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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover

BLACKWATER PARK

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1198 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Matt Dickens
5 stars I saw Opeth live a couple of weeks ago and it was basically the most amazing experience of my life. The only song they played off this album was The Drapery Falls, and it was one of the many highlights. After the show I got to meet the band and speek with singer/guitar player/ bandleader Mikael Akerfeldt. He is a truly amazing musician, an innovative songwriter, an incredible guitar player, one of the best all around vocalists to ever live, and a refreshingly down-to-earth guy. Though this album is not my favorite Opeth album it does contain my favorite Opeth song which is "Bleak". This album may not be the best Opeth album but it is still phenomenal. This album mark's the beginning of the band's relationship with Producer/porcupine tree frontman Steven Wilson. His flawless production on this and Deliverance and Damnation are incredibly gratifying to listen to and he has somehow managed to make one of music's best bands even better. Some people criticize this album for having a similar structure to Still Life while this may not be false it does not keep the album from achieving greatness.

Leper Affinity- 10/10- Incredible song from beginning to end with typical Opeth dynamic changes and an acoustic section with clean vocals. Great guitar riffs, drums, and vocals throughout. The piano chords at the end are quite chilling and set up the next track very well.

Bleak- 20/10 - My all time favorite Opeth song thus far. Starts with a dissonant acoustic guitar set againts a ringing distorted power chord, and some atmospheric E-bowed electric guitars. This gives way to an incredible soaring electric guitar melody, and then takes us to a "verse" which has kind of a creepy vibe and the same drumbeat as the DVD version of "Closure". This gives way to a groovier distorted riff. they continue in this vein until reaching what I refer to as the chorus, with an amazing chord progression coupled with Steven Wilson and Mikael Akefeldt trading vocals. I get goosebumps every time I here Steven Wilson sing "devious movements in your eyes..". Following the "chorus" we find ourselves sailing smoothly into the great acoustic section which features great acoustic guitar grooves, a great Akerfeldt solo, and more great singing, following this is the most typical Death metal sounding part of the song. then there is a heavy melodic section with soaring melodies that transition nicely back into the chorus which carries us to the incredibly intense outro, which makes me think of a guitar dying.

Harvest- 9/10 - a nice softer song. This track is quite enjoyable but I honestly prefer both bonus tracks over this one. Nothing spectacular here but some great melodies, and a great solo. the most "poppy" Opeth song, but I don't mean that in a bad way.

The Drapery Falls- 10/10- Another of my favorite songs. a strummed acoustic gives way to an awesome melody. This part also contains a shining moment for Martin Mendez on bass. He takes a rare step outside of the "pocket " and plays an awesome riff under the guitar melodies. The verses are quite spacey, and dare I say "pshycadelic". The chorus is extremely catchy, and is cut short the first time, and the second time we are thrust into a beautiful vocal melody followed by yet another brilliant guitar solo by Akefeldt (whose soloing is extremely overlooked in my opinion). Then we enter a few minutes of more death metal/ progressive parts which feature many time signature shifts including 5/8, 5/4, and 6/4. After the madness concludes we enter my favorite part of the song where a lone acoustic strums the mellow progression of Dm-C in 6/8. Akerfeldt sings a lovely melody with the Lyrics "spiraling to the ground below, Like Autumn leaves left in the wake to fade away" this mellow part is interrupted breifly by fast double bass stlye drumming and a metal riff, but just before this get's annoying we find ourselves thrust back into the mellow acoustic part, where Akerfeldt sings brilliantly once again, only this time he is harmonized beautiflly by the voice of Steven Wilson, theb a breif heavy part carries us to the incredible reprise of the Intro melody.

The Dirge for November- 8.5/10 - This song has an incredibly beautiful intro but otherwise tends to be slightly boring. A very good song but not as good as we are used to with such an incredible band.

The Funeral Portrait- 9/10 - This is a great song but it does not stand out among other Opeth tracks. Contains great guitar riffs, Great vocals, Incredible drumming and A pretty good arrangement.

Patterns in the Ivy- 10/10 - kind of an intermission and a beatiful acoustic guitar piece with some taseful piano added by Wilson, this song is great in it's simplicity. (well, simplicity for Opeth anyway)

Blackwater Park- 10/10 - This track contains some of Opeths most brutal guitar riffs. It starts with nice heavy proggresion and then a heavy acoustic riff foreshadows the heaviness that follows. A long repetive arpegiated clean electric is quite hypnotic before we are carried into some intense metal moments. The most intense moment I have ever heard in music comes in this song. towards the end when there is a thick acoustic progression being played and then the distorted guitars and cymbal crashes tear down all that once was and Akerfeldt unleashes the most blood curdling scream of all time. This particular part makes me want to blow up entire cities. I'm not kidding either, I cant listen to this while I'm driving because when I did I almost tried to kill some people for no reason, but anyways we then enter the climax of the album lyrically when Akerfeldt growls "sick liasons raised this monumental mark, The sun sets forever over blackwater park" then a fading arpegiated acoustic ends the album marking it as an outstanding album by a band who is so amazing that this album is actually almost disappointing in some areas compared to other works, but this album is still Incredible and there is no reason for not owning it.

Matt Dickens | 5/5 |

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