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Opeth - Still Life CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.30 | 1642 ratings

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4 stars Just when you think you've heard enough progressive growl-metal to satisfy any primal urges and twisted desires, a band like Opeth finally crashes onto your shores with their fourth studio effort. Mikael Akerfeldt's gutter rumble is so severe that it seduces as much as it repels, swallowing you like some hellish beast. The beauty is in the group's layered compositional approach, often founding the songs with an acoustic backbone, inspired rhythms, rich harmonies on top, and smaller counter-riffs swirled throughout. A real band effort here with all four pulling their share, no one member demanding the spotlight but rather playing toward a big, almost symphonic sound. 11-minute opener 'The Moor' is a kicker with plenty to please most bangers, and 'Godhead's Lament' is melodic and even echoes early-period Rush though Exodus, Metallica and Voivod are much closer relatives. Things really start to get involved on 'Moonlapse Vertigo' with a decked-out introduction and a swing section that alternates between soft, jazzy passages and dramatic assaults. This quality expands for 'Face of Melinda' featuring Spanish strings and a soft vocal from Akerfeldt. And guitar armada 'Serenity Painted Death' is a highlight with one mean riff after another, rhythmists Mendez and Lopez rocking solid on bass and drums. Good stuff for those who like their progmetal with just the right blend of aggression, sensitivity and musicianship.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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