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Opeth - Still Life CD (album) cover

STILL LIFE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.34 | 1061 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

theRunawayV
5 stars OPETH: The leaders of progressive metal. "Still Life" is regarded by most as the best progressive metal albums ever. And i would have to agree with this statement 100%. Unmatched acoustic guitar work; "widdly" as Mikael says. Amazing and original guitar riffs, complex drumming, and most importantly, Mikaels vocals; both clean and soft, are a gift from another planet. "Still Life" was my introduction to Opeth and I believe this is their magnum opus, and that's saying a lot considering were speaking of Opeth who outdo themselves on every single one of their albums. Listening to this album in 5.1 surround sound further increases the joy that comes from hearing this album. You feel as if you're engulfed by the drumming, and the acoustic guitars flow through your head while the insanely heavy guitars are slamming into your face.

Mikael states that this is his most complex songwriting he has ever done, and that he is very proud of it. The concept of the album centers around a man who has been banished from his society because he started to question his faith. He then returns for his love, Melinda who is being pressured into marriage because of family tradition. Things start to get a bit hectic as a result.

"The Moor" starts off the album with a slowly progressing, creepy guitar piece with some bass elements. The 'widdly' guitar comes into play at around the 2 minute mark, until your face is smashed in by a wall of crushing guitars.Complex drumming, and an amazing original guitar riff get this song rolling. All the intricate, beautiful and haunting breakdowns in this song really show off basically every Opeth element. Truly a masterpiece of a song and a wicked album opener.10/10

"Godhead's Lament" is one of my personal favorites on this album. It begins with crushing guitars and speedy double bass pedals that make your legs hurt thinking about it. Mikaels growls are spot on in this song; you can understand every word if you pay enough attention. Once again some great guitar work; very original riffs and complex time signatures: all Opeth-esque elements. About halfway through the song, they break down into a foresty acoustic breakdown with beautiful clean vocals. This part makes this track completely standout from the rest. The poetic lyrics are just melancholy and Mikaels voice just brings out the emotions that reside within them perfectly. The way they transition from that acoustic melody back to the, once again amazing, crushing guitar riffs is just pure bliss. Ending the song they combine all the elements of the song with perfect precision with the distorted guitar and clean vocals mixed. Ah, I must sound like a hopeless fan-boy by now. 10/10

"Benighted" is another amazing display of Mikaels acoustic skills. Coincidentally, the intro riff was "borrowed" from CAMELS "Never Let Go", who I also love very much(CAMEL is actually one of Mikaels main influences). When I first heard this song, I knew I found one of the most amazing bands on the planet. It has a very bluesy acoustic solo about halfway through it which is just perfect. 10/10

"Moon-lapse Vertigo" begins with a blast of low end distorted guitars with lead guitars wailing over them harmoniously. Following this, a very dramatic riff accompanied by an acoustic guitar of all things! Very interesting and unique mixture of instruments if I must say. This gives a metal/folk feeling. It then breaks down into an acoustic arpeggio combined with Mikaels beautiful vocals once again. Once again you are slammed with devastating growling and heavy guitar riffs. This pattern continues, and that's a good thing because you just don't want it to end. To make matters more interesting, they include an extremely bluesy solo section; you can actually hear the bass player! The ending is perfection; complex guitar riffing coupled with Mikaels clean vocals.. 10/10

"Face of Melinda" Another quiet song; featuring stunning fret less bass by Mr. Martin Mendez. Mikael once again shows off his unmatched acoustic work. This song really shows off Mikaels clean vocals, as well. The ending distorted guitar riff really makes this song come together. 10/10

"Serenity Painted Death" I'd say this is up there with Godhead's Lament and The Moor in terms of complete brilliance. An outstanding Prog-Metal song. The chorus is just amazing: "White faced, haggard grin, this serenity painted death; with a halo of bitter disease, black paragon in lingering breath." The song is telling the part of the story where Melinda is killed, and he basically goes into a murderous rampage and begins killing ever guard or "council" person he sees. A breathtaking acoustic interlude precedes a melodic guitar riff, with clean vocals; then ending the song with the chorus,(ah, those pinch harmonics) and an acoustic bit that ends at just the right(or wrong?) time. 10/10

"White Cluster" begins with a crushing blast beat, and continues with metal brilliance. Odd time signatures flourish in this song, as do Mikaels intense metal vocals. This song tells the part where he is being imprisoned, on 'death row' if you will, later to be hung. He is accepting the fact that he is going to die and justifies it with the knowledge of being able to see his beloved Melinda once again. Once again, the band goes into an bluesy-acoustic interlude with meaningful lyrics. The guitar solo in the end is breathtaking; as are the amazing and mind-melting time signatures, speed, and complexity of the drumming.10/10

Overall, 5/5

If you love progressive metal, this is THE album to get. It has so many different elements in it that never get old. I've probably listened to this album in the upwards of 50 times, and still hear something new every time. I highly recommend the 5.1 edition if you have the correct DVD player. It just makes this disk THAT much better.

I only have ONE gripe about this album, and it really isn't that big of a deal, but you can barely hear the bassist at all. You can hear him a lot in "face of Melinda" but that's about it. And, me being a bassist, I would love to be able to hear what he's playing.

theRunawayV | 5/5 |

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