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Opeth - The Roundhouse Tapes CD (album) cover

THE ROUNDHOUSE TAPES

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.08 | 204 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 'The Roundhouse Tapes' - Opeth (8/10)

Having been lucky enough to see this fantastic band live in concert, I naturally compare any recorded live material this band has to offer to the actual performance I witnessed. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the band is one of my favourites (at the time of writing this review; third favourite band after Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree) I was a bit dissapointed with the live concert I went to see. The sound was not that great, their setlist was a bit harsh (skipping great songs like 'Serenity Painted Death' and 'Ghost Of Perdition' for less memorable songs such as 'Wreath') and while Mikael Akerfeldt's performance was fantastic (his humourous banter with the audience was among the most memorable parts of the show) the band's performance as a whole sounded a bit sloppy.

As a whole, it was a bit dissapointing to see one of my favourite bands live and realize that they are only 'fantastic' as a studio band. As well, the 'Lamentations Live' CD I have also affirmed my belief that the band isn't too great live. Keeping all of this in mind, it came as a suprise that 'The Roundhouse Tapes' actually turned out to be a fantastic recording of a great performance.

The band is in top-gear for this show. I must have missed the band at their peak when I went to see them live, but 'The Roundhouse Tapes' is a real treat for any fan of the band's work. There is everything you can hope for in an Opeth concert, including Akerfeldt's famous wit.

While there's still alot of stuff here I prefer in studio (I am rating this from a live-album perspective) there's actually stuff here that sounds alot better live than it EVER did in studio. In particular, 'Under The Weeping Moon' is a fantastic Opeth song, but it was hindered at the time of it's studio recording by rather lacking production quality (a burden that the entirity of 'Orchid' suffered from, unfortunately...) but live, one can appreciate the composition to it's brim. 'The Night And The Silent Water' is another gem from the performance; the epic finale in particular. The build-up is complimented greatly by the reverb that the venue gave the instruments; an effect that can't be replicated in studio without sounding contrived and lame.

While this isn't 'essential' in the overall kingdom of progressive music, as far as live progressive music goes, this is one of the best live albums I've listened to in the genre, or even metal for that matter. Great renditions of a great set-list.

Conor Fynes | 5/5 |

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