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Opeth - Morningrise CD (album) cover

MORNINGRISE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.71 | 554 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Opeth's 2nd release "Morningrise" brings Opeth into even more progressive metal territory and is well deserved of people's claims of this being their most progressive. Musically Opeth have expanded and improved a fair deal since their last album Orchid. The variety of different guitar stylings and solo's is very noticable as in all Opeth albums. Acoustics are a bit faster than Orchid and still fairly slow tempo but still a great pace and atmosphere. Possibly some of their best but really pushes this album above their others is their guitar harmonies on this album. Simply phenominal even for Opeth standards! Not as many heavy guitar riffs (ala intro to Karma-MAYH) which turned out great with made this a slower tempo release as well as one of Opeth's softest (pre-Damnation) albums.

Mikael's clean vocals have improved quite a bit from Orchid, although not used as much as later outings, still a factor. The growl is still death growls with BM influence I think is pretty good and goes great with the music but I prefer later vocals (one semi- weakness). The last albums we are treated to some very good basswork from Johan De Farfalla. Drumming is great, above average rhythm to go with exceptionally beautiful guitars. What more could you ask for prog-heart? Production wise its not the best but definitely an improvement. But this is no problem for Opeth. One other noticable thing is the length of the acoustic interludes, which lengthen the songs but sets excellent variety of moods and atmosphere. This is surely one of the hardest Opeth albums to get into because of its progressive nature. Too much for some, but those who finally discover the beauty in Opeth's music will be rewarded in a very big way.

"Advent" is easily one of my favorite Opeth songs. I would almost say flawless intro building up to the verse and the guitar harmonies, acoustic blend was top notch as well as some great basswork near the end of the song. "The Night and The Silent Water" is also beyond amazing. Mikael's pain is clearly reflected in the beautiful yet mournful intro/verse distorted guitar melodies. Complete with great acoustics, well placed harsh vocals and one of the more memorable spots on the CD where Mikael softly speaks in a haunting, clean tone near the end of the song. "Nectar" is somewhat reminsicent of Advent, excellent guitar melodies and basswork to start but not quite at the same level of excellence. Not as much acoustic experimentation, but enough harsh vocals and chilling melodies to leave any Opeth fan breathless.

"Black Rose Immortal" is without a doubt the hardest Opeth song to get into by clocking in around 20 minutes long... from the melodic beginning that turns extreme in what seems an instant, to the endless soaring guitar melodies to the excellent soft acoustic passages. This song is a true tribute to what Morningrise and Opeth as a whole are about. Their defining song. Not afraid to have parts as rare as solely vocal passages and really stretch the boundaries of progression in metal. Even contains one of the most cryptic closing riffs I've heard. "To Bid You Farewell" is a very soft song for Opeth standards and the first long, epic beauty they tried without growls. Mostly played with vast amounts of well played, memorable acoustic material that actually stands out from most acoustics on the album and some very epic, almost heroic distorted riffs in closing that foreshadow what is to come in the near future (*cough* face of melinda). Showcases Mikael's singing ability more than ever, which is great and propelled this as another of Opeth's endless amount of excellent material. This is very progressive even for Opeth standards, but truly a piece of beauty.

It is beyond me why Mikael isn't as fond of this album (perhaps track 2). Anyone into memorable guitar melodies and progressive music altogether should undoubtedly check this out. One of my personal favorite Opeth releases and highly recommended to the prog-crowd out there.

album rating: 8/10 points = 82 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars /

Marc Baum | 4/5 |

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