I really like Opeth. I know there are a lot of metalheads out there that believe the band is boring as hell, but I'm not one of them. Opeth was one of the first extreme metal bands I really got into. I remember buying my first Opeth album on Halloween night back in 2001 along with the Tristania album World of Glass. It was an amazing listen. It was heavy, yet melodic. The band took breaks from rumbling death metal parts to play beautiful acoustic passages. It gave the band dynamics I had not heard much in the genre up to that point. I like the band so much that they were the first real metal band I took my fiancee to see with me. I had taken her to Trans-Siberian Orchestra the fall before, but that doesn't quite count for obvious reasons.
In the time since I first started listening to Opeth, I have picked up almost all of their albums. The only ones I have not picked up to this point are Morningrise and their most recent album. That's not to say I won't pick them up in the future. It's entirely possible, though I have not been thrilled with some of their latest albums. Most Opeth albums are pretty decent though and the band always had that different dynamic. They could be really soft or really hard and they would alternate those sounds.
With one exception.
Damnation is an experimental album for the band. Opeth decided that it was not going to play with the alternating styles on one album. They cut out the heavy parts and kept all of the progressive, soft parts. Now these parts are okay in the context of the heavy metal the band normally plays, but when they are on their own, the general feel is lost. I'm not saying I would be interested in an Opeth album with all of the soft parts removed though. Opeth's appeal is their ability to play both styles and meld them effortlessly. When one style is taken away, it feels as though something huge is missing. This album does not feel complete, even though each song is clearly complete on its own. Some of the songs are very beautiful. The soft songs throughout the entire album just do not hold interest well enough to make the album worth it.