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Opeth - Porcelain Heart CD (album) cover

PORCELAIN HEART

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.66 | 37 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Porcelain Heart' - Opeth (Single)

As part of a relatively big marketing campaign for their 2008 album 'Watershed', Opeth released a number of different singles and promos. Of all the songs on that album though, the one that arguably received the most mainstream attention is the song 'Porcelain Heart', and for good reason. Although not necessarily being the greatest song on the album, it is a track filled with hooks and the keen dynamics that brought the band to the forefront of the progressive extreme metal world. Shown here in its entirety, 'Porcelain Heart' may not be as powerful a single as some of the tracks that Opeth has previously dished out as promo tracks for earlier albums, but especially with the excellent b-side here, there is enough here to make 'Watershed' look like a promising and worthwhile album to check out.

'Porcelain Heart' is a fairly dark track, even though it is void of the sort of heaviness that Opeth originally used to drive their sound with. There are no death growls in this song; only the clean, warm vocals of Mikael Akerfeldt, which are quite strong as usual. The instrumentation here however still gives off a very eerie, almost gothic vibe, and the contrasts between heavy riffs and light atmosphere are very distinct. There is little space between the mid-tempo sludgy riffs and quiet piano and acoustics, but the dynamic is fairly effective. 'Porcelain Heart' reaches its greatest moment with an acoustic break that even features some woodwind instruments, giving an even greater sense of class. It is a very brooding track, and then starkly contrasted with the b-side 'The Lotus Eater', which is chaotic and heavy. Possibly the most progressive track Opeth had done to date, it goes from rapidfire bursts of energy and death metal fury to a very proggy keyboard bridge within the space of a few minutes. Not to mention the haunting out-of-tune acoustic outro, 'The Lotus Eater' remains one of my favourite Opeth tracks, and vastly overshadows the first track of this single.

As singles go, this is not Opeth's best, but it is very good, and indicative of 'Watershed's quality.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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