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Opeth Morningrise album cover
3.74 | 876 ratings | 52 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Advent (13:46)
2. The Night and the Silent Water (11:00)
3. Nectar (10:09)
4. Black Rose Immortal (20:14)
5. To Bid You Farewell (10:57)

Total Time 66:06

Bonus track on 2001 & 2015 reissues:
6. Eternal Soul Torture (8:35)

Line-up / Musicians

- Mikael Åkerfeldt / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
- Peter Lindgren / electric & acoustic guitars
- Johan De Farfalla / basses (fretless & 6-string), backing vocals
- Anders Nordin / drums, percussion

- Stefan Guteklint / bass (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Tuija Lindstrom (photo) with Timo Ketola (logo)

2LP Displeased Records ‎- D-00082 (2001, Netherlands) Limited edition w/ 1 bonus track

CD Candlelight Records ‎- Candle015CD (1996, UK) 1st pressing cover w/o band's logo
CD Candlelight Records USA ‎- CDL587CD (2015, US) With 1 bonus track (1992 rehearsal recording)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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OPETH Morningrise ratings distribution

(876 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

OPETH Morningrise reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by diddy
4 stars O.k. here we go, Opeth found their Stile for the first time. This is what you get when you listen to Opeth! Melodic Death Metal with prog elements and lots of acoustic breaks. It's fascinating how Mikael can switch from his death metal growls to his warm fine clear voice. And his growls are NOT generated with help of a computer. You get lots of long songs on this album and the highlight for sure is the 20 minute Opeth classic 'Black Rose Immortal', a song that features all of Opeth's elements. But another highlight is 'To bid you farewell' maybe one of Opeth's best songs ever because it is pure Prog, sounding similar to some Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree. Sometimes I consider Morningrise to be Opeth's best album but I think Blackwater Park is still my favorite. Is Morningrise a good one to start with...yes I think it is because this album features Opeth's aggressive and mellow moments, all of this great guitar solos, a 20 minute epic and a song that can be considered to be pure prog, a song that maybe showed their love for prog rock the first time. And there's no boubt that this band has the skill to play good pure prog (what later on will be evidenced when listening to "Damnation"). So go out and buy this record because it is really great and btw, don't mind the death metal growls in most of the songs, I normally don't like them, but when listening to Opeth I can't get enough of them...
Review by FloydWright
2 stars It's evident when listening to Morningrise that some of my complaints about Orchid were addressed in this one. The production is quite a bit better (no more oddities like the strange volume jumps in the vocals or complete silences where they shouldn't be), and the clean vocals are quite dramatically improved--they are much easier to understand, and in general more effective. The screaming is still a bit too high-pitched for my liking, the twin distorted guitars are still annoying in some spots (especially considering that tone runs through the entire album), and the drumming, although done with a click track this time, is still not up to the same level later heard from Martin López (there's something Nordin does with the cymbals that sounds a bit too much like a train running than actual work...perhaps a bit too drum-machine like), but this thing flows much better than Orchid. There even starts to be evidence of a shared riff between songs as heard on later albums like My Arms, Your Hearse and Still Life. Do expect it to still share some of the same medieval/folkish influences as Orchid in the acoustic sections.

The opening track, "Advent", may well be the best track on the entire album. It's littered with interesting moments including an indescribably weird bass riff from Johan de Farfalla, especially when distorted guitar comes on behind it! The unusually low-pitched clean vocals in one section create a very strange, haunting effect, almost like Radiohead's Ed O'Brien (think "A Wolf at the Door"). The outro is absolutely amazing--and at no point during this song does one ever begin to think that it is far too long than it needs to be.

In "The Night and the Silent Water", Akerfeldt begins to find a slightly deeper growl that more resembles his sound on the next album My Arms, Your Hearse. Something slightly Eastern emerges in a few of the guitar riffs, although not overstated. Probably the best part of this one comes from about 7:40 forward where the song builds up in a way that reminds me of an onrushing tsunami: subtle at first but eventually crashing in with an absolute fury. That doubled whisper/growl is another tone that you never hear again in OPETH's work but it is strangely effective here. This is a close runner-up to "Advent"...while not quite as strong in the beginning, that section from 7:40 to about 10:30 is unforgettable.

"Nectar" may be overshadowed by some of the other tracks on Morningrise, but I think it catches more flack than necessary. I still think it's a listenable and worthwhile song. All I can say about the bass from about 9:05 forward--impressive! The abrupt stop, unlike in some other cases where OPETH has done a similar thing, works very well on it. "Black Rose Immortal", unfortunately, is this album's weak point, and I think it is highly overrated by some OPETH fans simply due to its length. The problem with it is, the various parts of this one do not fit all that well together and it ends up sounding like several different compositions rather than a united piece like PINK FLOYD's "Echoes" (an example of success at over 23 minutes). While the various pieces do have some promising parts, and the song still can be enjoyed--that's all they are: just parts. One riff even sounds...dare I say it... techno...and is a little bit difficult to take seriously. This is the one instance on Morningrise where I think that OPETH definitely overreached itself.

