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Opeth - Watershed CD (album) cover

WATERSHED

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.93 | 893 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stewe
5 stars Swedish extreme, (truly) progressive metal band again shows how far ahead they are compared to any metal bands. Their extraordinary blend of brutal, heavy passages with gorgeous mellow parts is back, in more intense and weirder style than ever. Influence of 70s prog rock is again more evident.

Though it sounds like cliché, Mikael Akerfeldt is genius of songwriting, composing, arrangements and producing of our age. As an owner of godly clean, full voice, that he can switch in one moment to demonic growls, and he still gets better in that! As a guitarist he is one of the most tasteful players nowadays. He is accompained with Fredrik Akesson, master of creative speedy guitar solos. New drummer Martin Axenrot is even more powerful than Lopez, yet also extremely dynamic, skillful and diverse. I was afraid after Lopez departure about this post, but this man proved I was wrong. Mendez is great as ever, though bit lost in the mix. Wilberg's atmospheric vintage-keyboard work is the most prominent and most beautiful to date. Notable is use of gorgeous symphonic passages with decent (=not pompous as many annoying symhonic metal bands) strings and wooden instruments that add new majestic dimension.

Songs themselves won't let you breathe (though you need some spins to get into that fully, as usually). While Coil is gentle symphonic layered, female voice leaden intro, Heir Apparent is slow brutal, progressive, with lot of perfect mellow and disharmonic heavy flashes. Psychedelic, furious Lotus Eater ends with very odd but great evil jazz-funky part. It flows into Burden, one of the most painfully beautiful ballads of this world that struck in the head immediately. Dark slower number Porcelain Heart (only one that I consider as not perfect as the rest, but very good anyway) leads to apex of the album - longest track Hessian Peel. Mellow, peaceful intro flows to sorrowful acoustic part that is cut by demonic passage. Then incredible symphonic/curly-acoustic/psychedelic ride goes up to finale. Pompously constructed, melodic Hex Omega sounds like liberating and melancholic patos together, finishes the album with some beautiful flute-mellotron fadeins/outs and instrumental anthemic outro. Flawless.

As FoaBP from Porcupine Tree was album for last year, Watershed stands out for me in the same way in 2008.

stewe | 5/5 |

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