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Opeth - Still Life CD (album) cover

STILL LIFE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.33 | 1192 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Melomaniac
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I discovered Opeth through this album whent it came out... and have been hooked ever since. As a fan of prog AND metal (all types of metal), I think Opeth are what prog-metal should be. Not overly technical and pompous as Dream Theater are, Opeth instead rely on mood shifts and interesting structures and transitions.

On with the album...

From the beginning, you sense right away things will be interesting. The eerie, intriguing introduction to The Moor starts with a jazz undertone, evolving to a classical folk mood on acoustic guitars, to a metal mood which in turn builds into an explosive climax until singer Mikael Akerfeldt opens the hostilities with an enraged death metal growl. Wow !!! The classical guitar parts in the middle section along with Akerfeldt's sumptuous melodic voice are of pure beauty, which is a breather after the relentless mid-tempo brutality displayed earlier in the song.

Godhead's Lament is the masterpiece of this album, in my humble opinion, and truly represents the direction taken by the band on later efforts such as Blackwater Park and Deliverance (both excellent albums by the way). The band goes again from brutal metal to melodic acoustic with a singalong vibe, then goes on with a nice instrumental passage... and the ease with which they go from one mood to another is disconcerting.

Benighted is a wonderful mellow track, in the line of what was done on Damnation. A wonderful semi-ballad, with no distorted guitar in it whatsoever. A pure delight.

Moonlapse Vertigo is another track not unlike the first two. A brilliant number.

Face of Melinda is a surprise, even after Benighted. It has a jazzy feel to it, drummer Martin Lopez playing half the song with brushes and bassist Martin Mendez playing on a fretless. The vocals here are wonderful, and the song is heartwrenching (yes, I am not ashamed to say it actually brought tears to my eyes...).

The last two songs, Serenity Painted Death and White Cluster are typical Opeth progressive death-metal, as good as all their other songs.

Probably my favorite Opeth album (though I love all of them from this one to Ghost Reveries) and it deserves to be discovered by fans of prog and/or metal alike. If you can't go beyond the death metal growls, you'll be the one losing in the end. No other band in the world sound like Opeth, and they deserve the success they are achieving if only for the fact that they are TRULY unique.

A masterpiece, essential and mandatory purchase.

Melomaniac | 5/5 |

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