The final track, "To Bid You Farewell", is a very interesting case--OPETH's first attempt at a large-scale "mellow" composition. I do think that it gets a bit TOO mellow at the beginning, almost a bit "Weather Channel" ccould've done with a Rhodes or vintage synth or something to help de-emphasize the repetitiveness. But it definitely picks up after that, and becomes a very clear tribute to some of OPETH's 70s prog influences. Overall, "To Bid You Farewell" is a very enjoyable song and possibly my second favorite on Morningrise. The album in general is certainly a vast improvement over Orchid, although I think they still had yet to come to full maturity. That would be their next album...

Unfortunately, the bonus track on this album, "Eternal Soul Torture", really IS a torture and is just as bad as the one that was added to Orchid. I absolutely cannot understand why the record company felt the need to spoil what was (unlike Orchid) a great ending...while I don't blame the band for it, I definitely think that disaster loses this version of Morningrise half a star. It really IS that bad. It seems that perhaps I am being more harsh on it than the other reviewers, and I'm sorry to do it to a band I enjoy so much, but I really do feel that this album could turn someone off of OPETH if they started with it, and that this and Orchid should be reserved until a fan's last. They are interesting as part of a comprehensive collection, but don't quite stand so well on their own two feet.

Review by frenchie
4 stars A Magnificent album! Opeth have blown me away with every record, and pretty much every track they have made! Morningrise, lacks some of the oomph of all their work after this as it sounds a little dated, as well as their debut. The production and quality isn't as good as their later works but it has a great rawness to it. The music here is top notch.

It is great to see how Opeth have evolved from their debut. Morningrise is a 5 track epic album, and quite an ambitious volume of works for this band. I think that Opeth know what sound they want to make and have gone the extra mile to perfect that sound here. I have to say that this album is the most different of all of their discography (along with Damnation). The riffs on this album have a very different style to them. I noticed this on my first listen and it put me off a little but the album has grown on my a lot since with repeat listens. The riffs on this album sound a lot more metallic and speedy. The albums after this concentrate on more powerful, melodic and gloomy heavy parts. This record suggests that Opeth had not quite gained their essence that would first appear on "My Arms, Your Hearse".

Like usual, Opeth make very long compositions but this album has the longest. Every track is over 10 minutes. Black Rose Immortal is a 20 minute epic. "Advent" sounds almost like a prototype structure for "The Leper Affinity", the riffs aren't as powerful and the vocals also lack oomph but you can tell that the band are passionately playing well written music, the production is probably taking away some of this albums spirit. The mellow vocals that appear on this album however, are top notch, with some rather interesting acoustic work. Some parts even sounded quite mythical and reminded me of Genesis.

Mikael Akerfeldt admists to being a huge prog fan and it is clear that Opeth are making progressive rock. Black Rose Immortal is something just short of a masterpiece. This epic travels through many different parts. It is very captivating yet it can often struggle to flow as most of the time there are brief gaps of silence that usual separate the change between heavy and acoustic guitar parts. This is something that Opeth have improved on as their albums after this flow incredibley.

"Nectar" has some amazing riffs in it and is a standout piece on the album. The outro is very effective. Some of the riffs can feel repitive on this album but it doesn't seem to lack in creativeness and ideas. "To Bid You Farewell" is just beatiful. A great moment for their acoustic abilities which always astonish me. This is one of the mellowest and most emotional pieces they have ever written and is truely an Opeth Classic.

I would say that Morningrise should be one of the last albums you by. I would start with "Blackwater Park" or "Still Life" and progress from there. A brilliant work of music that unfortunately gets held back by its production problems and dated sound.

Review by Prog-jester
5 stars Simply my favourite OPETH album. I got it first, and only then I learned they're Prog! I mean when I was deep in Doom/Death Metal, I thought OPETH are really unique for that genre. Now I know that they're unique for Prog, and that they're unique without being pigeonholed to any existing genre. Death/Folk/Doom/Black/Prog-Metal, if you like? Anyway, the quintessence of early OPETH manner, both agressive and progressive and way more interesting than what they has to offer now, in my opinion. With 20-min long 'Black Rose Immortal' and 10 min of sheer brilliance in 'To Bid You Farewell' this album sets the standards for future Experimental Metal releases. What can be more eclectic? Probably, only MAUDLIN OF THE WELL managed to reach supremacy over OPETH in terms of experimenting in Metal. Amazing album and every progger should check it - especially if you've had already checked later OPETH, didn't like it and now wondering why everyone seems to adore this Scandinavian band. Highly recommended!
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Opeth had perfected their sound by the time they recorded this album. At the time, to combine haungtinly beautiful acoustic work with thunderous guitar riffs was not heard of, and Opeth perfected this unique trait with this album. However, there is not much variety in sound. Besides the difference is guitar riffs, and the acoustic sections are great on this album, but they sound similar. There is not much variety in the arrangement of tracks, too. They all begin heavy, then turn to an acoustic section, then back to heavy, and so on... a bit formulaic if you ask me.

Despite this error, there is still a lot to like about the album. It features the astonishing 20 minute Black Rose Immortal, with a supremely exquisite acoustic section that turns into a great metal riff, one of their most innovative IMO. Mikael Akerfeldt's voice shines on this album. Although it is mostly roars and screams, the clean vocal sections are utterly beautiful, and they reveal the true voice of Akerfeldt. The guitar work is as intricate as ever, and the drumming is adequate for the material; but what surprised the most was the incredible bass work. Among the best the group has had.

Overall, I enjoyed this album. No matter how derivitive or formulaic it may be, there is something for all here IMO. 3.5/5

Review by The Crow
4 stars I think that Morningrise clearly surpasses its predecessor!

