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Opeth - Lamentations: Live at Shepherd's Bush CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.06 | 235 ratings

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Jim Garten
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin & Razor Guru
3 stars At a time in their career when their core audience were still reeling from the release of 'Deliverance' a straight forward progressive rock album, Opeth release 'Lamentations', the ideal starting ground for all those who have heard all the debates regarding their musical direction (especially here at Prog-Archives).

Akerfeldt & co took over the Shepherds Bush Empire for an evening and performed two distinctly different sets, opening with a complete performance of 'Damnation', then continuing after the break with their more, er, strident material which made their name and reputation.

Although the opening arpeggio of 'Windowpane' is greeted enthusiastically, the level of applause does diminish as the slower set progresses, even leading Akerfeldt to say about halfway through, "don't worry, we don't always sound like this", and to comment later that 'Deliverance' was a one-off experiment, almost as if apologising for the slower material. This is a shame, as the first set is played faultlessly, Akerfeldt's voice in particular coming over beautifully (the only fault being that the keyboards of Per Wiberg tend to get lost in the mix occasionally).

For Opeth's core following, the second half of the show sees them in fine form - Akerfeldt & Lindgren playing off each other as tightly as you could want, and the combined rhythm section of Mendez & Lopez driving Opeth hard, but never losing cohesion, even during the more complex arrangements (yes - it is possible for extreme metal to be played in other than 4/4 time). As an example of this, you need go no further than the epic 'The Drapery Falls' - love them or loath them, you cannot fault their skills as individual and group players.

The DVD also contains a 'making of' documentary, which is generally exactly as you would expect, but it does portray Steve Wilson (effectively the fifth member of Opeth for these sessions) as not so much a producer/player, more of a mentor/guide - one cannot but wonder how those sessions would have turned out with a different hand on the reins.

Jim Garten | 3/5 |


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