Opeth – Damnation – Review


Damnation (Koch)
by Scott Hefflon

Opeth, of course, is awesome: Beautiful, dark, passionate, strong… Metal the way it should be: Gruff and fierce, but also melancholy and thoughtful, like staring into the campfire the night before battle, knowing you’re going to have to kill everyone you see, day after day, or you’ll never see your homeland and your loved ones again. Opeth has always been big into ’70s rock, you can tell. The guitar tone, some of the harmonies, some of the passionate singing… But soulful singing is a far cry from some of the muted colors and, like, hippie bullshit going on here.

Certain friends of mine tried to convince me of the sinister undertones, and sure, I hear some, but I mainly hear AM radio folky hippie sap rock. Full on Simon & Garfunkle harmonies’n’shit… I mean, “Sounds of Silence” was a dark song, but I never expected Opeth to get this fruity. It’s sweet, it’s touching, it’s ’70s muted-color films of playing peekaboo with that cute hippie chick in the trees, high as a kite. More Simon & Garfunkle than purging demons, sitting Indian-style with an acoustic and your stoner friends playing the fuckin’ bongos, hoping the local metalheads don’t come along and beat your pussy asses. Oh, mighty Opeth, why hath thou made a sappy chick record?
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