This was the most acoustic Opeth's album before the Damnation's coming. Some songs from this album are half metal, half not, like the beautiful The Night and The Silent Water. To bid you Farewell is the first attempt of Opeth to make something more relaxed and in a classical style from the 70's, and they made a great song, in that style that they will follow more deeply in the future. It reminds me of Face of Melinda.

Black Rose Immortal deserves a place of honor in the Opeth's career, their longest song, and it has brilliant moments, especially in the center of the track, with a wonderful mix of relaxed and strong parts. But in the opposite side, this song has some moment not very good, with a weak sound. Although that doesn't mean that it isn't a great song.

Conclusion: really, a great work, for me the best of their three first releases. I think it's the best Opeth's album to know the early years of the group. The production could be better, and the songs aren't too different between them, but the romanticism and the gloomy feeling that this album inspires it's wonderful. Like the bass guitar of Nektar, the powerful riffs of Advent.

Best Tracks: The Night and The Silent Water, Black Rose Immortal.

My rating: ****

Review by Moatilliatta
4 stars Opeth has taken a different approach to all of their albums, but their second release, Morningrise, does carry a lot of the same styles, sounds, and moods as Orchid. The material here, however, shows improvements in all areas from the previous year's release. The compositions are stronger overall, and more memorable. Akerfeldt's voice has improved a bit, most notably in his clean voice, which is used more often. The acoustic passages are more frequent, and are noticeably more developed than those on Orchid. Pretty much every aspect, both good and bad, from their debut was improved upon here.

While Opeth has always written long songs, this is the only of their records in which all tracks topped 10 minutes. It is also their only album to feature a 20 minute song. The constant shifting from the heavy sections to the calm sections compliments the narrative lyrics almost as if the songs were audio movies, even more so because there is hardly any repetition of passages. One might argue that the structures of these songs are a bit formulaic within the band. Surely no other band does what Opeth does, still, all but one of these songs have similar structures: speedy riffs, heavy music, guttural screams, followed by rich melodies, acoustic segments, clean vocals, etc. and repeat, numerous times. The songs themselves also bear the same general sound as well. This is the only Opeth record that one could even think to use such an argument against it though. It really isn't a big deal to me, and it shouldn't be. If the same thing occurred beyond just one record, we would have a problem. Fortunately, that wouldn't be the case.

The final track, "To Bid You Farewell," uses no screaming, and is mainly acoustic and clean guitar based, except for 3 of the last 4 minutes, where the clean vocals remain, but the metallic music makes one last appearance before the song and album come to a close.

Every track is excellent. Even the 20 minutes song, "Black Rose Immortal" remains tight and interesting its entire duration. Progressive Metal fans, or fans of any metal for that matter, will enjoy this release.

Review by Marc Baum
4 stars Opeth's 2nd release "Morningrise" brings Opeth into even more progressive metal territory and is well deserved of people's claims of this being their most progressive. Musically Opeth have expanded and improved a fair deal since their last album Orchid. The variety of different guitar stylings and solo's is very noticable as in all Opeth albums. Acoustics are a bit faster than Orchid and still fairly slow tempo but still a great pace and atmosphere. Possibly some of their best but really pushes this album above their others is their guitar harmonies on this album. Simply phenominal even for Opeth standards! Not as many heavy guitar riffs (ala intro to Karma-MAYH) which turned out great with made this a slower tempo release as well as one of Opeth's softest (pre-Damnation) albums.

Mikael's clean vocals have improved quite a bit from Orchid, although not used as much as later outings, still a factor. The growl is still death growls with BM influence I think is pretty good and goes great with the music but I prefer later vocals (one semi- weakness). The last albums we are treated to some very good basswork from Johan De Farfalla. Drumming is great, above average rhythm to go with exceptionally beautiful guitars. What more could you ask for prog-heart? Production wise its not the best but definitely an improvement. But this is no problem for Opeth. One other noticable thing is the length of the acoustic interludes, which lengthen the songs but sets excellent variety of moods and atmosphere. This is surely one of the hardest Opeth albums to get into because of its progressive nature. Too much for some, but those who finally discover the beauty in Opeth's music will be rewarded in a very big way.

"Advent" is easily one of my favorite Opeth songs. I would almost say flawless intro building up to the verse and the guitar harmonies, acoustic blend was top notch as well as some great basswork near the end of the song. "The Night and The Silent Water" is also beyond amazing. Mikael's pain is clearly reflected in the beautiful yet mournful intro/verse distorted guitar melodies. Complete with great acoustics, well placed harsh vocals and one of the more memorable spots on the CD where Mikael softly speaks in a haunting, clean tone near the end of the song. "Nectar" is somewhat reminsicent of Advent, excellent guitar melodies and basswork to start but not quite at the same level of excellence. Not as much acoustic experimentation, but enough harsh vocals and chilling melodies to leave any Opeth fan breathless.

