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Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse CD (album) cover

MY ARMS, YOUR HEARSE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.94 | 749 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars My Arms, Your Hearse marked the start of the classic Opeth lineup that would go on to create such classics as Still Life and Blackwater Park.

After the departure of a big chunk of the band's rhythm section the bassist Martin Mendez and drummer Martin Lopez were recruited into the band, although Mendez did not contribute or record any basslines for the album. This had to do with the limited time that he was given to learn the already pre-written lines that eventually were recorded by Mikael Åkerfeldt during the recording sessions. The final result still sounds like an Åkerfeldt album which I guess is all that matters.

The album also marked the first concept recording in Opeth's repertoire and there were a lot more on their way over the next decade. Personally, I've had a surprisingly negative reaction to all of this band's concept album indulgences but there might be other reasons for that as well. First off, I consider the Steve Wilson years to be the peak of Opeth career because Steve managed to fuse together all of the pieces that are incorporated in each and every performance into solid works of art. This is not really the case with My Arms, Your Hearse. Even if the different song sections sound good, the transitions are far from perfect and the compositions lack their own identities outside of the concept album's constraints.

Still my biggest concern with the band's third album is the lack of any real stand-out tracks. The closest to this title would be the songs When, Demon Of The Fall and Credence but all of them have a strange barrier around them that prevents me from getting to the core of these performances and really dig what Opeth is doing here. Oh well, to each his own.

The third album from the Scandinavian maverick simply known as Opeth is definitely an important part of the band's discography but I wouldn't go as far as calling it an excellent piece of music that most people should seek out. The realms of My Arms, Your Hearse should probably be explored only after hearing all of the albums between Still Life and Ghost Reveries. Therefore a good, but non-essential rating is in order on my part.

**** star songs: Prologue (0:59) April Ethereal (8:41) When (9:13) Madrigal (1:25) Demon Of The Fall (6:13) Credence (5:25) Karma (7:49) Epilogue (4:02)

*** star songs: The Amen Corner (8:43)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |

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