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Opeth - Watershed CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.95 | 1113 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Opeth is a band that could very easily get stuck in a rut and put out the same music constantly. In the past, that is what they have done.

Thankfully not for Watershed.

Mikael Akerfeldt has long been known to have a sense of humor, though that has been hidden in the layers of lyrics about Satan and death and so forth. Here, at last, the band seems to sit back a little and actually enjoy themselves on a record. Not only that, but they go ahead and try some new things out. Some people don't really appreciate these little ideas, but since I am always looking for bands who progress not on account of playing in an awkward time signature but in trying new and creative things, this mindset makes Watershed a particularly entertaining album to me.

The new drummer, Axenrot, steps up to the plate here for this album, too. He's good and talented and very fast. The new guitarist, Fredrik, happens to be good and talented and very fast, as well. With the addition of these fellows, the band runs the risk of being a more conventional speedy death metal outfit. Thankfully, Mikael's not letting that happen. The album opens with Coil, featuring a female singer for the first time in Opeth history. The next track, Heir Apparent, is classic Opeth. The Lotus Eater features odd combinations of really fast death metal and really gentle clean vocals, as well as a funky midsection. This song proved to me that Opeth is not letting themselves play the same game they always have.

Next comes Burden, a wonderful clean track with traces of Camel and Yes. Mikael's voice has never, ever sounded so good, to my ears. It concludes with a silly repetition of a guitar lick while the guitar is being downtuned, an element that bothers some people and tickles the fancy of others. From there, the album continues to be interesting and quality, while not as unique.

This album gets four stars from me not because it's a perfect album, but because Opeth finally put out a CD with their hearts in the place I most like them: looking for ways to be creative. I can enjoy standard music, but I highly recommend adventurous songwriting.

Out of all of Opeth's releases, this is my most highly recommended.

LiquidEternity | 4/5 |


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