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Opeth - Deliverance CD (album) cover

DELIVERANCE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.78 | 964 ratings

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FloydWright
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Of the OPETH albums I've heard thus far, Deliverance has been the weakest. That is not to say that it does not have its stunning moments, like any OPETH album does. The trouble is, I think there's something a bit too dry and uninspiring in the mixing that sometimes hampers this album and keeps it from being what it could perhaps be. It's a shame to dock them for these technical difficulties (which are explained in detail on the Lamentations DVD), but it does hurt the final outcome. There's that, and also the fact that it has what I consider to be a weak track: "Wreath". No other OPETH album contains a track I find so difficult excepting "The Apostle in Triumph" on their very first album. While the slower parts of "Wreath" aren't bad at all (in fact, drummer Martín López does some very interesting Asian-style drums in one of these sections) As to what it is about this track that messes it up, though, I think it's the fact that it opens with that growl rather than waiting for later...I can't say why, but that kind of cheapens it. While it's grown on me a bit more, I still don't think it's quite up to their usual standard. And finally, "To Absent Friends" could've had a little bit more to it.

The three highlights are "Deliverance" itself, "A Fair Judgment", and "By the Pain I See in Others". Although the entire song is quite strong, I think, I believe the strongest point of "Deliverance" is its fantastic outro; that strange pattern could drive you out of your mind. I'm not exactly sure what's going on with the time signature there, but there is something very unusual about it, that's for sure. López's transition into this section is very interesting, but the best part is that warped synth effect as the outro gathers strength. I know that a lot of people are bothered by the repetition in that particular part, but I really do enjoy it. "A Fair Judgment" is perhaps best for being a combination of the styles heard on both Deliverance and Damnation. As for "By the Pain I See in Others", there's something about it that is very similar to "Demon of the Fall" in its explosions of a fierce, capricious, and destructive rage--yet it still feels original. This one is also, in my opinion, the lyrical strong point of Deliverance.

There was also another song that I think had a truly excellent part to it: "Master's Apprentices". This song was a bit of a mix, though...I felt that the dryness of the vocal mix (as with "Wreath") hurt it in the beginning, but the guitar layering was extremely interesting, and the odd timing used. The outro harmony, however, was absolutely the most beautiful part of it. Overall, this album does, as a friend of mine said, "blow away most modern metal", and there are some excellent parts indeed, but I think this was a bit of an exercise in missed potential. Perhaps trying to split the concept into a lighter and softer side hurt the metal section a bit, by taking away some of the balance...and then there were the issues with the mixing. After listening to their other particularly heavy album, My Arms, Your Hearse, I realized that this is probably one of the weakest of their efforts that I currently own. But, don't let that put you off TOO much--it's still well worth having if you're into intelligent metal at all.

FloydWright | 3/5 |

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