"Black Rose Immortal" is without a doubt the hardest Opeth song to get into by clocking in around 20 minutes long... from the melodic beginning that turns extreme in what seems an instant, to the endless soaring guitar melodies to the excellent soft acoustic passages. This song is a true tribute to what Morningrise and Opeth as a whole are about. Their defining song. Not afraid to have parts as rare as solely vocal passages and really stretch the boundaries of progression in metal. Even contains one of the most cryptic closing riffs I've heard. "To Bid You Farewell" is a very soft song for Opeth standards and the first long, epic beauty they tried without growls. Mostly played with vast amounts of well played, memorable acoustic material that actually stands out from most acoustics on the album and some very epic, almost heroic distorted riffs in closing that foreshadow what is to come in the near future (*cough* face of melinda). Showcases Mikael's singing ability more than ever, which is great and propelled this as another of Opeth's endless amount of excellent material. This is very progressive even for Opeth standards, but truly a piece of beauty.

It is beyond me why Mikael isn't as fond of this album (perhaps track 2). Anyone into memorable guitar melodies and progressive music altogether should undoubtedly check this out. One of my personal favorite Opeth releases and highly recommended to the prog-crowd out there.

album rating: 8/10 points = 82 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars /

Review by OpethGuitarist
5 stars Another one of my all time favorite albums, largely due to the awesomeness that is Advent and TNATSW. Along with that, Black Rose Immortal, still to me, has the most wonderful 5 minute passage of music that I've ever heard. Does it overreach itself at times? Somewhat. However, the section that I am discussing is still one of the most beautiful lines of music that you are likely to hear.

This is a definite upgrade from Orchid, and while some sections of the song tend to lose the listener and get off track, the powerful sections are most powerful and amazing.

Advent is still one of the best songs Opeth has recorded, and probably one of the most underappreciated by fans. The riff structures here are very much unlike Opeth's style, and that's one of the things that makes the song stand out so much.

TNATSW is a piece that Mikael no longer likes, mainly due to the family importance it had at the time it was written. It is unfortunate that this great piece may never be played again.

Nectar is the only dragger here, a song that never really finds itself, the only real low spot on the album.

Now I will shift courses and include my blog on the song Black Rose Immortal, which I originally wrote for the forums.

Black Rose Immortal : An Analysis

More so than any song, I believe Black Rose Immortal from Opeth's Morningrise shows the scope and presence of the prog metal genre. At 20 minutes in length, it certainly has the longevity to compete with other famous prog epics. I don't even consider it the best piece on the album, but by far the most important, and that's part of the reason I have rated this album so well in my review. But what makes this song so important? What makes it the defining piece of a genre?

For one, we are sent through a gamut of emotions. In no other song am I sent through such a range of feelings. We go from hate, to desperation, to pain, to pride and triumph, to fear, to love, to passion, all over the course of one song. It is a rare that a song has all of these qualities, much less 2 or 3 of them. But Opeth is not pretentious about any of this, perhaps the greatest quality they and more specifically Akerfeldt has is his songwriting ability. Too many times you will see band's pursue long epic style tracks with an attitude to them that would suggest that you shouldn't listen to this in the first place, because we (the band) are better than you. Not here. Black Rose Immortal does not cheat its listeners. It is a story with gripping poetry.

The Beginning (0-4:04)

The song starts with the most famous riff line in Opeth's catalog, the one they use in many, probably 20 of their songs, which has always been the one common denominator in the band's history. It is the most misunderstood aspect of the band, because this is where the growling vocals are prominent. People hear the vocals and instinctively think "hateful, dark music" when it is anything but. Block out the vocals and listen again. The music is not depressing. It is uplifting. The guitar riff pattern is upbeat, triumphant even. The pattern is an 8th note, followed by running 16th notes, in repetition of usually 4 or 8 bars. This is a triumphant riff that Opeth has used time and time again in countless other songs, almost exclusively with death vocals. The mixed death vocals with this heavy, uplifting style has probably caused more confusion among listeners than any other pattern in music I am aware of.

From this, we are lead into a slow, celtic style riff which ebbs and flows with the dual guitars creating a nice harmony from the previous dissonance. Then we are lead into an acoustic modification of this. This is a part easy to like on first listen. It is a folksy styled section that highlights the acoustic aspects of the band. The acoustic guitar work is one of the other defining parts of Opeth. They have never been particularly technical or mind-blowing virtuosos, but have always been tasteful and keen on song structure, as can be heard here. It's a wonderful transition into the next chapter of the song.

We are led to a medieval styled riff with some excellent backing bass work and more dual guitar melodies, really the highlight of Opeth's early work. From this we head to the section that will perhaps turn off most listeners. The song heads to a black metal direction, with tremolo picked guitars but with the pattern of the traditional Opeth riff structure which I described earlier. Akerfeldt lets out a roar (literally) that highlights his growling abilities and manages to show the pain and suffering of the character in the story.

The Waters (4:05-7:26)

We reach a muddy acoustic section that is reflective and emits a certain gloom. The entire passage brims with tension from the eerie water background to the build up of the electric delays. We are ready for a sonic explosion. Again the dual guitars come in with a simple but well placed riff. What's interesting to note here is how calm the drums are and there affect on the music. Unlike what might be common for a double bass drum passage with the heavy guitars, the drums are quite pleasant which enables the next transition to occur much more fluidly. There is a brief but engaging recapture point, in case one might have been too indulged or too put off by the heavy section, where the acoustic comes back in play and the word "whisper" adds additional effect to the brief transition in the piece. We return to the layered dual guitars in a classic Gothenburg style sound. This sound is built upon extensively until we come to the solo section.

