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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover

BLACKWATER PARK

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1198 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alitare
5 stars One must wonder...

What would drive a band to create music that is of high quality and interesting nature? Well, some could say money, and others might say fame. I say that Opeth here, they've done it because they love what they listen to, and love what they do.

As such, in the usual Opeth album, you will find many references to cult classic progressive music, such as Comus, Genesis, Camel, etc. This is a nice touch to the deep progressive fan, as it does give you the interest to search for specific influences. Mainly, though, how these people are able to take their influences and adapt them so well to their chosen format.

The songs follow a predictable, but at the same time unpredictable format. They will go from crushingly bleak death metal, to stately Gothic flair and gorgeous acoustic folk/progressive rock passages and interludes. The Leper Affinity showcases this well. The riff takes some time to gain crackling steam, but when it does, this song is a fiery explosion of dark metal. It breaks down into softer catchy melodic progressive rock near the end, going into Bleak, one of the overall prettiest songs on the album, heavy in emotional stirring, with a driving electric riff featured sprawling between acoustic tasteful frills.

Harvest brings forth a great deal of restraint in the mature and haunting feeling it so skillfully produces. Their ability to meld these styles so well is quite the feat, and I commend them on such meticulous and focused effort, and that vocal melody is utterly superb. The Drapery Falls returns to the crunching death metal/soft accentuation mesh that has been seen, previously on the album, but they don't repeat themselves, as the soft mood rock soloing interspersed gallantly is captivating.

Dirge For November begins so beautifully before wrapping itself in ferocious crushing might, slipping back and forth vividly. After such is the single sheer prettiest moment on this fantastic disc. Patterns In The Ivy is an all folk instrumental interlude, and it has such a stirring melodic progression it its quietened ghostly execution. Finally, you've the title track to contend with. It is a monumentally towering behemoth of metal and folk, again, it uses the same overall flow and atmosphere, without drifting aimlessly into needless self referencing and repetition.

I can't find a single completely weak moment in the entire disc. The massive amount of genuinely fantastic work presented is overwhelming, and anyone listening, no matter your preference, will bound to be enticed by their eclectic mixture of enjoyable styles. Not to mention their ability to maintain a solid and coherent atmosphere. the lyrics are very well written, and the compositions are quite complex. They don't get too knotty and technical, but it is deep and easy to get lost in.

If anything, I feel that some of the riffs and death metal segments weren't as creative or as original as they could have been, given the monolithic ideas utilized, but Opeth have crafted a majestic aural world for you to explore.

Best moment - It could very well be all of it.

Worst Moment - The first riff of the album, then pure gold.

***** Weak stars

Alitare | 5/5 |

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