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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.26 | 1771 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Blackwater Park

This is Opeth's fifth studio album and was released in 2001, just two years after another great album, Still Life. The unique thing about this album is that Porcupine Tree's Steve Wilson was involved in the production, in fact, he was the producer, together with Opeth, of course.

From my point of view, Opeth career is really marked by the album Still Life. It was when more and more people started to know Opeth, what I mean is, not just to know, but to really like their songs. While Still Life has dramatically increased their success, Blackwater Park really complemented their success. Just like other Opeth's album, the style used is the combination of death metal and progressive rock. Yes, death metal, with growling vocal. I have noticed (also on many of my friends), that people don't really appreciate death metal style, from "satanist" to "great desperation". That was exactly what happens to me. Before I got to know Opeth, I don't appreciate death metal at all, however, lately, I like how they fit the death metal style into progressive rock, which is really amazing, and I believe you will like it as well : )

Some real hardcore death metal song on this album are The Funeral Portrait and of course Blackwater Park. For those of you, who, maybe want to try some less-metal song, can listen to Harvest and Patterns In The Ivy. I want to highlight Opeth's music from guitar point of view. Opeth, as a progressive metal band, has slightly different way to make harmonies on guitar. As we all know, some progressive bands really showcase the fast solos, however Opeth showcases the great rhythm.

The Leper Affinity - Nice song to begin the album, because it shows what Opeth's songs are like, for people who listen Opeth for the first time. And just like other songs, there are two style used (in general), growling death metal and clean calm vocal style. From the start, the song has really dark elements but then it change to be calmer, a bit of break in the middle of the song. It is when the music suddenly changes to clean.

Bleak - Another song with a combination of two styles. The structure of the song is pretty much like The Lepper Affinity, which I consider is Opeth's regular song structure (metal, clean, metal). And again, the transition was marked with cool guitar solo along with very nice rhythm.

Harvest - A cooler song than the first two, Harvest was recorded using an acoustic guitar with Akerfeldt's nice clean vocal style. Just like other albums, Opeth always put some "cleaner" songs on the album.

The Drapery Falls - The famous The Drapery Fall, kicks off with a nice vocal and echo- ish guitar background. Suddenly the song changes to be rockish, just for a while, before it becomes more like the first verse. Then the growling vocal shows up, just after a great guitar solo which I think really match the song. What I don't like is the song ends in fade out way, I prefer the "definite" ending.

Dirge For November - Starts off with a very nice acoustic guitar + clean vocal verse. However I suggest you to turn your volume down a little bit when it nearly ends, just to prevent your brain to blows, because the next verse has a really hard metal style. And again, the solo is not that "technical", but it really fits the song with dynamic drum riffs.

The Funeral Portrait - Don't get the title wrong, The Funeral Portrait, should be a calm and sad song, not in this case. Since the beginning of the song, the vocal really has a dark heavy and death metal element. The next passage is my favorite from this song, a great guitar solo just after the vocal ends with a very metal-ish rhythm. After that, Akerfeldt showed his "anger" by producing an "arrrrgghh!!!" sound with death metal style. Now comes the great part, when a clean acoustic guitar lines come, just for a while though. The song is ended with a somewhat long guitar solo.

Patterns In The Sky - A short song, just slightly above one minute, and is the second "clean" song without any metal element, just like Harvest. In fact, its pretty much like a keyboard solo with a piano sound. The guitar rhythm is just very beautiful.

Blackwater Park - In my mind, I was thinking that this must be a very good song, considering the title is the same with the title of the album. And yes, I'm correct, a really good song with a combination of death metal and soft progressive rock. The intro of the song is a rocking guitar passage, followed by a calmer one. The first half of the song is a instrumental part actually, before Akerfeldt started to sing.

No doubt, five stars. Well, just for your information, I am a progressive metal fan, maybe that is why I value this album high. But then I think the song composition and the lyrics, also with the feeling behind the songs are something to deserve a high appreciation. If you like progressive metal but you don't like death metal, my suggestion is, "just try", just like I did.

Keep On Proggin' In The Free World!!

imoeng | 5/5 |


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