Damnation (album)

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Damnation cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released22 April 2003 (2003-04-22)
Recorded22 July – 4 September 2002
7 October 2002
GenreProgressive rock
LabelKoch(US), Music For Nations(UK)
ProducerOpeth, Steven Wilson
Opeth chronology
Ghost Reveries
Singles from Damnation
  1. "Windowpane"
    Released: 2003

Damnation is the seventh full-length studio album by Swedish progressive rock band Opeth. It was released on 22 April 2003, five months after Deliverance, which was recorded at the same time. Damnation is the last Opeth album to date to be produced by Steven Wilson although he did mix two future albums, Heritage and Pale Communion. Mikael Åkerfeldt dedicated both albums to his grandmother, who died in a car accident during the time the albums were being recorded.[3]

The album was a radical departure from Opeth's typical death metal sound, and the first Opeth album to use all clean vocals, clean guitars, and prominent Mellotron, as well as being inspired by 1970s progressive rock,[4] which typically features no heavy riffs or extended fast tempos. Despite the change in style from Opeth's previous albums, Damnation was critically acclaimed and boosted their popularity, leading to the release of Lamentations on DVD in late 2003.


Like Deliverance, Damnation was recorded during the same trouble-plagued sessions at Nacksving Studios and Studio Fredman. The majority of the recording of both albums was done, save for most of the Damnation vocals. For those parts, Åkerfeldt flew down to Wilson's studio No Man's Land in the UK, just a day after his grandmother's funeral.[5][6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores

In a rave review for Sputnikmusic, Mike Stagno wrote that Damnation is a progressive rock album that departs entirely from the extreme metal elements of Opeth's previous work, and stands as one of the best albums released in recent years.[9] Ned Raggett of Pitchfork Media also felt that it succeeds without Opeth's previous death metal style, and showcases each band member's technical abilities on what is "the most surprising and entertaining album" in Opeth's discography.[8]

In 2014, TeamRock put Damnation at number 91 on their "Top 100 Greatest Prog Albums of All Time" list commenting: "the first Opeth album to abandon metal entirely, Damnation trumped its heavier sibling Deliverance by bringing Mikael Åkerfeldt’s masterful songwriting to the fore".[10]

Loudwire listed Damnation as the second best album of 2003.[11] Mike Portnoy, ex-drummer for Dream Theater, put the album on his list of best albums of 2003.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Mikael Åkerfeldt, except where noted; all music is composed by Mikael Åkerfeldt.

2."In My Time of Need"5:46
3."Death Whispered a Lullaby" (lyrics by Steven Wilson)5:49
5."Hope Leaves"4:27
6."To Rid the Disease"6:18
7."Ending Credits" (instrumental)3:36


  • A music video was created for an edited version of "Windowpane".
  • The vocal melody in the chorus of "To Rid the Disease" is borrowed from a track recorded by Mikael Åkerfeldt's side project Sörskogen, "Mordet i Grottan".[12]


Chart positions[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived September 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ [2] Archived January 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Opeth - Trivia - Metal Storm".
  4. ^ According to the liner notes to Deliverance
  5. ^ Åkerfeldt, Mikael. "Deliverance - Diary". Opeth. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Mikael Akerfeldt of Swedish Metal Band Opeth Recounts Recording Their Classic 'Deliverance' & 'Damnation' Albums". Billboard. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  7. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/album/r634404
  8. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. Opeth 2012-04-20.
  9. ^ a b "Opeth - Damnation (album review 8)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  10. ^ Hyndman, Chavez (6 August 2014). "The 100 Greatest Prog Albums Of All Time: 100-81". TeamRock. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  11. ^ "10 Best Metal Albums of 2003". Loudwire.
  12. ^ Interview With Mikael Åkerfeldt. HailMetal.com. Accessed 28 August 2006.
  13. ^ "Opeth - Damnation" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  14. ^ "Opeth - Damnation". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  15. ^ "Opeth - Damnation" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  16. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK: O – The O - Ozric Tentacles". zobbel.de. Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  17. ^ "Opeth Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Opeth Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  19. ^ "Opeth Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". www.zpav.pl. Archived from the original on 14 June 2003. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)