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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover

BLACKWATER PARK

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1204 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neo-Romantic
5 stars Powerful is the principal adjective that comes to mind when I hear this album. Each track has an air of authority to it that gives the album a truly commendable level of focus and drive from start to finish. Musically cohesive, varied, and balanced, yet undeniably bombastic, it really packs a significant punch!

Every section of every song presents a melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic motive that is not only aggressive, but pleasantly tuneful and memorable. One of the the things I most appreciate about Opeth is their ability to take metal textures and moods and turn them into pleasantly singable motives. I love the amount of diligence that goes into the crafting of each thematic idea and the formal organization. To me, one of Mikael Akerfeldt's biggest strengths as a songwriter/composer is his deftness at measuring just how long each passage is supposed to go on for to get the point across and make it truly memorable without having it overstay its welcome. There is clear deliberation behind each section, and as dense as each one is, there are many opportunities for further discoveries on future listens, ensuring high replay value and bolstering my opinion of the listening experience as a whole.

Granted, in my opinion, not every moment is absolutely flawless, as some parts seem to dip a little from what are in my books the clear peaks of the album. But these dips are highly subjective, as they seem to be sections that other reviewers laud quite frequently. For example, I'm not entirely sold on Harvest, and Dirge for November isn't a 5-star song to me, but I can understand and appreciate where other reviewers are coming from in praising these songs as such, and I think that's one of the aspects of this album that does make it a true progressive landmark: the ability to connect with an audience in a wide variety of unique ways, yet still communicating a universal message of musical mastery and emotional depth.

As stated, some moments might not be perfect in my book, but the album as a whole does more than just balance them out when factoring the highlights because of its solid sense of cohesion, balance, emotion, and musicality. This is a terrific album with some truly phenomenal tracks, particularly The Leper Affinity, The Drapery Falls, and Blackwater Park, which is in my top 10 songs of all time. In my book, it's leaps-and-bounds better that a large number of tracks put out by even the most well-known and highly celebrated prog groups throughout all generations. It's just that good to me, and I like th think of myself as a very discerning listener. Yes, it is possible for a death metal group to deserve such accolades. If you still haven't heard any of Opeth's material and are unsure if the praise is deserved, I implore you to strip away your negative judgments and preconceived notions. There's pure, unadulterated artistry to be found within this forceful package, and it yields truly phenomenal rewards upon first hearing and innumerable returns with each subsequent listen.

Neo-Romantic | 5/5 |

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