This is not a metal album by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it terribly progressive. I heard Damnation before reading any reviews and thought it was a mild, pleasant listen, but no big deal. Something to have burbling in the background while doing other work. Then I read reviews of this album I was very suprised that it was so highly praised. I'm sorry but its just not that compelling. To be fair it does has a few interesting ideas and melodies but for the most part sounds much like Porcupine Tree or Caravan at their most noodly. The songs are long, sometimes meandering and don't take the listener on much of a dynamic ride. In other words Damnation is good but somewhat bland.
Perhaps so much praise has been heaped upon Damnation because of its difference to Opeths other work? Its a ballsy move for a band to put out an album that departs from the sound its known for, thats fine. Unfortunately Damnation just isn't the masterpiece the fans seem so deperately to want it to be.