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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1563 ratings

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3 stars While perhaps not their creative apex, Blackwater Park is a record any band, metal or not, would be proud of. Enthusiastic, tight and relentlessly inventive with a keen ear for what makes two blazing guitars and a pump-ass rhyth/sec so lusciously satisfying, this band is a model of what we all knew metal could be back when the first glimmers of light were emerging from Britain. The material on previous Still Life may be superior but this one pushed their limitations in other ways, showing a noted maturity in attack and studio sound.

I have no idea if 'The Leper Affinity' is about sympathy for the diseased but it does capture the album's tone with extremes from precision ground assaults to airy escapades of piano and acoustic guitar. 'Harvest' is quieter with just a whiff of Dave Gilmour, and sister song 'The Drapery Falls' even better; an intriguing piece full of unexpected, tasteful melodic shifts & harmonic trickery, and probably the most realized cut here. A jazzy backbone for 'Dirge for November' opens to a wide berth in triplet, and if you don't already know the singer sounds like he's wearing a blue furry suit and holding a bag of Oreos, 'The Funeral Portrait' should clear that up, followed with the title track featuring some sweet ruminations on guitar and the sounds of early Thrash.

Not everything here stays with you after you've walked away but I can't see that disappointing someone already taken by this crack team, and though it may not be getting a ton of rotation on this listener's machine, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Opeth's fifth studio album.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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