The Solo (7:27-8:55)

In what can only be called a rarity, this is one of the very few expanded Opeth solos. The band usually does not opt for guitar soloing, but with a song of 20 minutes in length it's difficult to get away without one. The drums are intriguing at first, yet get cold during the middle of the soloing, a mark off here. There is a running type back and forth at the start, followed by a brief drum fill, and then the arpeggio section begins. This is some of the most complex soloing the band has ever done, as they usually stray from this approach. This section is take it as you see/hear it. I really wished something less conventional would have been done here.

The Amaranth Symbol (8:56-14:47)

Pure Beauty. Not enough words can describe how I feel when I come to this section of the song. Every part is perfect. I've never heard music and experienced songwriting this amazing in anything else they or any other band has done. If you don't listen to any other section of this song, listen to this one. It acts almost as an entirely separate song in itself. If you think Opeth is merely death metal, I urge you to listen closely here, you will find beauty and depth that is often sought for but rarely found.

We begin with just a voice, Akerfeldt singing clearly, emotionally, as if a soul scarred. It's nearly tearful. Then with the lines, "and the rising sun", we have a sense of hope, and we are greeted with a most pleasant of sounds, with a folksy, near mythic riff that speaks to the soul. From there, we head to a dual acoustic showcase. Drums build to add tension to the music. They rise until they are incorporated into the music with the bass. Clear, ethereal vocals begin again in a wonderfully poetic passage. By now I am overwhelmed with emotion, and I have yet to reach my favorite part.

Silence overcomes us once again, and we are presented with just an acoustic guitar. The music is even more uplifting, epic like in its presence. Another acoustic comes in to create contrast and the music reaches a certain height and then, silence again. Now the music is fuller and we have electric tonal power. We have the Epic Riff again, this time with full band and electric guitar effect, and gripping death vocals that are nothing like death vocals. They are moving, graceful, and speak of despair while at the same time one can not help but feel a presence of hope.

Lullaby of the crescent moon Took you Mesmerized, kaleidoscopic face

After this passage the Gothenburg dual guitars returns, incorporating itself in the mix with ease, then transitioning smoothly to the next section or Epic Riff Part 2. Though much briefer, it is extremely important for the vocal part and the ensuing riff, The Riff of Ages.

The Riff of Ages. The eternal riff. The riff of dreams. My favorite section of the entire song. Collisions of sonic ecstasy occur in the most sublime riff ears have heard. So much emotion is packed into this one section that I am often at awe at to how it was created in the first place. The guitars exude a walking arpeggio on the low end combined with a prideful march. It glides with an ease and passion that only magnifies the beauty of the lyrics in perhaps the most poetic lines the band ever wrote.

I have kept it The amaranth symbol Hidden inside the golden shrine

Until - we rejoice - In the meadow, of the end When we both, walk the shadow It will set ablaze, and vanish Black Rose Immortal

The final lines are spoken after a shift back to the single acoustic guitar, which repeats the Riff of Ages one last time. Then the words "Black Rose Immortal" are uttered, which breaks us from the previous gripping section. Followed is one last acoustic arpeggiated chord, and a glorious section of music is completed.

A Somber Escape (14:48-17:24)

An acoustic guitar in mourning guides us as if on a cloudy day in graveyard. Indeed, throughout much of this song the parts people would refer to as dark or gloomy are the acoustic passages which help give the work an easing flow and transition. Bass presence here towards the end is the highlight of Johan de Farfalla's career. It's simple, artistic, and coincides perfectly with the mood the song is establishing. The simple flowing drums lets the acerbic arpeggiated guitar chords really ring through and give it accent.

We are led to maybe my least favorite aspect of the song, the second solo section, which is really the song's only major blemish. It kills the mood that had been set and makes the really powerful finish seem to go in staggering somewhat. This section might have been placed more at the beginning as it fits the mood and atmosphere there much better than it does here at the close, which I have always attributed to being more subtle, the most emotional, and near dream-like in its quality.

At Night, I Always Dream of You (17:25-20:14)

Sorrow and anguish reach their peak here, in the most painful section of the story for our main character. If anything about this song is "dark" it is this section, with one of the most chilling of endings to any song. We have an acoustic guitar playing an arpeggiated chord pattern in repetition in order to create an eerie and tense mood. A slow and prodding drum section, along with Akerfeldt's clean vocals add to this effect. Afterwards, an e-bow effect on the electric guitar is introduced. Akerfeldt lets out a roar of pain, which to me signifies the loss of his loved one (which would go in hand with the last lines of the song, "At night I always dream of you"). It's literally creepy, because as in any good movie or book, at the end you are left uncertain as to what will happen next. Will there be revenge? A suicide? Exile? It's really anyone's guess.

We close with a sliding guitar that to me feels like a darker version of some of Gilmour's fine "moody" atmospheres he so carefully crafted. The sound of the slide fades into echoes and then into oblivion, and the song closes.


While Black Rose Immortal will never be looked at in the same regards among prog fans as Supper's Ready, Close to the Edge, or Thick as a Brick, I believe that it is without a doubt one of the most engaging and rewarding of journeys. There's more here than "immature death metal" as one ignorant forum member so bluntly put it. I would ask such dismissing listeners to especially take notice to the beautiful acoustic sections throughout this song and the poetic vocal lines which are quite a surprise from a Swedish band.

