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Opeth In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall album cover
4.65 | 262 ratings | 5 reviews | 71% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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DVD/Video, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Leper Affinity
2. Bleak
3. Harvest
4. The Drapery Falls
5. Dirge For November 08:49
6. The Funeral Portrait
7. Patterns In The Ivy
8. Blackwater Park
9. Forest Of October
10. Advent
11. April Ethereal
12. The Moor
13. Wreath
14. Hope Leaves
15. Harlequin Forest
16. The Lotus Eater

Line-up / Musicians

- Mikael Åkerfeldt / vocals, guitar
- Fredrik Åkesson / guitar
- Martin Mendez / bass
- Martin Axenrot / drums, percussion
- Per Wiberg / keyboards

Releases information

Release date: September 21, 2010
Label: Roadrunner Records

Thanks to progshine for the addition
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OPETH In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall ratings distribution

(262 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(71%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (5%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

OPETH In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
5 stars Third DVD from Opeth, this one is special being filmed at the Royal Albert Hall. The band decide to play the entire Blackwaterpark cd on the first DVD and a song from each of their cd's in the second DVD. The first thing important to look at first was the sound. Let's say that it's a full sound that gives a nice 5.1 surround atmosphere. Then, the next thing is about the picture. It's quiet good for a standard DVD. I am just suprised that this one didn't make it on Blu-Ray. The camera work is excellent with many angles coming from the front row and high in the balcony wich gives stunning shots from the stage. The new guitarist, Frederik Akesson does a good performance considering the fact that he is a new guy in the band. A funny moment with a equipement breakdown arrive at the end of the show wich seems to last forever, but the crowd and band took it so well that it cames out Ok. This DVD/CD combo contents a very interesting interview with Mikael Åkerfeldt of 40 minutes where he talks about a lot of things and show is "down to earth" personnality. Nothing wrong to say about the music here that you don't already know; it's Opeth, so it's a band that manages to unify with great talents and intensity heavy passages with delicate ones. I just hope to hear more clean vocals from Mickael and less death ones in the future.

Highly recommended !

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Coming up to their 20th anniversary of forming Opeth understandably wanted to celebrate the occasion. What had initially been going to be an evening in the pub gravitated into something much more spectacular. Quite how they got from an evening in the pub to a gig at the Royal Albert Hall I'm not sure but here it is in all its glory for your viewing pleasure.

I have the 2 DVD/3 Cd version here which is nicely packaged in a mock Deep Purple Concerto For Group And Orchestra style cover. Even the discs have been designed to look like a mock Harvest (Deep Purple's record label) design. The Cd's are just an audio only replica of the DVD's by the way so only you can decide if it's worth the additional expense. I'm sure anyone reading this already knows what Opeth's prog metal sounds like so I won't go into details on that. If you don't I suggest you read some album reviews here on PA. What I will say is that this is a fantastic performance, the best of the 3 DVD's they've released so far which is beautifully filmed with high quality definition with a sound to match. Apart from almost 3 hours of the live concert an interview with Mikael Åkerfeldt is also included as well as a documentary of life on the road. The latter is your typical road documentary that's been done numerous times before by numerous bands and is the kind of thing you watch once and then never again. More interesting is the interview, which while once again is not the stuff of repeated viewings does offer some interesting insight into the band from a set of questions posed by fans.

Onto the important part, the music. It will be no surprise to fans of the band that Opeth opted to play the whole of their acclaimed Blackwater Park album for the occasion, a record considered by many to be their very best. This takes up the first DVD and they turn in fantastic versions of all with the title track being a particular highpoint. After this the band took a break and the second DVD comprises of the rest of the show which gives us a chronological history of Opeth's albums where they play one track from each beginning with Forest Of October from Orchid through to The Lotus Eater from 2008's Watershed. All are pulled off in fine style but having a preference for the later more prog orientated stuff over the early death metal, I enjoyed the Still Life (excellent version of best track The Moor here) onwards material the most.

Overall then an excellent concert that I'm sure will be regarded as a milestone in Opeth's career being at such a prestigious venue. Fortunately they turned in a performance in keeping with the magnificent surroundings and these DVD's are sure to be enjoyed by all lovers of the band. Essential viewing for Opeth fans.

Review by Starhammer
5 stars Concerto for Group and Orchestra Headbangers...

Over the years the Royal Albert Hall has played host to countless classical, pop and rock concerts, opera and ballet performances, and even tennis tournaments. But in late September 2010 it was hit square in the face with nearly three hours of Sweden's very finest death metal. It has not yet recovered.

