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Opeth - Deliverance CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.76 | 875 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Your Lame Sister
5 stars A Painfully underrated masterpiece.

After the release of the highly succesful 'Blackwater Park', Mikael Akerfeldt apearently felt that the famed Opeth formula that he established on 'MY Arms, Your Hearse' had run it's course, producing 3 masterful albums in a row. Not wanting to keep on squeezing the formula to death, he decided to experiment with other ideas. thus came the 'Deliverance/Damnation' project, in which the band would create 2 completely different albums, one of them acoustic and mellow, the other metallic and brutal.

As of 25 of July, 2008, this album (the heavier of the pair) is rated lower then any other Opeth album on PA, barring 'Orchid'. this is nothing but an unfortunate - albeit understandable - mistake (In my opinion, of course). Obviously, the decision to focus on death growls and brutal guitar riffs instead of acoustic guitars and clean vocals is the reason that this album is disliked by proggers. fortunately, I have no problem with those elements, and in my mind, this is one of Opeth's greatest album, along with the rest of it's 1998-2002 albums.

'Wreath' Opens the album with the most aggressive intro on any Opeth song, a short drum fill followed by a brutal, fast, yet very catchy guitar riff, in the Morbid Angel style. this already introduces a change from all other Opeth albums: 'Deliverance' relies mostly on RIFFS, instead of the guitar harmonies that infest all of it's predecessors. And guess what? Those riffs are awesome, showing a different, but equally effective side of Akerfeldt's compositional skills. Wreath spends 2 minutes simply celebrating the power of it's brilliant riff, to great effect, before turning into a more typical opeth song, relying on distorted guitar harmonies, double bass drumming and excellent growls (Akerfeldt roars like a caged lion and screams like a dying monster in the middle section of this track. Pure death metal paradise, to my ears), with a few eerie acoustic sections as contrast. 8 minutes is a bit too long for something like this, but it mostly works, and that brilliant guitar riff comes back at the the end, so I'm happy.

The title track continues this brutal style, with another brilliant guitar riff alternating with more typical Opeth material. This time, however, akerfeldt brings in his beautiful clean singing voice into play, in addition to the growls (which are as good as ever, in spite of not being as brutal as the ones on 'Wreath'), serenading over a tricky 7/8 time signature. And this brings forth yet another departure from the typical Opeth formula: This album has more complex rythmics then any other Opeth album, incorporating irregular time signatures, syncopes and polyrythms. Martin Lopez reacts accordingly and enjoys his finest hour, shining on all of the tracks and displaying his impeccable technique and touches of jazzy subtlety. Nowhere is this more obvious then on the the last 3 minutes of the title track, where the band throws in a very complex, Mushugga-like chug, with lopez flawlessly keeping his highly syncopated beat and adding irregular cymbal work, throwing the listener off his feet entirely.

'A Fair Judgement' leaves the brutal style of the last 2 tracks, choosing instead to begin with a pretty, sad piano solo, before the first verse enters, with acoustic guitars, light bass, jazzy drumming, and an incredible singing performance, creating feelings of sadness and hope at same time (and I can't shake the feeling that there's some bitter cynicism in Akerfeldt's voice, too. I love it). this song develops on and on with it's suble twists, incorporating distorted guitars sometimes, but never adding any growls, or any of the aggressive riffs that litter this album. there's some fantastic guitar soloing in the middle (clean at first, then distorted), and then, the ending: the violent distortion of the guitar solo ends abruptly, along with the rest of the band, and only Akerfledt's soft voice and Willson's soft piano are featured. Mikael's voice sounds kinda unusual, like a combination of a melancholic whisper and a weird snarl. they go through one verse, gently, almost fearfully. then the piano stops completely and mikael whispers: here..., followed by a second of silence. And then, finally, an enormous, doom-ish, mammoth of a riff appears, like a huge dinosaur finally awakened, angry, slowly squashing us poor listeners like bugs, with a mad, evil laugh in it's mouth. Lopez has lots and lots of fun on his kit, playing all of his most gigantic-sounding fills over that monster-riff, slowly fading away, leaving me staring at my speakers with my jaws on the floor.

Obviously, after such a devestating climax, we need a bit of a break, so mikael gives us a nice little acoustic song, called For Absent Friends. hooray.

And on we go on our journey, with Master's Apprentices. like 'Wreath', this opens with a brutal, catchy riff, sounding even more like Morbid Angel, with all the fast double bass beneath that slow, devil-ish riff. this riff is actually even better then the 'Wreath' one, IMO, and the song follows suite, being probably the best one on the album (yes, even more then A Fair Judgment). I'm way too lazy to describe this entire masterpiece, so I'll just say that I didn't really like this song when I first heard it (except for that riff. that riff simply kicks you in the balls and forces you to give in to it's evil power), but it's a real grower, due to it's many subtle nuances and twists. so give it a chance.

And last, but certainly not least, there's the oddly-named and absolutely ass-kickin' By The Pain I See In Others. it seems to me that Mikael wanted to play around with the album closer, putting in all those weird distorted growls (yep, distorted growls), Irregular time signatures and low-pitched clean vocals, and ending the song (and the album) with 2 minutes of silence, followed by a minute of bizzare and spooky-as- hell a-cappela vocals. all those stuff are cool, of course, but they are not the reason this song rules so mightily. No, this song rules because it throws waves over waves over waves of AWESOME riffs, more then enough to please even the most extreme metalhead, and because the band plays those riffs with all the power and energy they deserve (especially Lopez), bringing the album to it's spectacular, headbanging closure.

so overall, this is an amazing album, a completely succesful experiment by Akerfeldt, and, unfortunately, the last truly great album by Opeth. Because the next experiment, 'Damnation' while mostly succesful, was not as great as the albums that preceded it, and the following albums (Ghost Reveries and Watershed) saw the band returning to it's diminishing formula, with sufficient, yet disappointing results. 4.5/5

Your Lame Sister | 5/5 |


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