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Opeth - Still Life CD (album) cover

STILL LIFE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.33 | 1148 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 10/10

"Still Life" is the album that defines Death Metal, it's fierce style and it's aggressive sound.

Opeth is now regarded as the best and most loved Death Metal band of all time. When it comes to pick their best album, fans are in conflict; Some give the highest praise to the 2001 masterpiece "Blackwater Park", while others prefer "Still Life". The truth is that these two albums are magically equal and very different sounding.

If "Blackwater Park" has a cleaner sound and more accessible melodies, "Still Life" has a rougher production and the music is even more complex and less melodic. "Still Life" still belongs to the first Opeth era, where like I said the sound of their albums isn't at all clean, sounding a lot dirtier, and giving the impression of being more aggressive. The guitars are a little muddy, Akerfeldt's vocals are dirtier sounding as well. Even the drums aren't as precise as they will be in following albums. But "Still Life" wouldn't be the LP it is without these characteristics.They actually accentuate the Death Metal, while the progressiveness is really just context, highlighting more the structure of the songs, the buildings, the hooks, more than the music itself. It is in fact Progressive Death Metal only because all these seven songs are pretty long and have a complex and almost hard to follow structure, but its typical of an Opeth album: a quiet, melancholic, acoustic moment can follow immediately a bunch of different aggressive metal hooks, enriched by Akerfeldt's growling. But the singer also gives us great. great clean singing, in the softer moments that are here abundantly present.

"Still Life" is a concept album, about a man that had been banished from his theocratic town because of his misbelieves. He goes back after fifteen years to look and hook up once again to the one he loved, Melinda. I'll only say the end is quite sad, but it's still a great story. The album is solid as a rock, these seven songs are all immense monoliths; from the opener "The Moor", the eleven minute epic, features slow passages, as well as fast, heavy ones. "Godhead's Lament" works pretty much the same way, in nine minutes, another fantastic song. "Moonlapse Vertigo" is another classic, thanks to it's more memorable melodies. "Serenity Painted Death" is probably the fiercest and heaviest song here, while "Benighted" is the softest acoustic piece. "Face Of Melinda" is another acoustic piece with more than a few jazz influences. "White Cluster" ends the albums marvelously, with its epic ten minutes of death metal heaven.

"Still Life" is the album that defines Death Metal, it's fierce style and it's aggressive sound, the album that made the genre widely more popular and appreciated. Whether you like the music or not, it's historical importance precedes it. Essential for whoever is into metal music, and for who wants to find a good place to start listening to Opeth and Death Metal in general.

EatThatPhonebook | 5/5 |

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