Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Opeth - Ghost Reveries CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1634 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars One of the first things I noticed immediately when I started Ghost Reveries was a definite Lateralus vibe, though in a heavier context. If you like TOOL's album, then you should definitely try this one. I noticed right off in "Ghost of Perdition", the keys are used to better effect in the hard songs than they have been with previous albums; the music is no less brutal, but this enhances the atmosphere. The growling is there, but AKERFELDT also seems to be further exploring his clean vocals. MARTIN MENDEZ' bass ventures into DE FARFALLA territory here--he manages to make his bass sound fretless even though I don't believe that's what he plays. On "The Baying of the Hounds", an overdriven Hammond enhances the guitar. The brutality of Deliverance is evident in the lyrics. More of the Lateralus vibe shows up in the way the guitar is used. This was the only song I didn't find that amazing, but it was definitely solid.

"Beneath the Mire" shows the incorporation of the Middle-Eastern vibe from Damnation's "Closure" into a harder setting. I'm not quite as much of a fan of the way PER WIBERG is mixing his Mellotron (I would've put in more reverb like STEVE WILSON did on Damnation), but it's certainly not a bad idea. There also seems to be a revisiting-with harder backing-to a riff from the opening of "The Drapery Falls". There's something surprisingly bluesy in the guitar in the soft section (which revisits on "Hours of Wealth"). Some argue OPETH isn't breaking new ground.but I think the blues and the Middle Eastern work are the new contributions. There is an utterly haunting outro with an almost "Interstellar Overdrive" interlude feel with the guitar tone reminiscent of PINK FLOYD's SYD BARRETT, and the keyboard textures certainly help the impression.

"Atonement"...what can I say other than it's my favorite track on here? This is a totally new atmosphere for OPETH-almost Zen (think of the long spaces where that simple humming/buzzing is left alone), and very uplifting in its lyrics: this is someone coming around from their previous evil. It's even more strongly Middle Eastern, in a purer, even more melodic form. The only thing I don't like as much is the Farfisa-sound WIBERG uses, but it is fitting to the song because it matches with the distorted vocals. Drummer MARTIN LOPEZ takes the Arab style heard in the "Wreath" interlude on Deliverance to center stage, and it works fantastically. The best moments, though, are the gorgeous, simple, wordless unfiltered vox! Perhaps the closest comparison in the OPETH catalogue, as far as feeling, is "Epilogue" from My Arms, Your Hearse. Subtle vibraphones and pianos from WIBERG really fill the song in.well, as much as one would want to fill in such an airy, spacious piece. This and "Hours of Wealth", more than anywhere, are where OPETH most truly breaks new stylistic ground.

As for "Reverie/Harlequin Forest", I'm definitely a fan of the intro of this one. Oddly enough, your CD counter will count backwards here, perhaps to separate "Reverie" from "Harlequin Forest". It almost feels more "hard rock" than extreme metal once "Harlequin Forest" kicks in. LOPEZ is definitely in the groove here.though it almost seems to me his metal style has become a bit more simplified. The soft rolls in the interlude are great, though, so he definitely has not lost his touch! One heavy segment in this song is reminiscent of "Serenity Painted Death" on Still Life. I definitely like the acoustic interlude. There even seems like a return of the "Weakness" keys in that section as well-subtle but well-placed. Then the Lateralus influence shows up noticeably in the very outro. The final section is quite protracted, like a much softer version of the "Deliverance" outro.but then, I tend to be one of those who hears a good thing and then likes it repeated! , as far as how you get into it!

"Hours of Wealth", like "Atonement", is totally unlike anything OPETH has done, aside from a bootlegged cover of Deep Purple's "Soldier of Fortune".and maybe the vocals at the end of "To Bid You Farewell" on Morningrise, though this goes even further. I love the bluesy vocals and guitar solo, and the nearly a capella harmonies. Here the Mellotron choir and strings pick up the reverb-y, PORCUPINE TREE-like mix that I favor. PER WIBERG is at his best with that and a sad, gorgeous piano riff, and bluesy electric piano. I would go so far as to call this incredibly sparse song gospel-like. It wouldn't seem out of place to sing the lyrics of "Amazing Grace" to the last part. What's more, I'd like to make a personal note..."Hours of Wealth" is utterly chilling in these current, sad times-seems like it came straight from the Delta. Talk about a case of unfortunately suitable timing.I know I will always associate it with the disaster, even though that's not what it was intended to be. As for what OPETH intended, I think it's here to contrast with the next song.

The track "The Grand Conjuration" was officially released early, and was my first introduction to the new album. It remains my favorite of the heavy songs. WIBERG's synth here is probably put to the best effect here of any of the heavy songs, and it is utterly chilling! The overdriven Hammond serves incredibly well to add some more punch to the guitar--as if it didn't already have enough punch! The lyrics here reach a new level of brutality, too. Some might mistake them as promoting Satanism-but, while one could call these occult lyrics, I do not think they promote evil as anything good to do. Rather, it seems aimed at exposing the ugliness of such behavior-it's more like Apocalyptic imagery reminiscent of Revelation than anything. It's also evocative of the song "Blackwater Park". I love the creepy whispers, and the explosion into the heavy growling section. You'll want to crank this one.

"Isolation Years" is short but a melancholy way. The line beginning with "The years she's lost." has such sad, high vocals from AKERFELDT that are incredibly effective. The guitars blend superbly with the Mellotron here. OPETH is developing a real strength with the Damnation style, and it's good to see that continuing. Lyrically, I really like the line "The wound in me is pouring out to rest on a lover's shore". You get kind of a catharsis at the end of the song, and that's needed after what you've heard before it.

Overall, OPETH'S Ghost Reveries is a very solid album, and in some places does break new ground even if it's subtle. The rest is the good old OPETH you can always count on, and fans should appreciate it. The mix is strong, and certainly not suffering from any of the problems of Deliverance. I'd still recommend Blackwater Park or Still Life as a first album (Damnation for those not quite ready to wade into metal), but if they liked that, I'd certainly encourage getting Ghost Reveries.

FloydWright | 4/5 |


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

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.