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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover

BLACKWATER PARK

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1178 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. "Sick liaisons raised this monumental mark. The sun sets forever over Blackwater Park." This is the last line that is sung on this album. An album that is about a place called Blackwater Park where a leprosy outbreak occurs. We are told the story (in the first person) of what follows. The album cover and the lyrics certainly portray a hopeless situation.

"The Leper Affinity" quickly turns crushingly heavy with the vocals to match. It can't get much heavier and louder than this can it ? Clean vocals arrive before 5 minutes as the sound builds back up including some amazing guitar. The sound is incredible 8 1/2 minutes in until all we hear are piano melodies to end it. "Bleak" opens with vocals that are anything but clean ! This has a slower pace then the opening track but is still very powerful. Clean vocals 3 1/2 minutes in and they sound great on this song. I can't say enough about the instrumental work throughout this tune. The sound has calmed down before 6 minutes.This is freaking amazing ! "Harvest" is a catchy song with strummed guitar and clean vocals. I love this tune. Check out the lyrics as well. "The Drapery Falls" is my favourite song on the album. The lyrics are again so sad and hopeless. I'm reminded of the album "Damnation" 2 1/2 minutes in. The absolute highlight for me though is the vocal melody 4 minutes in. I just raise my arms and bask in the melody. We get some TOOL like drumming 6 minutes in as this song contrasts the heavy and light passages beautifully.

"Dirge For November" opens with reserved vocals and acoustic guitar for over a minute and a half. The drums come pounding in as the guitars grind out a melody. Ungodly vocals arrive before 6 minutes before the song ends in a pastoral way. "The Funeral Portrait" has some more incredible instrumental work. Outstanding ! A great heavy sound with growly vocals for seven minutes. After 4 minutes the vocals get even more violent. Clean vocals 7 minutes in with some blistering guitar. "Patterns In The Ivy" is a short, beautiful instrumental of acoustic guitar and piano. This sets us up for the title track "Blackwater Park". It opens with a powerful soundscape and vocals to match. 3 minutes in it turns eerie and atmospheric for a couple of minutes. Nice. Then we get absolutely crushed ! Check out the guitar solos and the bass and drum work ! Piano and acoustic guitar to end this ride of death.

You know it wouldn't surprise me if Steven Wilson wasn't as proud of this album as he is with any of his own. I really listened to this record a lot trying to see if I liked it better than "Still Life" or not. Well I do like this one better, but now I should go back and listen to "Still Life" over and over again to be fair.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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