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Opeth - Still Life CD (album) cover

STILL LIFE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.33 | 1060 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Still Life is Opeth´s fourth album and it´s the album where Opeth show that they are influenced by seventies prog rock. My Arms, Your Hearse which was the predecessor to Still Life also contained elements of prog rock but the influence is more pronounced on Still Life. The sound on Still Life means that this might be the most interesting album for fans of traditional prog if they wish to hear how Opeth sounds like.

The music is very heavy with complex slow to midtempo riffing. It´s not tech metal by any means but the riffs are definitely worth investigating anyway. The songs are generally very long and Opeth´s music is not easily accessible as there are lots of different sections and moods in every song. I find their music easy to appreciate though as it is very melodic. Benighted and Face Of Melinda are the only songs that differ from the usual formula of growling vocals and clean vocals that the other songs consist of as those two songs are mainly acoustic guitar led and with only clean vocals from Mikael Åkerfeldt. Both songs have great longing moods and lots of beautiful guitar riffs and playing.

The rest of the songs follow the formula that most Opeth songs from that day forth would follow which means clean and growling vocal parts in most songs, and both heavy riffing and acoustic parts in almost all songs. I really do feel that Opeth made something unique with Still Life and I have a couple of favorite tracks here. The Moor being the most impressive one IMO but both the brutal Serenity Painted Death and the progressive and melodic White Cluster are also favorites of mine.

Sure Opeth is influenced by doom metal bands like Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Anathema and Katatonia. And sure they are also influenced by especially seventies prog rock, but mixing the two genres is a brilliant move IMO. It´s a thing I have always tried to do myself when making music, but never really succeeded with. In that respect Opeth is unique as many other bands have tried this formula, but no one has ever succeeded like Opeth ( Well I really love both Isa and Ruun by Enslaved who are also in this genre but they are an exception IMO).

The musicianship is outstanding and I have always admired Martin Lopez drumming. He makes this music stick together and the changes are very smooth and intelligent. Mikael Åkerfeldt of course has to be mentioned too for his great compositional skill and his skills as both a singer and a guitarist. He is an outstanding musician even though I think his clean singing has gotten better on later releases than they are here. They are really good here too though.

The production is the most prog rock like production Opeth has had so far ( except maybe for Damnation). Later albums would have a more edgy metal sound especially on the guitars.

This is not my favorite Opeth album but it´s still a masterpiece and deserves all 5 stars. Opeth is a unique band and this is the first album where they really prove it. The sound on Still Life is very grand and created only with guitars, drums, bass and vocals. If there are any keyboards here I can´t hear them. I think that´s a very enjoyable feature in Opeth´s music. On Ghost Reveries Opeth added a keyboard player and I was sceptical but it worked out fine and it works even better on Watershed, but it´s still unique with this grand sound without the use of keyboards on Still Life. If you have ANY interest in extreme prog metal you´d better get this album as it is highly recommendable and a landmark album in that genre.

UMUR | 5/5 |

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