Opeth - Damnation
And this time, "Damnation" - Opeth's seventh studio album, released on April 22, 2003.
"Opeth" is a Swedish band formed in Stockholm in 1995. The band started as a death metal band with black metal influences, but over the years "Opeth" was influenced by progressive rock and began mixing different genres such as progressive metal, death metal, and classic progressive rock, while combining growling and distortions on the one hand, and acoustic guitar sounds, mellotron and Clean singing on the other.
The band's move towards progressive rock began to gain momentum with the album "Still Life", released by the band in 1999 and strengthened with the album which is perhaps the most complete work of the band "Blackwater Park", which also began the fruitful collaboration between "Opeth" and Steven Wilson known to us from Porcupine Tree, From the collaboration with Aviv Geffen at "Blackfield" and more. Wilson produced the album, playing guitar, piano, and mellotron and singing Clean in four of the album's songs. Wilson also wrote the lyrics to the song "Death Whispered a Lullaby".
The collaboration with Wilson led "Opeth" to go even further in the progressive direction. After the release of the album "Blackwater Park" the band announced that their next album was going to be special. It will be a double album, half of which will be their heaviest while the other will be more quiet, soft, and melodic.
Although the whole project was recorded as one piece in 2002, the record company decided to split the project into two different albums. The band's heaviest - "Deliverance" was released in 2002, while its quietest album - "Damnation", was released in 2003, featuring a major turnaround and musical changes.
It's a magical, quiet and soft album, full of pianos, acoustic guitars, and electrifying and melting solos. A fusion of deep emotions translated into words and music, every one of which simply penetrates the heart and soul. The influence of the legendary Steven Wilson is well felt here, both in style and production.
This is the band's first album that does not include growling songs at all. All the vocals here are Clean with lots of depth and emotion, which was influenced by the death of the grandmother of guitarist and lead writer Mikael Åkerfeldt, in a car accident, while working on the album. There is not a single metallic sound on this album and it is very much influenced by classic progressive rock, with amazing mellotron sounds that throw us 50 years back to the days of King Crimson's debut album.
Although the album marked a fundamental change in the band's sound, it was appreciated and praised by the band's fans and various critics, while leaping the band's popularity forward.
It is interesting to note that the band accompanied the creative process of the two albums in a documentary that manages to get us into the studio and teach us about the difficulties, dilemmas, and considerations behind the writing and recording of both albums. We have prepared a playlist of the six parts of the documentary in the link: Here.