The Good: This was captured and released in a two DVD, three CD package, celebrating the 20th anniversary Evolution XX: An Opeth Anthology tour. The performance is split into two parts, the first half is a play through of the legendary Blackwater Park album from start to finish, and the second is a chronological journey through the Opeth back catalogue. It pretty much goes without saying that this is the holy grail for any Opeth fan, and the audio/visual production does not disappoint. In addition to this, the spoken interludes from Mikael Akerfeldt are both informative and hilarious, and provide a welcome respite between tracks.

The Bad: Whilst I do appreciate the Deep Purple tribute on the album cover, it sticks out like a sore thumb in the Opeth section of my music collection.

The Verdict: Whilst Opeth's two previous live releases were both very good, neither come even close to this offering.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Big gig today, people, big gig".

Okay, I finally got around to seeing Opeth live at Royal Albert Hall with a bunch of fans, and as usual with Opeth, as far as I am concerned, it is a real hit and miss affair. Parts of the concert send me into bliss with gorgeous guitars and vocals and amazing dextrous lead guitar with choppy riffs, and parts make me search for the skip button. Okay let's get past the first point of concern for me; the concert is perhaps designed for the younger target audience who prefer death metal growls over actual singing. To be honest there is a heck of a lot of gravel voice vocals on this, more than I expected or wished, as I have 4 albums and there are definitely large chunks without growling on albums; though not so here. Unfortunately, this live performance really focuses on the heavier side of Opeth with only the occasional let up in speed and growling. When Akerfeldt sings clean vocals it is mesmirising so I wish he'd shut the dang death growls up as it is really not that impressive. The band play all of Blackwater Park but I would have preferred Still Life.

Another point about the DVD is that the crowd are rather a subdued lot. Their preferred colour is black and mostly guys are present with a smattering of females. The crowd stand still, not much bouncing and moshing as they are there to listen I guess, not have a full body thrash work out. They are definitely into the music and enjoying it, but it is not a mosh session, which shows how different Opeth are in comparison to death metal bands that incite a virtual riot when playing live. The crowd are head banging and raising the horns as you expect. You can hear then yell out stuff during the pauses between tracks, at times quite amusing too.

Yet another point to make about this live DVD is it really is a no frills concert, a bit of smoke and some cool lighting, occasional strobes and an ominous glowing logo with the large screen showing pictures of forests and water, and album covers, to generate a part of the atmosphere, with nice swirling lights cascading across the transfixed crowd. The band pretty much stand in the one place and thrash one track after another, and head bang during the instrumentals. They don't speak much at all at first. At one point Akerfeldt pretends he is going to say something and then stops and just plays; quite a humorous touch. At the end of 'April Ethereal', Akerfeldt begins to open up, he does mention that the band have gone through changes; "a few people have been (pause) fired (laughter) and we have a new lineup". He then intros the guys that are new to rapturous applause. Then he mentions how he used to write when he was too poor to afford a demo and recording equipment. He just wrote things like the Morbid Angel riff 4 times, freaked out bridge and the Bathory section. Ironically I referenced those two bands on my review for Still Life ("The growling reminded me of the black metal I used to listen to with the likes of Bathory or Morbid Angel.") so I wasn't far off the mark as Opeth definitely are influenced by this extreme metal sound. Akerfeldt mentions that Still Life is their most complicated album and then proceeds to play the awesome 'The Moor' from this.

From the beautiful acoustic guitar, it leads to the familiar distorted riffs that blast in without remorse. Akerfeldt's growls are brutal and soul chilling. There is a clean vocal chorus and it is so refreshing. I longed for more of this. At 6 minutes in the riffing stops and we have an acoustic interlude, a moment of respite. The Damnation style clean vocals chime in and they are so good, like a different band. I was drawn into the music at this point. At the end of 'The Moor' Akerfeldt asks "was it good?" which is funny as obviously the response would be a massive roar. He tells the tale of how Steven Wilson emailed him once. The crowd roars at hearing that name mentioned in their presence. He goes onto say that "we hooked up, had dinner, kissed, and I asked him to produce the next record which was gonna be Blackwater Park." But Steve was also involved in Deliverance "making it more sick and evil and twisted" he continues, and he says they should play something nice as they are in such a nice environment "but we want to be bad." I kind of like these moments as it shows the humour of the band and their personalities come through.

