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Opeth - Still Life CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.30 | 1640 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Opeth's Still Life is my introduction to this Progressive Metal band from Sweden and its about time too. The main reason I held of is probably the same as anyone else's who waited a long time to discover them. Its the Death Metal vocals. I am not, generally, a fan of songs with the vocals in this style for any length of time, but here I finally decided to get past the fact that Mikael Akerfeldt sings in this style and just listen to it.

At first I paid no attention to the vocals and listened to the music. And impressive music it is. This is an album filled with feeling in the slower sections and beautifully performed acoustic passages but it also hits home with some killer riffs that grab the attention and hold it. The music is extremely diverse and the contrast between loud and soft, fast and slow, works very well here. Its this contrast that makes it such a good album, building the feeling of melancholy and despondency around the moments of sheer beauty and crushing power.

As I have listened to this album more and more then dislike I had for the death metal style of vocals has lessoned considerably, to the point were I can safely say that I actually like them, something that would have been an absolutely astonishment to me when I started getting into prog. His growls are melodic and deep, sounding almost natural and certainly lack the high and raspy quality I have found in several others that sing in this style and even that Akerfeldt himself used on the bands first two albums, a big improvement.

Still Life is in effect the culmination of the style that the band pursued on its predecessor; My Arms, Your Hearse. It no longer has the raw, visceral quality of Orchid and Morningrise whilst being a more polished and rounded form of the style on My Arms, Your Hearse. Its on here that you here the band becoming stable and adept at what they do and marking themselves out as being truly unique.

Overall I found this to be a very enjoyable album, and can honestly say that I had heard nothing like it before listening to Still Life. Its an excellent album that encapsulates beauty and raw power effortlessly, however its not the bands best as they will improve upon this with the follow up, Blackwater Park, which will be the high water point of their career. The difference between the two is mainly in the atmosphere, were Blackwater Park just encapsulates that feeling of melancholic doom and gloom like no other album. 4.5 stars for a very impressive album.

sleeper | 4/5 |


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