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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover

BLACKWATER PARK

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1219 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

LiquidEternity
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I find this album to be an improvement on Still Life. The moods toyed with are a bit wider in variety, the melodies much stronger and more interesting, and the heavy parts less repetitive.

The sound quality is much more interesting here, too. Much more dynamic than the sonically flat Still Life, though not nearly as intriguing as more modern Opeth albums have been able to sound. The inclusion of Steven Wilson on the production and some backing vocals seem to be a large part of what gives this album the punch that was missing from Still Life.

The riffs here seem uniquely inspired. Blackwater Park opens with The Leper Affinity, kicking off its running time with an odd and dissonant guitar bit that might be one of the most interesting refrains the band has developed. Bleak features some beautiful vocal work, with more creative use of growls and wonderful vocal harmonies throughout. The Drapery Falls starts with a long clean section before kicking into some classic Opeth metal (this is the song that features the Russian sort of riff, a personal favorite of mine as well). The title track is fat wall of Opeth metal and beautiful acoustic guitar.

Somehow this album, despite not having the lush and haunting keyboards of Per Wiberg that later ones feature, contains appropriate moods and feelings in the very music, something the band did not seem to get right before this album. There still are only two instruments that run the lead: heavily distorted electric guitars and gentle acoustic guitars. The bass guitar, however, in total rebellion against long-standing metal tradition, is both audible and interesting. The drums to me seem bare bones and uncreative for the most part, though I've heard many swear by them. Mikael's growls are impressive, sure, but his clean voice always gets my vote. Absolutely perfect for the band on both sides.

So in the end, I think this the best release the band put out until Ghost Reveries, but then, that is not a very common way of looking at it.

LiquidEternity | 3/5 |

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