Another point about this section of the concert during 'The Wreath', is that Akerfeldt snaps a string and does a very fast guitar switch. His hand signal to the roadie is interesting as he just stops playing but keeps growling away. The roadie just hands him a new guitar and plugs it in as Akerfeldt screams "cover me with sweat" and he just hooks it over his shoulder and starts playing it as if nothing happened. Well worth checking that out. Axe's drumming should be commended too as it is fantastic, though many might miss the style of Lopez of course. I liked his cymbals with holes in them. 'The Wreath' is a thrashy fast thing that has the cookie monster vocals, (I know, I stole that phrase from a reviewer here but that's what it is) and I prefer Oscar the Grouch vocals myself. 'The Wreath' comes from my least favourite Opeth album but was tolerable due to the amazing chord changes and structure.

In the pause between the songs, a girl yells out that she loves Akerfeldt, and he replies "how you doin'?" as he seems quite shy and nervous which is better than being obnoxious of course. The girl has leaped over the barricade and as she is escorted off by guards everyone applauds. Akerfeldt says it's a long show for a metal singer but luckily he still has a bit of voice. At this stage I was hoping that meant he would sing some quieter stuff. He does the beautiful 'Hope Leaves' from Damnation and of course it is a highlight for my ears. I love that album and every song on it is compelling; in fact that is how I came to know Opeth so it is personally one of my favourite moments of the show. The purple and blue lights with sparkling logo give the stage an ethereal appearance.

Then next is a moment of brilliance from Ghost Reveries, 'Harlequin Forest'. I must admit the concert was improving for me as the band moved onto the more progressive sound. The concert ends with Watershed's 'The Lotus Eater', which is of course is excellent as always. Akerfeldt mentions the leaving of Peter and Martin and intros the new members again. Axe has dyed his hair just for this concert, he says. This track is a masterful progressive thing with amazing time changes and innovation throughout. This time Fred breaks a string, or has a technical goof, and stuffs up his solo and it is quite humorous how he plays silently while the roadie tries to rig up a new guitar. Akerfeldt and the others watch with amusement as Fred is hooked up. The crowd quietly clap observing with interest. When Fred begins to play again there is a roar and the whole thing is an unforgettable moment. The band could easily have edited this out but kudos for keeping it in as it provides some entertaining and interesting footage. I believe in the interview mention is made of how a camera man stepped on a pedal and screwed up the sound, and these moments are what make this concert so compelling, as it is a raw concert DVD with all the mistakes unedited but left for us to talk about. There were some conversations about this section with the guys I watched with. It actually provided more intelligent conversations than the rest of the DVD which were basically phrases like, "awesome, unbelievable, shredder, what's he on about, Axe is better, I miss Lopez, and, shut those bloody growls up." At the end the band have a photo opportunity with lots of Opeth addicts and after a bow it is over with a standing ovation.

The special features are generally similar to Pain of Salvation, and Dream Theatre DVDs, in that they show a lot of behind the scenes stuff, tour footage, some interviews, fans spouting off "I am dead serious when I say Mikael Akerfeldt is the reincarnation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart", and a few outtakes from songs. They sign CDs and apparel, take photos of fans and talk at the fans meet and greet, one says "best day ever" and another is shivering with excitement. The sound check was intriguing, done in front of some chosen fans. I like the comment when they are heading down the stairwell to the stage and we hear someone say "It's Spinal Tap." We see a bit of the clean up afterwards, meeting fans back stage who are terminally polite and grateful and Fredrik turns to the camera and says, "you are nothing without your fans never forget that", and there are roadies loading the trucks while the band have a quiet drink with friends. In the truck Fred talks about the mistakes but said they were part of it all after months of build up and the tension they felt. We see Opeth hanging round bars and visiting a Deli with an eccentric owner, and we see them in the trucks getting drunker and funnier.These moments were highlights for me and held more interest than the actual concert.

Overall, this is a great concert for Opeth addicts of course, there are quieter moments but you have to search for them, but it delivers the heavier side of the band with brutal aggression. That is the target audience and it definitely is an extreme sound, and the Opeth fans sitting with me are obviously under the impression that it is a flawless DVD. Seeing past the fan boyism it really is not a masterpiece at all but certainly an excellent live record of the very special event. Personally I look forward to them touring Heritage as that would be worth seeing.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is an excellent overview of the most important era of the masterful death-metal influenced progressive metal band. Containing their trademark album "Blackwater park" on the first DVD and a balanced choice of a song from each other album on the second DVD, the selection is destined to hit t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2535304) | Posted by sgtpepper | Wednesday, April 14, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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