To Bid you Farewell could have had a lot done to it, and it would be interesting to see what Opeth would do with it now with their greater knowledge of music and keyboardist. Either way its still a very good song and recommended to those who do not like death growls.

Overall, an amazing album, a jewel in my collection.

Review by Zitro
3 stars 3.3 stars

Opeth took the Orchid sound, fixed some of their early flaws, developed their sound further, and focused on long songs. Remaining problems are some of the unremarkable acoustic sections, some pauses in the songs that break a bit of the continuity and fluidity of the album, and the drumming is not as excellent as Martin Lopez.

However, The growls are more in the mix since the guitars and drums are louder and heavier. Also, there are less growls out of place (though they still are a bit too high-pitched). Not to forget, the acoustic parts are less repetitive and fit better in the album (except for the epic). In addition, their double-guitar riffing is much more catchy and interesting (most notable improvement over Orchid). Finally, the melodies are stronger.

Advent comes off as the best track, and since the music in this album is similar throughout itself, I will describe the opener. It starts with an imaginative guitar riff combined with a neat bass guitar that will be prominent in a very short acoustic bit. More electric guitars continue for a while until a sustain growl stops it and helps a good acoustic guitar/bass duo take over for a bit, which is later developed with electric guitars. Suddenly, a fast paced bass is alone until the guitars kick in! More cool heavy stuff + grunts. Later, another acoustic parts with clean vocals comes in. The bass is loud in the mix again (something I miss in their next albums, where it is barely audible), the theme develops and a slow distorted guitar comes in for a few seconds while the acoustic music keeps playing. It coherently leads to a loud double-guitar part with "Shut uuuuuuuuuup" screams. The grunts are a bit high-pitched but I can tolerate them. Some clean vocals appear in this section. Later, the song changes yet again with another brutal guitar riff and awesome fretless bass guitar. A few seconds later, another new riff, a few seconds later: even another riff is introduced and those two alternate back and forth and a beautiful section stop the madness in the moment you would least expect it. The song ends with many different acoustic parts. Ha, it's good not to be repetitive in a song!

The rest of the album sounds like a whole big song as the songs seem connected and follow a story, as well as sound in a similar tone. The Night and the Silent Water has a few amazing riffs from Mikael as well as a beautiful mellow section in the early stages of it. Nectar is similar to Advent, but far inferior. However, it doesn't mean it is a bad song. Instead, it lacks experimentation and sounds a bit like if the band was lacking some good ideas, except for that powerful bass line near the end. Black Rose Immortal has coherence issues (some pauses within the song), and a very unimaginative intro. I do not like the song very much though I admit that the ending is pretty epic.

The last song is very different from the others. It is an extended growl-free track that starts with a simple guitar theme, then develops, then clean vocals and jazzy guitars appear and the song ends in a heavy fashion combined with strong vocals which sound very appropiate for this album: Epic! Unfortunately, the song is too repetitive for my liking.

Highlights: Advent

Let Downs: Nectar, Black Rose Immortal.

My Grade : C+

Review by evenless
3 stars OPETH - Morningrise (3.5 stars really!)

I discovered OPETH with their mellow 2003 album DAMNATION and started to work my way back through the catalogue from there. So after DAMNATION I purchased BLACKWATER PARK (BWP) and DELIVERANCE.

It took me some time to get used to Mikael's growling and I still didn't get quite used to it. Even back on the 1996 MORNINGRISE you can already hear that OPETH is not your average Swedish Death Metal band; Their compositions and instrumentation is all great with many variations of tempo and moods in their music varying from atmospheric to bombastic with death metal grunts.

It is still my humble opinion that the grunting is not supporting the music when almost all lyrics are sung growling opposed to a growl or grunt now and then. On MORNINGRISE it is a big relief to me whenever Mikael uses his clear vocals. I would rather have him sing all the lyrics with his clean vocals with only a grunt now and then whenever it is necessary to put some emotion in the music, like for example Mariusz Duda from RIVERSIDE does. Fortunately Mikael Akerfeldt puts more variation in his voice on the later albums like BWP and Ghost Reveries. The final track (not the bonus track) "To Bid You Farewell" is the track I love most because it is somewhat mellow like the later compositions on the DAMNATION album. BEAUTIFUL!

Once again; this is not an album for starters, I suppose only for the Prog lovers who can cope with the growling and grunting. But on the other hand musically everything is overwhelming and played perfectly. Many changes in tempo and atmosphere of the music have become almost an "OPETH trademark".

3 stars because I simply find STILL LIFE, BWP and GHOST REVERIES a lot better than the "early OPETH", but MORNINGRISE is certainly worth it!

Review by el böthy
3 stars Something is about to happen...

That something is the best metal band ever and this is the seed of what one day would become this band, but just as a seed there is still some blossoming to do! Morningrise would mark the turning point in Opeth´s music. The progressive elements, always present since the first chord of Orchid, are stronger than ever and the result is not shy about it; this must very well be Opeth´s proggiest album, and although lenght is not necessarily synonymous to prog, a 20 min epic song is a strong representative of their new path to follow. In fact, no song is short here, they are all above the 10 min duration and there is even the key prog number of songs: ... 5!

