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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover

BLACKWATER PARK

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.21 | 1804 ratings

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King Brimstone
1 stars - Review #19 -

"OOOOOUUUUUGGGHHHHH"

After the excellent Still Life, Opeth released Blackwater Park, their heaviest (and most popular) album. Like I said, it's very heavy. So get ready to hear Mikael stub his toe and release agonizing screams in multiple points of the album. Surprisingly, Blackwater Park is actually one of my least favorite Opeth albums. I just can't seem to enjoy it as much as their other highly-regarded albums, like Still Life or Ghost Reveries. I know every song in this album, but because of separate listens, not full listens.

The Leper Affinity is actually one of the best songs by the band, so it's a very strong start to the album. The first four minutes to be more specific, are absolutely godly. Highly dynamic, melodic, brutal, and mellow all at once. After that it goes to a soft, The Moor-ish section, only to pick up steam again by reprising the beginning of the song.

After one of the most underrated songs by the band, we get *sigh*... One of the most overrated songs by the band. Bleak. Maybe I feel like I would like it more if it didn't repeat itself as much as it did, because the first three minutes are the exact same riff over and over again (a riff that, by the way, sounds a lot like the main riff in Dream Theater's "Home"). Eventually, around the three minute mark it enters a more melodic section where Steven Wilson does main vocals. It's such a bizarre combination since the instrumentation is really heavy but the vocals are soft and fragile. It confuses me.

Eventually we get to the ballad, Harvest. Repetitive, but it's meant to set you in a melancholic state so it's understandable. The main chorus and the verse are pretty basic, but they're good nonetheless.

Then we get to another incredibly overrated Opeth song, The Drapery Falls. Truly dark and mellow song, I can't deny that. The first six minutes really transport you into a hopeless world with their godly ambience. Unfortunately the chorus and everything after minute mark 6:00 isn't very memorable. The song ends with a repeated riff that doesn't add too much to the content of the song.

The next track, Dirge For November, is a bizarre one. Is it meant to be a ballad? No, it features growls. Is it meant to be a heavy track? Not really, most of the song is soft and without intention of being bone-breaking. So what is this track? It has a very beautiful beginning and the instrumentation behind the chorus is great, but for the first time I feel like the growls actually ruin the song. If it had clean vocals all the way through it would've been a great ballad.

Next up we get the most un-memorable track of the album, The Funeral Potrait. Was this made by Dream Theater? That main riff sounds taken straight out of Metropolis Pt. II. I don't care much about this track, but I must say that around the minute mark 6:50, Mikael and Steven sing a very good melody that ends up being the stand out of the song.

Before the title track, we get a small interlude called Patterns In The Ivy. It's... yeah it's pretty much an acoustic break for when you're doing full listens.

Finally, the album ends with the heaviest (and in my opinion, greatest) song the band has ever made, Blackwater Park. It's such a brutal and dark song that it ends the album in an incredibly high note. Some of the best riffs I've ever heard are in this song, and the last four minutes are sheer and absolute brutality. The ambience is perfect, the riffs are perfect, the growls are dark and actually very fitting to the track and lyrics... it's a perfect song for me. In fact if it wasn't because of this song I probably would've given this album two stars.

So in the end, my opinion is: Definitely a good and solid album with its stand-outs and shining moments, but the amount of un- memorable content is worryingly large. With that said, it's a two star album.

King Brimstone | 1/5 |

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