After one of their heaviest metal albums, Deliverance, Opeth took a completely different turn by releasing Damnation, their seventh full-length studio album, just five months later. The album, produced by Steven Wilson, was released on 22 April 2003. According to Mikael Åkerfeldt, he dedicated this album, along with Deliverance, to his grandmother, who died in a car accident while the albums were being recorded.
The album was a radical departure from Opeth’s typical style and death metal sound, since it was stripped down to all clean vocals and clean guitars. The album was greatly inspired by 70s progressive rock (especially King Crimson) and mellotron, played by Steven Wilson, was used prominently to fill in for the heavy sound that we are used to in previous Opeth albums. In 2014, TeamRock put Damnation at #91 on their “Top 100 Greatest Prog Albums Of All Time” list.
Some fans liked it, some didn’t; but despite the controversial opinions, it was critically acclaimed for the most part and there is no denying that it helped a lot of people to get to know Opeth.