Now, this new found glory is promesing, but it´s just the begining of what would come, for I see this album still to inmature from what now are Opeth´s standards, and I have heard Mickael feels the same way, and it´s easy to see why. The song structures are yet not that strong, no song goes down without one of two "flaws" here and there, specially Black rose inmortal, which is still very enjoyable, but I garantee you Mickael could now do so much better when it comes to an epic... wouldn´t that be sweeeeet?!? Getting back to the album; the production doesn´t help much either (I´m sorry Swano), for the whole thing seems flat all the way through, Mickael´s voice is still not "up there" (the change would come in My Arms, your hearse... and what an improvement that will be!), specially his growling. But, all in all, although this "flaws" might seem like a big thing, they aren´t really that big of a deal, the album is very enjoyable and The Advent, the album opener, is still one of Opeth´s best songs in my ears. It´s a big step in the right direction, that´s for sure!

Review by russellk
3 stars The monstrous OPETH sound is prominent on this, their second album. Five ten-minute-plus tracks, each with distinctiveness and creativity well beyond the run-of-the-mill melodic death metal genre. Witness the bent bass of the opening track, the combination of riff-laden passages and acoustic interludes, this time interwoven with far more skill than on their debut, the more powerful singing in both growls and 'clean' vocals. This is a tighter, more focused outfit, building on the successes of their debut without significantly modifying the formula.

They still had a long way to go, however. The riffs would become heavier still in future albums, the acoustic breaks more melodious and central to the songs; and, most importantly, OPETH would integrate more and more progressive tendencies in their music. Nevertheless, 'Advent', 'The Night and Silent Water' and parts of the patchy epic 'Black Rose Immortal' (the only time OPETH overreach their abilities) are excellent. The wonderful 'To Bid You Farewell' shows how sophisticated OPETH were already becoming.

With this album OPETH set about redefining a genre. The fact that they have largely succeeded is a tribute to their creativity and hard work. This is one of the essential albums of the prog-metal genre... yet there is so much better yet to come.

Review by Prog Leviathan
2 stars As a fan retroactively working his way through Opeth's catalogue, I can appreciate and forgive this early release its faults given the band's relative infancy at the time. Songwriting is generally strong, with the group experimenting with the elements which will later become their signature sound. Taken as a whole it's hard to say that "Morningrise" is anything other than slightly more ambitious death-metal of its day, and more than likely will not please newer fans as much as Opeth's amazing later albums-- but it's easy to see how fans who were here from the beginning latched onto this unique group. However, I don't recommend it to any who haven't already experienced albums like "Ghost Reveries" or "Blackwater Park"; it will be hard to latch on to "Morningrise's" sound without prior exposure.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 2 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The second album from Opeth called Morningrise is by many metal heads I know considered a classic within the doom/death genre. Allthough more progressive than most other important albums in this genre like: CATHEDRAL´s Forest of Equilibrium, PARADISE LOST´s Gothic and MY DYING BRIDE´s Turn Loose the Swans, Morningrise is still first and foremost a metal album.

Opeth have developed their style since the debut album Orchid which I found pretty good. There are now more acoustic sections between the melodic death metal parts. The tempo is still slow to mid. All songs are generally well composed and played and as always when talking about Opeth there are moments of pure bliss in some of their songs. Just listen to the wonderful fretless bass in Advent.

The sound quality has always bothered me on this album though and it is a major problem IMO. You can hear everything that´s happening but the instruments have an irritating sound and the vocals are also badly produced. I´m sure this is an aquired taste but I can´t stand this production.

Drummer Anders Nordin does not play in a style that I prefer and I like Martin Lopez who would play on the next album much better. The other musicians do a great job though. There is nothing wrong with the skills here.

All in all it is a good album from Opeth, but I do feel they miss that something special that would later send them to the top of progressive death metal. It´ll be present on the next album though. For this one I´ll give 3 stars as it has about as many flaws as it has beautiful moments.

Review by The Pessimist
4 stars How on earth this album is rated so low surpasses me. It is a brilliant album, and probably one of their proggiest efforts in my opinion, and this is from someone who listens to Still Life, Blackwater Park and Ghost Reveries on a regular basis. Admittedly, the production leaves a bit to be desired, but the whole dark atmosphere surrounding this album is untouchable. What i love also about Morningrise is the direct folk influence that they abolished post-My Arms, Your Hearse, you can hear it all over this album, but most notably at the 8 minute mark on Advent and the acappella section in Black Rose Immortal. I would probably say that this is one of Opeth's mellower albums as well, the acoustic passages are more abundant and the closing track is almost entirely acoustic. If you enjoy their acoustic sections in other albums, you should in theory love this one. One final thing i miss about the old Opeth that is so evident in this release: Johan DeFarfalla. He is such an astonishing bass player and a wizard on the fretless, I have no clue as to why he left Opeth after this album.

Now a track by track:

Advent -

Excellent opener as always, this one rocks pretty hard. There are, as expected from old school death metal, a good few dramatic tempo changes in the first few minutes of the song, with enough riffs to satisfy any prog-metalhead's needs. It's pretty much standard Opeth up until the mellow section at around 6 minutes. This is probably one of my favourite tense acoustic moments in all Opeth's catalogue, it seems to resolve and put you on edge at the same time, up until the incredible folk-metal riff comes in following a small drum count. It only gets better from there, kicking off with a fantastic prog metal phase and ending on another eerie acoustic passage. Probably the strongest effort on the album, bar To Bid You Farewell.

