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Opeth - Ghost Reveries CD (album) cover

GHOST REVERIES

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.24 | 1112 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aranarth
5 stars Opeth had left me bedazzled after being introduced to them two years ago. Therefore I wondered when the next album would come and what it would be like, for their last two albums were so unlike each other, yet both were awesome in their own way. Ghost Reveries didn't disappoint either, on the contrary it was even better. What sets it apart from its predecessors is the fact that Opeth as a band and as persons have gone through some changes after releasing Damnation. That is apparent in the sound of this record. Although the themes are similar to the ones found on Blackwater Park, Deliverance and Damnation, everything sounds enhanced and improved. All the three aforementioned albums, as great as they were, had their flaws. Ghost Reveries has none.

The biggest difference that you notice about this album are the keyboards. They have been used before on their albums, but not so prominently. And it is a change that is welcome. Per Wiberg's keys adds more depth to Opeth's sound and without them this album wouldn't sound as great. Specially "The Baying of the Hounds", "Beneath the Mire" and "Hours of Wealth", where Wiberg is everpresent and enhances the already incredible music and atmosphere. Another asset of this recording is Martin Mendez's bass. Mikael was right when he said that this album contains his best playing yet. His jazzy playing gives an interesting contrast to the otherwise mostly heavy music. The guitar solos are as good as they can be and the singing is top notch, both growls and clean vocals. Åkerfeldt sets a new standard for himself as singer on the closing "Isolation Years" and also his bluesy voice in "Hours of Wealth" is quite new. "Reverie/Harlequin Forest" is perhaps the best collective performance here, with some gorgeous and melancholic passages that recall the moments of "Morningrise". "The Grand Conjuration" is possibly Opeth's heaviest song yet, but it's done in such a manner that listening to it feels like watching a first class horror film. "Ghost of Perdition" and "Baying of the Hounds" are prog/death metal pearls and belong to the band's greatest achievements. "Beneath the Mire" has a really atmospheric intro with Oriental-sounding keyboard melody which then dissolves into a dreamy and dark passage before the odd first vers begins. It is the most experimental track here, along with "Atonement", which continues and expands on the Oriental sound. After 5 minutes, it fades out with a truly interesting outro. "Hours of Wealth" has an incredible intro and some nice bluesy guitar workout from Mikael, I believe. And the closing ballad is simply breathtakingly beautiful. Their best since "Face of Melinda".

So, what else is there to say? A milestone album that everyone can get into, unlike Deliverance and Blackwater Park, which were too unabashedly dark and heavy. This is the true soul of the prog metal and a lesson to all how it should be done. Once again, Opeth prove that death metal can be poignant and have a listening value. There is no topping this. Good luck with your next album guys!

Aranarth | 5/5 |

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