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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1711 ratings

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The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Another mighty album from the mightiest of metal bands, Opeth.

This is the third in the succession of brilliant albums from this group, and by no means the last. I would consider this my second favourite Opeth album, as it doesn't quite touch the flawless Still Life. I can see how a lot of fans consider this their favourite though: with songs like Bleak, Dirge for November and Drapery Falls, it's quite easy to see. Now to some detail:

The album opens with the heavy and intense Leper Affinity, and you really know you're listening to Opeth on this track, with the death metal growls, generic triple time signatures and crunching guitar riffs. This song is quite similar to when it finally kicks in on The Moor from the previous album, however not, in my opinion, as progressive or catchy. A great song nonetheless. (7/10)

Bleak is by a mile one of my favourite all time Opeth tunes. Steven Wilson also features on this song, and he really shows how good a singer he really is. Everything about this song is perfect, from the classic Opeth arrangement of Heavy-Mellow-Heavy to the rhythmical and melodic genius that Mikael has blessed this song with. My favourite bit of the song of course is the rhythmical break between the final melodic section and the closing growling bit: it's the perfect contrast between the two vocal styles. Beautiful. (10/10)

Harvest is a mellow track and possibly the best on the album, very friendly to classic prog ears. This particular song is favoured amongst my anti-growling friends, which tend to enjoy Opeth's acoustic music a lot. If you liked Benighted, then you will like this one also. (10/10)

This one is considered the best on the album by many, but i have to disagree. The Drapery Falls is indeed a great song, but it doesn't really compare with the previous two tracks in my opinion. On the other hand, i love chorus section and the 21/8 part as it does remind us of those classic prog days and is quite reminiscent of early Rush. (7/10)

Dirge For November is possibly the most underated Opeth track. I love it. OK, when the growling finally kicks in it isn't their most melodic work, but when contrasted with the mellow first half, it really does feel balanced out. I have no idea why so many people slate this song, aparently Mikael Akerfeldt himself criticised this song quite heavily. My views are entirely contradictive. (8/10)

A heavy pentatonic riff introduces this tune, once again reminiscent of Rush, and many classic rock fans or Rage Against the Machine fans will enjoy this one. It is just jam packed with great riffs and the things we love Opeth for. Great guitar work and drumming all round, i haven't any complaint about this song. There's not much particularly wonderful about it either. (8/10)

Patterns in the Ivy is a mere filler. Nice though, but i don't really consider it a song, more of a build-up to the sequential Blackwater Park. (5/10)

Blackwater Park is an interesting one, and i don't recall Opeth filling an entire 12 minutes with pure growling very often in their career.I like this song very much though: the guitars are where the melody lies as in a lot of Opeth songs, and that is what you need to look out for. A lot of complex phases and superior riffing and growling from Akerfeldt bring the album to an end. (9/10)

Overall a great album, and i do tend to alternate between it and Still Life quite a lot these days, however this is by no means a replacement Still Life. It does make a worthy sequel though.


4 stars exactly. An excellent addition to any prog music collection.

The Pessimist | 4/5 |


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