The Night And The Silent Water -

This song kicks off with a gorgeous riff over some sycopated drumming. This masterpiece combines mellow with heavy so perfectly it's almost to the standard of tracks like Godhead's Lament and Deliverance, no joke. It is a slow one, but that really doesn't matter when it's Opeth. They seem to make even the most obscure slow song sound anthemic. Once again, the acoustic section at around the 3 minute marker is beautiful and melodic. We then are whisked into the Baroque period with a very Purcell-esque duel distorted guitar melody that cheekily modulates to great effect. Not much more can be said about this song other than some more folk influence is unveiled and the ending is legendary to Opeth fans.

Nectar -

In my opinion the weakest track, it is possibly the most upbeat of them all. Nonetheless, it is quite a good track, it just seems a bit messy to me though. The bass playing on this really does shine as brightly as on the opener, superb, and the drum intro is basic but great. This song mainly comprises of an onslaught of folk metal riffs interrupted by gentle acoustic guitar lines, nothing we haven't seen previously.

Black Rose Immortal -

Now this is seen as Opeth's best effort to date by some. I'd have to disagree. It is brilliant, yes, but it is direly overated by fans and i will explain why. It is nowhere near as epic as classics like Supper's Ready or Close To The Edge, not because of the length, but because it lacks a sense of return and nostalgia. They could have created it so easily by repeating just one of the many melodies in this huge song, but they didn't, which bewilders me. You don't feel like you've been on a journey at all... nevertheless, it is fantastic and has it's great moments, including Mikael Akefeldt singing acappella, one of the greatest guitar solos ever, a very creepy acoustic passage at around the 5 minutes mark and if you love your folk riffs, there are more than enough here. Doesn't really touch the standards of Advent and To Bid You Farewell, which is surprising considering it's THE EPIC of Opeth, but it is a good listen and is favourited by some.

To Bid You Farewell -

Oh my god, this is possibly Opeth's best song to date. Well, i say that about a few of them, but the point is that To Bid You Farewell is at the same musical standard as the greats: Godhead's Lament, Bleak and Deliverance. Unlike those masterpieces however, this song is very mellow and has me almost sobbing when hearing it. The acoustic guitars in this song take my breath away on a very personal level, the harmonies are so skilfully crafted and the singing is without a doubt from Mikael's soul... The build up, however, is the highlight of this track and possibly all of Opeth's discography. It kickstarts at exactly 5:13, and builds and builds up until the huge climax kicks in. I don't want to spoil any of this for you, but the climax is superb and I could easily listen to the whole tune over and over and over again, it is simply that good and timeless.

Overall as an album, it is not stunning. The two tracks BRI and Nectar bring down the other three masterpieces. However, the only possible way i see of doing those three great songs justice is to rate Morningrise as a 4star effort, an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Even if you do not like Opeth's music, at least buy this CD for the pure genius and emotion that lies within the song To Bid You Farewell: every progger should have heard it at least once. It is monumental.

Review by horsewithteeth11
2 stars I think I'm missing what everyone else sees in this album.

Some people think that this is one of Opeth's masterpieces, but I don't see anything that resembles masterpiece quality. In comparison to Opeth's debut, Orchid, this album does have a few redeeming qualities. We do get to see the mature development of a few of the ideas presented in Orchid, but most of them are left out of this album. I do think The Night and the Silent Water is a fairly good track and a classic Opeth song (I've had the pleasure of seeing it performed live). But except for that song, I really don't get a whole lot of enjoyment out of this album. It's still lacking the clean vocals that I love from Akerfeldt, although his death growls are starting to improve slightly. The instrumentation is slightly better as well, although the drummer is still awful from what I can tell. And worst of all, Opeth still didn't fix the problems with the production quality present in the last album! I'm sorry, but in order for me to fully enjoy an album, it needs to have that quality, or else it'll drop the album's rating from me by a star, sometimes more. If it had been better produced, I could actually accept this as an average, 3 star album, but since it suffers from that issue, I have to drop a star off and only give it a rating of 2. You can try this album out if you wish, but only at your own risk.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Morningrise' - Opeth (8.5/10)

Opeth have proven themselves over time to be one of the most innovative and quality-consistent bands out there in the metal world. Even as early as their debut, Opeth was writting some pretty great material. However, it was not until 1996 when this band from Stockholm, Sweden released the first album that was truly representative of what the band could do together.

'Morningrise' is best described as a 'flawed masterpiece.' There are some of Opeth's best ever songs on here, and the acoustic work on this album has never been topped on any other Opeth album. This album also has the first song that makes primary use of Mikael Akerfeldt's clean singing abilities. The ballad 'To Bid You Farewell' is the best ballad Opeth has ever done, and it builds up to a great, dramatic climax that is both intense, emotional and moving.

The highlight of the album is the epic 'Night And The Silent Water,' which is a masterpiece on it's own. It's possibly the greatest Opeth song ever done, and never gets old. It covers the entire spectrum of sound, going from heaviness, to a more acoustic sound, to a slow but steady buildup that erupts into a gut-wrenching finale that cannot be described as anything other then epic. Not only is it one of the best Opeth songs of all time, but it's one of the best progressive metal songs ever written.

The 'epic' of the album, 'Black Rose Immortal' while it's definately good and interesting for the most part, is a little bit of a dissapointment. When thinking of a twenty minute Opeth song, I thought of something that could possibly rival 'A Change Of Seasons' or 'Supper's Ready.' What 'