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Opeth - Still Life CD (album) cover

STILL LIFE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.33 | 1122 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This is the second album I bought from progressive death metal band Opeth after "Damnation". This album shows you Opeth's true sound at its best. They combine heavy sections (with growled vocals) and beautiful acoustic sections perfectly.

If you think you're afraid of growled vocals, give this a shot anyway. I couldn't stand growls, and then I heard Opeth's Still Life. I've determined that I actually never had anything against the growling itself. I had a problem with the music that (usually) comes along with growling. Opeth is an exception. The music is incredible, and I love the clean and growled vocals of mastermind Mikael Akerfeldt. I thought that I would hate growls as a symphonic prog fan, but here I am giving it a 5 star review. A prog fan with an open mind to music can't turn down the entire tech/extreme prog metal genre without listening to Still Life.

The story of this incredible concept album is one of the greatest I've ever heard (though it is very dark and proves every story doesn't need to end with a happy ending). If you don't want me to spoil this incredible story for you, skip the next paragraph and go to the next.

The story begins with a man who is an atheist, and his entire community hates him because of this. He was tortured in horrible ways, and left the town for years. He returned to see his love, Melinda, to find out she has become a nun or "godhead" as used in the title of the song. He realizes he would be killed if he stayed in the town. The man tries to bring Melinda out of the town, and successfully does so. He finds out that she still does love him though she is a nun, and he is an atheist. Once he awakens he finds she has been taken away and she got killed for being unfaithful to the Council of the Cross. He goes on a rampage and kills as many soldiers as he can before he collapses. When he awakens and gains beck his sanity, the church is there to take him and kill him. As he is being hanged he sees the ghost of Melinda at his side, ready for him to be dead with her. In case you can't tell, this isn't a very uplifting story, but still an excellent one nonetheless. The music and singing lives up to the high expectations of the story. Now I'll do the usual track-by-track review.

"The Moor"- This song begins with a haunting guitar melody, and it only gets better from there. A beautiful acoustic guitar section begins, and then the awesome metal riffs come into play. Mikael's growls sound particularly good on this track.

"Godhead's Lament"- It starts with some heavy metal riffs and growled vocals, but later on has a great guitar solo with acoustic guitars in the background. Clean vocals are very present on this song, and it really shows what a great singing voice Mikael Akerfeldt has.

"Benighted"- This is easily the softest song on the album, and features no growled vocals. It is mostly acoustic, but it has a great jazz electric guitar solo.

"Moonlapse Vertigo"- This song has possibly the best opening on the album. The proggy guitar solo opening has many tempo changes and has dark and light themes. This has great singing, along with growling. I also like the drumming on this track a lot. "Face of Melinda"- This song, like "Benighted", has no growled vocals. Opeth considers it a ballad. It has some metal riffs near the end, but it ends up being used as a build to some more beautiful vocals.

"Serenity Painted Death"- This is possibly the heaviest song on the album, but features a nice acoustic break and has a very emotional guitar solo. I still can't get over how much I love the riff at the beginning of this song. This is quite possibly my favorite track off of this album.

"White Cluster"- This has an intense opening that is simply amazing. I love the double bass pedals on this song. As a result, the drumming really stands out, and the guitar riffs are awesome as well. This features many cool tempo changes. The guitar solo at the very end is very dark. After a fadeout, it has some nice guitar chords, and there you have it, the album is over. This is an excellent way to end a great album.

There's not much more to be said about this album except for "go buy it". You can't say you don't like growled vocals until you listen to Opeth's Still Life. This album opened new possibilities for me and changed my life. This has to be in my top 10 albums that have changed my life forever, because it introduced me to a new genre of music. An incredible album, fully deserving of the highest honors; 5/5 stars.

J-Man | 5/5 |

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