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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1639 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 3.7 Stars

When you reach a cliff, that means you will go down.

Opeth has peaked with Still Life: a flawless concept album that perfectly mixes all of their elements which make Opeth a great band. After it, they released this album: a safe album which contains a set of good songs with their usual heavy-soft transitions. The new element about this album are Steven Wilson's contributions: a bit of piano, some guitar, and backing vocals. Also, he improved the production of this album too since the sound quality is perfect. Overall, a great album, though the quality drops after Drapery Falls.

The Leper Affinity opens the album with a bang! Opeth's typical heavy long song with good riffing. Some guitars in the background and altered-vocals might be Steven Wilson's contributions. The mounful piano at the end is certainly his.

Bleak begins with some interesting fast-paced acoustic work and is overall a piece with a great amount of good riffs, acoustic and electric alike. Not a very complex song, but it really works.

Harvest sounds a bit like a Porcupine Tree - Opeth hybrid and is overall a good song. It's mostly acoustic strumming with good melodic singing. The choruses are pretty good and the 2nd one has 2 vocals and The final chorus has 3 vocals. The guitar solo in the middle is worthy of mention: melancholic and beautiful.

Drapery Falls might be their most famous song as well as one of the songs most loved by fans of the band. The reason is clear: it has amazing riffs and ideas. For example, the elegant heavy start has a great melody as well as a driving rhythm guitar and showcases the band's ability to compose great double guitar ideas. The acoustic strumming combined with the melodic atmospheric electric guitar and catchy vocals make a great section too (verses in minute 2-3) while the choruses rock without the usage of grunts. The middle section is more adventurous and a great semi-acoustic part at the end similar to the one in the beginning marks a great conclusion for a very good track.

Dirge For November is weak by Opeth's standards: it lacks melodies: it's just relatively straightforward metal. Fortunately, the ending has a brilliant acoustic theme, though it overstays its welcome a bit.

Funeral Portrait is a bit better than Dirge For November. This is another metal with the usual growls. I don't see a lot of adventure in this track, though I admit some of the riffs are pretty well executed and the drumming elevate this song from a mediocre Opeth tune. There is also a very good solo halfway through the track and the piece is coherent. The problem with the song is just that it just sounds like any other Opeth song: it is not very original.

Patterns in the Ivy: What a shame, they did something like Requiem: a pointless acoustic short song that doesn't develop. At least, this one has some effective piano though I heard pt2 in youtube and is miles better than this.

Blackwater Park is a heavy epic that doesn't contain a single clean vocal throughout its huge duration. IT manages to be an above average track due to it's good riffs, though it doesn't fully excite me. The acoustic part is again a bit repetitive (what is this Opeth? Orchid revisited??) though its guitar melody is beautifully complex.

My Highlights: Drapery Falls, Leper Affinity

Letdowns: Dirge For November, Patterns in the Ivy

My Grade : B-

Very good, but get Still Life, My arms your hearse or Ghost Reveries to check out this band, not this. IT sounds a bit mainstream and commercial for Opeth.

I recommend this album after you got most of the others.

Zitro | 4/5 |


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