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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1566 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I was a bit weary when my brother introduced me to this band, knowing it was labelled death-metal, I had visions of terrible distorted music with death-grunts and growls, continious metal without rest-points, or decent build up of songs, boring pointless solo's that lacked melodie, and more nightmare scenario music.

But in fact it's quite the opposite, yes, the music sounds distorted at times, yes there are death grunts and growls, but not in a negative way, it actually adds to the music, and helps to create the right atmosphere. Concerning the continious metal without resting points and boring pointless solo's, let's just call it prejudice, for there are enough slower, softer passages to warrant breathing time, and prevent the album from getting boring.

For the most part, Blackwater Park sounds like metal sounds, with some similarities with Metallica, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, and Anthrax, with some grunting added, but also some Pink Floyd influences are heard. Accoustic and more relaxed passages (guitar and piano) are used as bridges between the more heavy parts, so you get a well-balanced mix of heavy parts, heavy melodic parts, and softer melodic parts. (don't like this sentence, but it is aproximatly what I mean ;-))

The album kicks right in, with dark heavy guitar sounds, grunting vocals, mostly the guitars take the lead, with a warm dark sound and melodic overtones, that make it all work very well. Besides the obligatory grunting (if that's how you call it), half of the vocals are sung in a 'normal' manner, the singing reminds me to the singing on Riverside's 'Out Of Myself' (actually the other way around, since this album is older, but it does sound somewhat alike). Besides heavy electric guitars, lots of rhythmic accoustic guitar is used aswell.

Lots of sounds happening in the background, some piano, and floydian atmospherics, especially on Harvest, my favourite song of the album, a rhythmic accoustic guitar ballad, with a soft electric guitar solo above the accoustic base, a very melodic warm song. And this is heard also on the titel song of the album.

Best songs of the album are the heavy 'The Leper Affinity', 'Bleak' and 'The Drapery Falls' and the softer ballad Harvest. The instrumental 'Patterns in Ivy' is another highlight, accoustic guitar acompagnied by some nice piano play. The only bad song on this album is 'Dirge For November' which bores me to rages of tears.

To conclude this review. This is basicaly a great metal album, which also contains some softer parts that make it for me more easy to digest, I rate it as four stars, with a little warning to non-metal proggers, but a positive recommendation to all metalic proggers out there. This is good metal.

tuxon | 4/5 |


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