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Opeth - Deliverance CD (album) cover

DELIVERANCE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.76 | 851 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Deliverance is the sixth studio album from Swedish progressive extreme metal band Opeth. Widely recognised as the band´s heaviest effort it´s also one of the least popular albums from Opeth here on PA. The heavy nature of Deliverance is not something that bothers me. In fact I rank Deliverance among the best albums Opeth has yet released. It probably comes down to your musical background. I enjoy extreme metal and Deliverance is not a very extreme album compared to releases from other extreme metal bands. It´s actually a very sophisticated progressive extreme metal album with all the trademarks we´re used to from Opeth like the cleverly build riffing, the long and intriguingly structured songs, the dynamic shifts between heavy parts with death metal growling and mellow melancholic acoustic part with Mikael Åkerfeldt´s beautiful clean singing ( there is also clean singing over the heavy parts). Deliverance is just a notch more brutal than than what we´re used to from the band.

I´ve been listening to Deliverance a few times to make this review ( not that I really needed to as I´ve listened to this album countless times since I got it a few years back) and what struck me after my listening sessions is what a powerful album this is but at the same time how beautiful it is too. It may not have the distinct leads and melodies that made Blackwater Park such a masterpiece, but Deliverance seems a bit more consistent IMO. The only track here that I don´t find very exciting is the short acoustic guitar piece For Absent Friends, but it doesn´t annoy me or anything like that.

The other five songs which are all longer than ten minutes each are IMO some of the best songs Opeth have done yet. The album starts with the most uncompromisingly heavy song Opeth have ever done. Wreath is heavy, doomy and aggressive and it´s one of the few Opeth songs where there are no clean vocals. I think it´s a very powerful song. The title track is up next and it´s just such a classic Opeth track. Catchy heavy parts, mellow beautiful parts, great singing and growling from Mikael Åkerfeldt and of course the ending tech metal section that makes me go crazy every time. I just can´t stop tapping my fingers to the beat. It´s probably the best song on the album, but I enjoy them all so it´s hard to say. A Fair Judgement is up next and it´s a beautiful majestic song which only feautures clean singing. Beautiful soloing, mellow acoustic parts and heavy doomy riffs. Just listen to the ending. They don´t come much more doomy than that if you still want to keep your riffs exciting that is ( I´m an old doom death fan, but quite frankly I´m a bit tired of listening to power chords being held for 20 seconds at a time). I´ve already mentioned my feelings for For Absent Friends so let´s leave it at that. Master's Apprentices starts of with a very heavy section but about middle way through the song we´re treated to some sophisticated melodic parts. Great clean vocals from Mikael Åkerfeldt in this song and a bit of backing choir too. It´s another highlight on Deliverance and a live favorite. The album ends with By The Pain I See In Others which is another great Opeth song. It´s the least interesting of the long songs here but still a great song though.

The musicianship is excellent. Mikael Åkerfeldt of course has to be mentioned. First of all because of his outstanding compositional skills but also because he is a great singer and guitarist too. Drummer Martin Lopez is scolded in a lot of reviews because of his performance on Deliverance and especially because of his excessive use of the double pedal on Wreath and Master's Apprentices. I would like to make a comment about that. First of all it doesn´t bother me, but I do acknowledge that double bass pedalling is an aquired taste. Secondly the blame should be on Mikael Åkerfeldt. If you have seen the documentary part of the Lamentations DVD you will have seen that Mikael Åkerfeldt dictates how Martin Lopez should play his drums, so I´m sure that Mikael wanted the drums to sound exactly like they do.

The production is excellent but again it will be an aquired taste if you enjoy the very metallic approach producer Steven Wilson ( Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, Bass Communion...etc) has chosen. The production certainly enhances the heavy nature of the music. Steven Wilson is also featured on backing vocals, guitars and mellotron on the album.

This is an extremely well crafted album. Great compositions, excellent musicianship and a powerful production. As with any Opeth album it really stands out from the rest. A truly unique album. Once again Opeth prove that they can satisfy both fans of extreme metal and fans of progressive rock. The latter group might be a bit intimidated this time around, but I still think that Deliverance is sophisticated enough to appeal to progressive rock fans as well as extreme metal fans. With no hesitation whatsoever I will rate Deliverance with 5 stars. It´s one of most beloved albums in my collection.

UMUR | 5/5 |

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