Sweden's Opeth are world renowned for their death metal sound. With their seventh release "Damnation", the band has decided to take the road less traveled. Opeth have certainly not moved away from what they do best, proof of this is "Damnation's" counterpart, "Deliverance": an album of brutally dark metal. "Damnation" acts as a balance to this morbidity, with its soulful and enlightening sound reminiscent of 1970's progressive and classic rock. Mikael Akerfeldt (vocals, guitar)'s soulful side is heard, as he is actually singing each and every song. His voice carries in a surreal way as he delivers beautifully penned ballads of self actualization and reflection. Each song speaks like a very personal and emotional journal entry. The lush guitar chords complimenting Akerfeldt's words are just about sleep inducing (in a positive way). The acoustic and electric guitar work o­n this album are excellent, to the point where o­ne can hear the emotion pouring out with every chord played. Akerfeldt, Peter Lindgren (guitar) and Martin Mendez (bass), and Martin Lopez (drums) utilize their creativity o­n "Damnation" to produce an inventive, imaginative sound. Best songs include "Windowpane", In My Time Of Need" and "Hope Leaves". However, it's difficult to pick best songs off this 8 song album, as they work best as a continuous flow. Fans of Pink Floyd's ambient sound and Maynard Keenan's (of Tool) vocal style will definitely enjoy this album.

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