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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover

BLACKWATER PARK

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1205 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Blackwater Park is the fifth album from progressive death metal band Opeth. The album was released in 2001. There were a couple of years in the late nineties and in the new milinium were I got tired of both prog rock and metal. Those are the two genres of music that I have always loved the most but I was feed up at the time and needed a break from both. I still listened to certain favorite bands during my break ( bands like Genesis, Psychotic Waltz, Atheist, Cynic, Death and Nevermore) but generally I didn´t listen to those two genres. I buried myself in electronic music, Trip Hop, New Wave, Goth rock. Anything that sounded different from what I had been used to listening to. I learned a lot in those years and wouldn´t be without the musical experinces I encountered but I always wondered when I would find the spark again and begin to appreciate the genres that I left behind. Blackwater Park was the turning point for me. This exact album re-ignited my interest in both metal and prog rock. I had listened to lots of experimental metal in the nineties and heard lots of metal bands experiment with progressive rock sections in their music but no one ever did it this convinsingly.

A friend of mine bought Morningrise in 1996 and he loved the album and played it to me, but I was not very interested at the time, so my first encounter with Opeth wasn´t very succesful. My next encounter with Opeth was hearing Bleak from Blackwater Park on some sampler and this impression was much stronger. I was in fact blown away by Bleak. What a powerful and brutal song but then in the middle there´s suddenly a melodic progressive metal part with lots of progressive rock moments. I was totally sold. From that day I have of course purchased all Opeth´s albums and I think they are a very unique force that makes some of the most beautiful extreme metal I have ever heard ( and I´ve heard a lot). Blackwater Park will always mean something special to me. First of all because it´s a great album but also because it meant that I got back on the right track ( so to speak) and began collecting metal and progressive rock albums again and following the scenes even more intensely than before. I promise I will never stray from the path again ( LOL).

The music on Blackwater Park is death metal with many progressive moments. Lots of beautiful acoustic parts, both death growls and clean vocals and of course crushingly heavy riffing. The mood is generally melancholic and there are some beautiful guitar leads that creates the emotional moods in the songs. Opeth generally makes long songs and there are several songs that clock in at about 10 minutes. This means that there are lots of time for the songs to unfold. Lots of different sections in every song makes the songs exciting and they never get repetitive.

All the songs are great but I do have a couple of favorites. Bleak is a highlight for me first of all because it´s a great song but also because of the above mentioned reasons. The Drapery Falls is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Soaringly beautiful guitar leads and great acoustic parts. The vocals from Mikael Åkerfeldt is extremely beautiful on this track. Harvest stands out a bit from the rest too as it is the only song with no growls and probably a great place to start for more conventional prog rock fans.

The musicianship is excellent. The pace is generally slow to mid but the guitar riffs are still pretty challenging and sophisticated. This counts for both the distorted and the acoustic guitar parts. The drums from Martin Lopez are great and really enhances the music.

The production is great even though I think it lacks a bit of bottom. Steven Wilson ( Porcupine Tree) is the producer and it´s obvious to hear that he is the man behind the sound if you´re used to listening to Porcupine Tree. He also contributes with some piano, guitar and vocals.

Blackwater Park is one of the most important albums in my collection and I hold it in very high regard. This is a true masterpiece of progressive music and of course it deserves a 5 star rating from me.

UMUR | 5/5 |

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