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Opeth - The Roundhouse Tapes CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.10 | 217 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Could have been (a lot) better

Live albums are usually tricky to rate for 2 reasons, mainly: 1) you probably were not there, so you lose a great deal of energy from the gig only listening to it (you don't have human contact, you can't see the band play, etc) and, therefor, your whole perception of the show is considerably narrowed; 2) you may not like the whole setlist, think they left some song behind or that they didn't played the song you like the way you like. One way or another, all live albums will have those 2 problems in some degree, and Opeth's only live album to date, The Roundhouse Tapes, is no exception to that rule.

Though Opeth made a great job by playing songs from almost every album they released (there is not a single song from Deliverance), thus trying to please every kind of fan they have, i think they should play a longer concert because there were a big number of songs that were left behind, like The Drapery Falls or The Moor, my favorite Opeth songs. The Moor would actually make a better opening song for the gig than When, that should be played right after, and The Drapery Falls would make a better closing song than Demon of the Fall, so it should be played right after Demon of the Fall. Maybe with those two songs I would rate this live album as a masterpiece, but who knows. . . However, the setlist of The Roundhouse Tapes is not so bad after all, being reasonably pleasant for every Opeth fan.

This live album also have some pretty good features, like the participation of Per Wiberg and his keyboards / organs in every song, making all old Opeth songs even better than what they were, probably because he uses the keyboards in a non-intrusive way, making, mainly, the harmonic basis for all other instruments, what makes the music sound thicker or gives it more energy, but not in an aggressive way.

Another good feature of this live album is that you can see (hear) in first hand Mike Ankerfeldt good humor and sympathy towards the fans and the audience in general.

The Roundhouse Tapes also show us how the band is made of competent live musicians: not a single mistake in the instrumental department nor in the vocal department. About the vocals, it is important to note that Mike Ankerfeldt vocals are even better live than in studio, because (or, at least, it appears to be so) the thrill of the live concert makes him sing and growl with more emotion.

The highlights go to: Ghost Of Perdition, Bleak, The Night And The Silent Water, Windowpane and Blackwater Park.

Grade and Final Thoughts

The only live album released by Opeth is a good enough album by itself, without adding any song i mentioned. There is no question that the band has the potential to meke a better album still, so to rate this as a masterpiece would be a mistake. For those reasons, 4 stars seems a fitting grade to me.

CCVP | 4/5 |


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