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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.28 | 1910 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

el böthy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This was my introduction to Opeth, a band I wanted to get into but with just listening to some songs never quite did... this album made all the difference, now Opeth is my favorite metal band.

This album is a natural step forward (at least I see it so) from the amazing Still life, and while retaining some similarities, it´s the small changes Opeth makes from album to album that makes every single one so good. The diferrence here is by far the production, Steven Wilson as producer has shown enormous talent from day one, but to make a metal album sound astonishing good is something really special. Even he said that working on Blackwater park might be one of his best jobs to date! This is evident, never have the guitars sounded so clean yet brutal at the same time, the drums are as clear as they come and the acoustic passages sound even more delicate and sophisticated than in Still life, which is not just something! Also, Akerfeld singing and growls sound better than ever. This is for me one of the ebst (if not the ebst) produced metal albums I have heard so far.

Well, enough of the production, let´s talk about some music. Blackwater park opens with one of Opeth most brutal songs ever, The Leper Affinity. In my eyes, their best ever, the guitar riffs, the vocals, the drumming, the acoustic piece and the piano at the end, courtesy of mr Wilson, makes this a stand out track among stand out´s songs. Bleak is another very interesting song with a lot of acoustic work, actually if Im not mistaken, the acoustic guitar is always present, but don´t be fooled, this song is heavy as they come. Mr Wilson also delivers some excellent vocal lines, which makes this a very special Opeth song, for the first time ever another person besids mr Akerfeld is singing lead vocals in Opeth. The result is incredible,a nother highlight of the album. The other really heavy track, and also a personal favorite of mine, is The Funeral Portrait with one of Opeth´s best riffs ever! I absolutly love how this song begins with the acoustic guitars and then goes into full metal with that astonishing riff, absolutly amazing. The longer songs might very well be the most important of the whole album, I mean of course The Drapery Falls and the closer, Blackwater Park. The Drapery Falls is the classic and most well known song of the album, and maybe even of the whole Opeth career. In both songs we have a bit of psychedelia and a lot of alteretion between clean and heavy moments, specially The Drappery Falls with it´s acoustic breaks and gentle vocals. This songs I have mentioned so far are the absolut best of the album, the others Dirge for November also presents interesting contrasts between clean and heavy moments, although the song might be a bit too long in some places, it´s still great. Patterns in the Ivy is a short acoustic instrumentla piece...beautiful. Yet there is one song that really is not up there with the rest. Harvest is for me, not a filler, but not a great song as the rest, which brings the whole thing down a notch...but not too much.

All in all this album is amazing, among the best Opeth has ever realesed, and together with Still life, my personal favorite. Not a masterpiece, but not too far behind.

el böthy | 4/5 |


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