whispered A Lullaby
  • Windowpane

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