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Opeth - Deliverance CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.77 | 946 ratings

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The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 1. Wreath (11:10) 2. Deliverance (13:36) 3. A Fair Judgement (10:24) 4. For Absent Friends (instrumental) (2:17) 5. Master's Apprentices (10:32) 6. By The Pain I See In Others(13:51)

I don't really know how to describe this album... I love, but i hate it. I love it because of it's significance in Opeth's career (more on that later). I hate it, however, because some of Opeth's best moments are in here, but buried beneath some really awful stuff at the same time. Ideally, I would say that A Fair Judgement, Deliverance and By The Pain are brilliant songs that are suffocated by the other three tracks of just utter wrecklessness: this album is the first and only one i've heard where the band lack sophistication and sound like regular death-metal. Even the debut Orchid has a higher degree of prog that the worst parts of this album, and some bits even go as far as unlistenable. Anyways, enough of the negativity. Now to the positives.

Around 40% of the material on this album is absolutely bliss and very original, 20% of it is some of their best work. The title track is easily in my top 5 Opeth songs, By The Pain has an awesome catchy riff and A Fair Judgement is a semi-ballad, not unlike the earlier To Bid You Farewell. Also, this is a clear vehicle for the rest of the band, more notably Mikael Akefeldt, as Deliverance really and truly develops his songwriting skills, which enabled him to create their next masterpiece Ghost Reveries. But, the most noticeable change in musicianship is in that of Martin Lopez. I personally don't know what happened before they recorded Deliverance, someone must've have tripped a nerve or something; he is ON FIRE!!! Need any more be said? he's even more reckless, tireless and energetic than ever before, which is a major upside to this album.

Now for a brief track by track:

1. Wreath - Appalling, absolutely appalling. There is no thought involved compared to the rest of Opeth's repetoire, and you have to wait till about the 5 minute mark before it even gets remotely interesting, then it once again just slips into a typical metal mess. No. Really not a very good effort at all, i would expect better from Mikael. However, not the worst song on this album. 1/10

2. Deliverance - Just as you're about to take the CD out of the tray after hearing Wreath, you uncover this timeless gem. It kicks off with an aggressive 7/8 metal riff that then leads into some more awesome riffs powered by Lopez's drumming. This, personally, is enough to keep me hooked, but then just before the 2 minute mark we hear Mikael's lush clear voice, interrupted briefly by short bursts of aggression. The song progresses beautifully through some really great melodies and rhythmic passages until it reaches that riff that everyone's talking about. The Deliverance riff, and it is what Opeth fans make it out to be: excellent. I'll leave it at that, a flawless song. 10/10

3. A Fair Judgement - This is kind of a ballad. I say that because it has no growling, has a slow beat and is mellow most of the time, but it also has it's extremely heavy moments, much like Face Of Melinda. It is worth noting that this song has one of Opeth's more godlike guitar solos, so it cannot be ignored! The only complaint i have is the really lame piano sound at the beginning. It sounds very tinny and occupies almost 20% of the song. 8/10

4. For Absent Friends - A disappointment, I found it very pointless. Normally, the short songs in other albums link songs very nicely together, e.g. Madrigal from MAYH. However, this is very bland and doesn't do ANYTHING for the album. Other than that it's also the title of a Genesis song of similar length. I honestly don't know what Mikael Akefeldt was thinkin if i'm honest. 0/10

5. Master's Apprentices - Another awful track, it gets very boring. It also provides us with a lesson on how NOT to use a double bass pedal, as much as i love Martin Lopez, he shows no respect for the song in the first few minutes. It mellows down about half way through, but once again, it presents nothing new and i'd rather listen to the rest of Opeth's catalogue. Overall a very unoriginal belch from Mikael's imagination. 2/10

6. By The Pain I See In Others - This song owns Opeth's catchiest riff ever. I exaggerate slightly, because it probably isn't, but i can't get enough of it! Shame it only lasts for abou a minute. This is actually pretty mellow, it has a lot of mellow sections, which is good in a way because it heals your ears after listening to Master's Apprentices. Other than being very melodic, there is one other thing that stands out: Mikael does something very unusual with his voice during the first mellow section, a growl which he has never used before. You may want to listen out for it due to general interest. Overall, a strong track, putting aside the few minutes of nothingness. 8/10

So as you can see, it has one high moment that is worth buying the album for. Other than that though, it's either really good or terrible, the terrible parts unfortunately outweighing the good bits. I'll give it a generous three stars, as it should be 2, but Deliverance saves it from those murky depths.

The Pessimist | 3/5 |


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