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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1680 ratings

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4 stars Out of the two Opeth albums I own (this one and Still Life) I think this is the more focused and refined, at the expense of some of the raw creativity on the other CD. I think generally this one has a higher ratio of growls to clean singing, although Mikael's growling doesn't sound as awesomely effective as on SL. The guitar sound is more refined, both electric and acoustic. The musicians are all good, but nothing absolutely amazing, except in the acoustic parts, which are really good, but not as abundant as the previous record.

'The Leper Affinity' is mostly a straightforward metal song, with a softer bit at the end followed by a piano solo. Opeth fail to amaze here. However 'Bleak' sets the standard for the rest of this album. It has a very Eastern sound, and the growling in the first verse is very effective. 'Harvest' is an all acoustic/clean vocals song that sounds very medieval and includes some very nice melodies. 'The Drapery Falls' is my favourite Opeth song. It starts off acoustic then some riffs come in, and then back to some acoustic verses, before a song full of riffing and growling is unleashed, before turning acoustic again for a few verses. This is Opeth doing what they do best creating a song that really has the power to take you somewhere. 'Dirge for November' is interesting, while 'Funeral Portrait' is generic Opeth. Both good tracks, but not as good as the last three... and the next one. 'Patterns in the Ivy' is an unusual little acoustic instrumental, twisting and turning in all directions and never going where expected. This album seems to begin and end on a low note as 'Blackwater Park' fails to capture my interest, and there are not enough ideas in this one to fill out a twelve minute song.

Despite the uninteresting first and last tracks, all the rest of the material is top quality Opeth and makes for a worthy listen to anyone interested in great prog metal.

burtonrulez | 4/5 |


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