Opeth Damnation

Opeth wasn’t kidding when they announced that Deliverance’s companion piece would be soft. Damnation isn’t just free of growls, it lacks any hint at the band’s metal history. Instead it explores the laid back, progressive rock potential that Opeth normally just hints at. It took a long time before I could get over the string arrangements — they sound just like the Muzak-like pop instrumentals I heard on Barrie’s FM station as a child (and trust me, that’s not really a good thing) — plus I found myself waiting, unjustified and unsatisfied, for a build into heaviness. Once I overcame these issues, I found a soothing, almost caressing collection of mellow-out songs. "Closure” especially swoons around in the head long after the CD ends. Damnation isn’t brilliant, and it has yet to move me as much as Opeth’s metal material, but it’s excellent company when it’s time to unwind and relax. (Koch)