Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Opeth - Still Life CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.30 | 1652 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars I've felt underwhelmed by Still Life ever since my first encounter with this release and I'm afraid that I will continue feeling this way about it. The material is just not as likable to my ears as Opeth's later work and I lack the great hooks that the band is so good at delivering both instrumentally and through Mikael's vocal intonations. What surprises me about the band's pre-Blackwater Park material is that everything I like about Opeth is already in place like the long song format, unique style, skillful playing. Still the combination of these particles isn't yet perfected and the songs easily loose a sense of direction every time we get a new transition section. This last part could be explained by the fact that the band was eager to show off their skills while loosing the general composition flow in the process.

Even though I seem to be displeased with only a few of these compositions the problem is actually more in the general tone that this album offers. Therefore there are only marginal differences between the good and excellent material for me here. Still, it would be a lie if I claimed that there weren't a few magnificent moments featured on Still Life. One of my all-time favorite Opeth tracks titled White Cluster is definitely as great as this band can ever be. This composition gives us an awesome riff that kicks things off and the vocal hooks easily carve this song's title among the band's greatest masterpieces!

This review made me realize to my own amusement that I seem to only really be a fan of Opeth's short-lived period Steve Wilson-era that began with the release of Blackwater Park. Still Life was definitely a step in the right direction but I feel like the lyrical content overshadows the instrumental moments. I don't consider myself a big fan of Mikael's lyrics to begin with since they seem very ambitions on paper but ultimately come off sounding very pretentious. Even Mikael himself admitted a few times that in his later interviews and even during the Progressive Nation 2009 concert here in Stockholm that he himself wonders what he meant by some of his early scribblings.

Still Life is an interesting album for everyone who is already familiar with the band and wants to go on and explore the origin of Opeth and their sound. This is definitely a great time to do this since the album was re-released in 2008, with reworked album artwork by original artist Travis Smith and, besides the remastered stereo mix of the original album, has a second CD added in a form of an Audio DVD containing a 5.1 surround sound mix of the album.

***** star songs: White Cluster (10:02)

**** star songs: The Moor (11:28) Godhead's Lament (9:47) Face Of Melinda (7:59) Serenity Painted Death (9:14)

*** star songs: Benighted (5:01) Moonlapse Vertigo (9:00)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this OPETH review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives