Opeth's "Deliverance & Damnation", a double album almost 15 years in the making, will be made available on October 30 via Music For Nations. Originally released separately in 2002 and 2003 respectively, these sessions were written and recorded together and it's time for Music For Nations to present the album as a complete piece. Music For Nations will issue the double album in two beautifully reissued formats that includes new stereo and 5.1 mixes, with artwork redesigned by original designer Travis Smith; liner notes by Mikael Åkerfeldt and Jerry Ewing of Prog in a lavish four-disc bookset.
This imaginative staging of Berlioz's dramatic symphony for chorus, soloists and orchestra relies heavily on the moving of massed choirs across a large stage. It has vivid lighting effects–rather too many of them using strobes–and monolithic multi-purpose sets, in particular a revolving glass drum which functions both as cinema screen and rostrum for singers, so that the final ride to Hell, for example, is sung by Mephistopheles and Faust above a cavalcade of projected horses, like the inside of a zoetrope. The three main soloists have voices on a scale that can compete with these flashy production values–White and Kasarova, in particular, sing at a level of intensity that would swamp anything less; the climactic seduction trio has rarely been sung so well or with such an overpoweringly polymorphous eroticism. Cambreling marshals his forces effectively, giving full rein to the work's showstoppers like the "Hungarian March" but not neglecting the subtler less kinetic Gluckian side of Berlioz's vocal writing. (Roz Kaveney)
This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. DamNation's majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.
Damnation was the same Cleveland band previously known as the Damnation of Adam Blessing, who issued two albums on United Artists in 1969-1970. Why the name was shortened remains a mystery and has fouled up the consistency/accuracy of both Damnation and The Damnation of Adam Blessing discographies ever since.