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Today in Metal: ‘Damnation’ by Opeth turns 11 years old

Posted by on April 22, 2014

Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. Today, it’s progressive masters Opeth with Damnation, which was released on April 22nd, 2003.

I think my favorite thing about Opeth is how natural and well mixed all of their instruments are. The drums have such a nice pop, and the bass is strong, where so many albums bury the bass. Instrumentally, this album is extremely technical, as you’d expect from Opeth, but also incredibly relaxing too. Not too many bands can pull something like that off many times. The background keyboards that act as strings, and the mellow acoustic guitars add to the overall soothing nature of the album. “Weakness” is a track with minimal instrumentation, but still keeps an incredibly calming feel.

I know a lot of people who wouldn’t call this album a ‘metal’ album. There isn’t much heavy about it. It’s good music, and I’m a fan of mellow stuff, so I really never minded that, but that could be a ‘flaw’ in the album in the viewpoints of some. I can also see how some fans of harder metal would call this album commercialized, which they’d see as another ‘flaw,’ but again, I’ve heard albums that sound way more commercial than this. If you take this one with a broad, open mind, there’s a lot of great work.

Favorite Tracks: “Death Whispered a Lullaby,” “To Rid the Disease,” “Hope Leaves.”

If you’re looking for something with really good instrumentation that’s a little calming and mellow, I don’t know if I could suggest a better album than this one for you. It’s clean, clear and very soothing. However, if you want something heavy, you’ll probably get bored pretty quickly with this album. To me, how much you’ll like this album depends on how strictly you define ‘metal,’ and how much you like calmer stuff. Then again, if you really want to hear something heavy, just put on the album’s companion piece, Deliverance.

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