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Opeth - Deliverance CD (album) cover

DELIVERANCE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.76 | 698 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

sleeper
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Blackwater Park was the seminal piece for Opeth and was always going to be a very difficult act to follow up with. To the bands credit, they knew that going with a Blackwater Park 2 would not have been the right decision. The result was the creation of two albums, Damnation and this one, Deliverance, that showcased the separate sides of Opeth. Damnation, released a year after Deliverance, showed up the bands lighter, softer side but on here, its an all out attack.

If anything, though, this album is a bit of a step back, reminiscent of the bands second album, Morningrise, more than any of their others, though it has the clear and precise production of Steven Wilson behind it. The songs are all long, most over 10 minutes, and the softer and acoustic side of the band is kept to a minimum here with the heavy metal intensified over what they normally do. The result is the heaviest and most brutal album in Opeth's discography. In itself, this wouldn't actually be a bad thing but the problem is, it hasn't been executed to well, the main problem being the length of the songs. With the exception of For Absent Friends, which is less than 2:30s, the songs are all at least several minutes too long, normally the result of one or two sections per song (quite often around 2/3ds of the way through the song) being extend far past their usefulness. Another point is that atmosphere is in short supply on here. My Arms, Your Hears, Still Life and Blackwater Park are all brilliant albums because of the tangibly melancholic atmosphere to them, yet this is completely lacking here, like they made no attempt to go for it. It may be that they didn't want to, at least not in a similar way to previously, but they were exceptional at it so the sudden dropping of this quality in their music is keenly felt. My one other main gripe is that Master's Apprentice was set up to be a classic song in Opeth's repertoire, but was ruined by the excessive and tasteless over indulgence in the double-bass drumming at the start, something that is so out of touch with what the other three musicians are doing that wander if Martin Lopez was paying attention at all. The first crack in his armour that led to him leaving the band, perhaps?

It would be a bit disingenuous to say this was a bad album, because there are several parts of wonderful music, for instance Master's Apprentice is largely a very good song, as is Wreath and Deliverance, but there isn't a single full length track on here without some kind of flaw to it, whether it be overextended sections or inappropriate playing. I touched on the lack of atmosphere earlier and the major cause of its absence, I believe, is the fact that Damnation and Deliverance should never have been recorded. Opeth's brilliance comes entirely from contrasts between heavy and soft, smooth and coarse, and separating out these two aspects has not led to excellent music, in both cases you feel like something is missing. I rate Deliverance less than Damnation simply because it has more problems, but neither gets much listening in from me. 2.5 stars rounded down to 2.

sleeper | 2/5 |

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