Sunday, November 22, 2015

Opeth – Deliverance & Damnation

Back in 2002 and 2003 Swedish death metal reached a peak in creativity and progression when Opeth released two of the most important albums in the genre. And considering that “Damnation” hardly can be categorized as a death metal album, that is quite an achievement.  Opeth showed that death metal could transform into something much bigger.

I was, and still am, obsessed with these two masterpieces. “Deliverance” starts off mostly like a traditional death thing when “Wreath” thrashes everything with growls and hammering guitars, and one is deceived into thinking that nothing has changed since Morbid Angels released “Altars Of Madness”. The title track keeps that illusion for a couple of minutes when it suddenly stops and turns into something far greater. One minute and sixteen seconds into the song the aggression halts and a new universe cracks wide open with beautiful clean singing by Mikael Åkerfeldt and a soft guitar that sweeps you away. And despite the fact that the song turns back to more aggressiveness later on this beauty never leaves from this point. Opeth would never be the same after this and has since then completely transformed itself into a progressive rock act rather than death metal on the album that followed after this. 

“Damnation” that came after “Deliverance” is a completely different animal all together as it is a low key acoustic adventure that has nothing to do with metal to be honest. Here you can hear Åkerfeldts full potential as songwriter and visionary musician. That vision is even more obvious now when Music For Nation has released both albums as one (as it was meant to be from the beginning) with an updated mix and new artwork. The vinyl edition is pure porn for any record collector and if you like Opeth this is nirvana. 

It’s not often that you encounter albums that create a rift in the known musical universe. “Deliverance & Damnation” not only makes that rift. It rips the sky wide open to a totally new universe that has its own rules and possibilities. It depends on no one and sets its own rules and standards that only apply to itself. It is truly wonderful when that happens in music. After these two releases Opeth had no competitors in my opinion. Every album that they have released depends on no one but Opeth. That is the definition of genius I think. 

Personnel on “Deliverance & Damnation”:
Mikael Åkerfeldt – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars
Peter Lindgren – electric guitars
Martin Mendez – bass guitar
Martin Lopez – drums, percussion

- The Void

Opeth - Deliverance - Live at Wacken Open Air 2015

Opeth – Windowpane live 20013

Deliverance & Damnation on Spotify

Official website

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