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Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse CD (album) cover

MY ARMS, YOUR HEARSE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.92 | 545 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album was a slightly different direction for the band. The production is much better. The bass is not a big part of the music anymore, or at least for this album. The clean vocals are much better and trained and have finally become what they are known for. The distorition on the guitars are much heavier. One of the big things here is the length of the songs. There's 9 songs with the longest being 9:16. Most are in the 6-7 minute mark on average. That's short compared to most other Opeth songs. But this album is still progressive nonetheless. There are lesser amounts of standout songs here, for this is a more consistent album.

Opeth is an interesting band, if for no other reason than the amount of love and hate they garner. It can be difficult to find someone who does not either worship the ground they walk on or curse that same ground. All that aside though, is there anything to the hype. In this reviewer's opinion: there is...if not always, at least sometimes. My Arms, Your Hearse is one of those times.

Moving on from the beautiful, extensive but somehow unfocused Morningrise, Opeth changed their sound somewhat. From here on out, composition was decidedly tighter (though many would say still not tight enough) and things got...well...formulaic. Before the formula had time to become formulaic, though, there was My Arms, Your Hearse.

This album exudes an autumnal atmosphere, much like their debut Orchid. The music is decidedly Gothenburgesque melodic death, with intermittent acoustic passages to break the flow. These passages are at the heart of what makes Opeth interesting, as they provide a certain measure of unpredictability to a genre that is pretty predictable. Akerfeldt's vocals range from clean singing to death growls, and he does both well enough.

Of the songs, the best would have to be "April Ethereal", "When", and "Demon of the Fall". However, none of the tracks are particularly weak, from the mood-setting "Prologue" to the instrumental "Madrigal" to the completely acoustic "Credence". There's steady enjoyment to be found throughout the entire album.

The smart thing about "My Arms, Your Hearse" is the length. By only being around 50 minutes long, it avoids the here and there overindulgence that characterizes the later releases. By avoiding the meandering compositions of the previous releases and the fatigue of the next, you essentially get some of the best of both worlds.

In sum, if you already hate Opeth, My Arms, Your Hearse isn't going to change your mind. And if you already love them, then you've already listened to this album. But for those out there unsure of what to make of all the testimony concerning this band, My Arms, Your Hearse is a worthy addition to your collection. I'd get Still Life or Blackwater Park first if I wanted to get into Opeth though. These two albums are the most representable ones to the main-direction of the band at best.

album rating: 8.5/10 points = 85 % 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

Marc Baum | 4/5 |

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