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Opeth - Ghost Reveries CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.27 | 1689 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars YES!

This is the one. This is the Opeth album that truly goes beyond their normal formula and ventures fully into prog. This is the Opeth album I've been waiting for. Ferocious, brutal, gentle, delicate, complicated, everything you oculd want it's here. Mellotron in abundance floats over every track. There are bone-crushing riffs all over the place, as well as three purely quiet tracks that could not sound better. Their creativity is superb, every song has a different feel and tone to it that makes this album NEVER get boring. The transitions between light and dark sections are more seamless than ever before, msotly because of the added amounts of clean vocals in heavier sections. Sometimes the clean vocals in heavier sections are used brilliantly (Ghosts of Perdition) and other times, not so well (Reverie/Harlequin Forest).

Opeth has never been more in touch with their proggier side. Like I said mellotron everywhere, great original compositions, long songs, astounding musicianship, flute, great harmonies, varied instruments, everything a prog song needs this album has in abundance. The vocals are the best second only to Daniel Gildenlow. Everything flows together seamlessly, and it never feels like the band struggled to think of their songs, though I'm sure they did. This feels, much like Blackwater Park, like music of the soul, that it just poured out of Opeth's minds and was perfect. This is metal for a progger, or prog for a metalhead. Opeth is by far one of the most original, creative and beautiful bands of this generation...nevermind generation, century! If you can sit down and listen to this and says it's bad, there's somethign wrogn with you. I'm sorry, no exceptions. The subtle touches, the inner beauty or brutal-ness, whatever, everything works and makes for an amazing musical experience.

Ghosts of Perdition: This song starts out with al ittle bit of piano, but quickly busts out into a heavy section with great death vocals by Mikael. The riffs here are truly heavy and awesome in every where. The drumming has gotten better and better every album, and this song shows it. At around one minute, it gets softer and we here Mikael's singing for a bit, which has never osunded better and more natural. Then we get our first taste of mellotron, seamlessly blended with heavy guitar work. Soon it gets heavy again with more singing and harmonies abound, but at around 2:30 we get a taste of the most beautiful melody every invented, with Mikael gently singing, "Higher...higher...". This goes on for awhile then we get some more heavy riffs with singing and works well. I really love the drumming here too. At 6:00 the melody andd singing here is phenomenal! At around 6:25 one of the heaviest sections on the whole album comes in, and it rocks. At 9:06, the gentle "Higher..." melody comes in again, and it always makes me kinda's that good. The song ends a little lamely, but hey, the rest of the song easily makes up for it.

The Baying of the Hounds: This starts with a great heavy riff and a really heavy section. Two minutes in, another great combo of singing, mellotron and heavy guitars is here. Quickly, some layered singing comes in with absolutely perfect harmonies comes in. A brief guitar solo. 3:20, it gets soft with some nice keyboard work. Mikael comes in with some of the best singing I've ever heard. His voice never fails to amaze me. The song is heavy for awhile after 5:30, which of course rocks. It gets soft for a bit, but ends massively heavy. Like, crushingly so. Awesome, amazing song.

Beneath The Mire: This song has a sort of Middle Eastern feel to it made by the mellotron, which really is used a lot on this song. The heavy section with distorted and acoustic guitars at around 0:45 is simply amazing, one of the best heavy sections. When Mikael starts growling, the music gets even more ferocious, and it works well. Mikael starts singing again at 2:40, which kinda works well ,but not quite as well as you'd help. First example of a big complaint I have with this album. 3:30 it goes soft with amazing vocals. The rest of thew song is pretty standard, good heavy sections and heavy mixed with clean vocals. The only thing left worth noting is the ending, which sounds like something straight off Relayer. It's definitely something new for Opeth, and caught me completely off guard.

Atonement: Ahh, my favorite light song that stretches on too long. This takes the Middle-Eastern feel of the last song and amplifies it pretty greatly. The guitarwork is truly outstanding here, Mikael's voice is quite good here, but not quite as good as the other songs. The distortion he adds kinda sounds weird. It goes on, kinda repetitive for ahwile, then busts into a new melody at around 5:00 right after some great piano work. If this song was 4:00 long, it'd be perfect. No such luck. Still amazing, however.

Reverie/Harlequin Forest: Ahh, within this song lies my chief complaint with this album. Singing where singing should not be used. I never thought I'd say that, but it's true. The singing works only about 50% of the time on this song during the heavy sections. The whole song also feels kinda uninspired to me. Even the slow lighter section seems kinda dull, which hadn't happened yet on this album. 7:00 is an example of a section where death vocals should have been used but weren't. All they'd have to do would be to make everything a little more nasty and it would have been perfect...coupled with death vocals. This song kidna fades out with some odd start stop cuitar playing a la Meshuggah, but it's not too Meshuggah-esque. Not a bad song, could be better by Opeth standards.

Hours of Wealth: Another all acoustic/light song. This one drags a bit too, but it's not too bad. It mostly focuses on subtle usage of flutes, piano, mellotron and other instruments and guitar work which sounds great. Mikael's voice is much betetr here than on Atonement, although I like Atonement more altogether. The harmonies are truly inspiring on this song. It just should have stopped a little earlier. "But I'm alone...and far from home...", so beautiful.

The Grand Conjuration: Interesting song, very MAYH Opeth sound. Keyboard work is quite good. This song also truly feels like a mysterious conjuration. It's got a lot of traditional Opeth heaviness, whch is neccesarily bad, but there isn't really enough material here to justify a 10 minute song. More like 7 or so, but it's not TOO bad. There's not much to say about this song because it doesn't do that much. It is probabaly the most evil song ever, and it gets bonus points for that, heh.

Isolation Years: Sounds right off Damnation. Fairly pretty, and a good way to close the album. It's not as good as the other two light songs, but it's not bad. My least favorite track, however.

Soft sections: 9/10 Heavy sections: 8/10 (they're a LITTLE lacking on some songs) Lasting Appeal: 8/10 (If anything it's grown on me) Musicianship: 10/10 (They've gotten more and more talented every album) Creativity/Originality: 10/10 Ghosts of Perdition: 10/10 Baying of the Hounds: 10/10 Beneath The Mire: 10/10 Atonement: 9.5/10 Reverie/Harlequin Forest: 8/10 Hours of Wealth: 9.5/10 The Grand Conjuration: 8/10 Isolation Years: 7/10

9 + 8 + 8 + 10 + 9 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 9.5 + 8 + 9.5 + 8 + 7 = 116. 116/130 = 89.4 = 89/100 = 45/50 = 4.5/5. Final score: 4/5. Essential, definitely, but I can't give this a 5/5 simply because BWP is better, and in my opinion a band can only have one or two masterpieces, and this album just doesn't quite have that magic feel. It just lives up to my wildest dreams, but it's nothing unbelievable.

FishyMonkey | 4/5 |


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