To mark the 20th anniversary of Opeth’s ground-breaking 2003 album ‘Damnation’, a special vinyl re-issue was recently announced, which has been meticulously crafted to pay homage to a pivotal and trailblazing moment in the band’s illustrious history. Originally recorded in the serenity of Åkerfelt’s native Sweden, with additional production from Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson, the album acclaimed by fans and critics alike has since received a re-mix and master in 2015, pressed to vinyl on a double LP together with the dichotomous ‘Deliverance’.
Now just a month away from its release, Music For Nations have re-discovered the long lost video for the single ‘Windowpane’. Originally released in 2003, the Fredrik Odefjärd directed video has been digitally processed from the archival tape for 2023.
Released on 15th December (Music For Nations) this marks the first time exclusive and deluxe vinyl pressings have been given to ‘Damnation’. A record that represents a paradigm shift in the band’s approach to composition, seeing them side-line their metal roots from the forefront of their arsenal. Instead replacing it with an additional insight into ambience, atmospherics, and progressive rock, this together with Åkerfeldt’s signature lyricality and musicianship creates a unique record of ethereal beauty and longing, and one which remains top of mind for many Opeth fans.
The 20th Anniversary versions sees the 2015 re-mix and remaster pressed to standard black vinyl, as well as being available on deluxe and limited colour finishes, and for the very first time available on an exclusive picture disc that highlights and reflects the album’s ethereal and bleak visual world.
Speaking on the release, the band’s lead vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt comments,
“Hello folks! Our old “partners in crime” Music For Nations are planning a 20th-anniversary re-release of one of our odd records, this time ”Damnation”. We want our records available on vinyl at all times, and it turns out we can’t keep stock! Our vinyl editions are flying out. I’ve seen it with my own eyes when I helped out in a record shop during the pandemic. Some customers didn’t know they’re buying it from one of the people responsible for the music. Of course I went: ”Good record, good band!”. So before there’s any moaning about ”another reissue, another cash grab” I want to stress out that it really comes down to public demand. We’ll present Steven Wilson’s updated mix (first available in 2015 or thereabouts) on limited edition opaque and transparent vinyl as well as on a picture disc, which I believe is the first time ever.
”Damnation” is a special record, even if they’re all special to me. I remember hearing the first mix on headphones in a crummy hotel somewhere in the UK. I had trouble believing it was us, myself, Peter, Lopez, Mendez (as well as ol’ Steve on keys). It was completely different from anything we’d done up to that point, and quite frankly, since. Out of all of our records, I think this one is most suitable for the vinyl format due to the fact that it is not really cluttered with stuff. A pretty airy recording with 5 musicians and done on 2 inch tapes as well. It’s a record I’m immensely proud over and it also remains a fan-favourite I believe.
Commenting further Steven Wilson adds “At the time I remember getting death threats from metal fans for “ruining” the band! As if it could be anyone’s intention but Mikael’s to do a record like that anyway. Damnation was when everyone understood that he was not going be trapped within the confines of any genre or label, and that the band’s importance and influence would be far reaching. Rightly so Damnation is now seen as a timeless masterpiece, and I’m very proud to have had my part in making it.”
1 – Windowpane 2 – In My Time Of Need 3 – Death Whispered A Lullaby
1 – Closure 2 – Hope Leaves 3 – To Rid The Disease 4 – Ending Credits 5 – Weakness
Opeth – Damnation;
Mikael Åkerfeldt – vocals and lead guitar
Peter Lindgren – rhythm guitar
Martin Méndez – bass guitar
Martin Lopez – drums
FOR FANS OF: Paradise Lost, Porcupine Tree, Katatonia, Steven Wilson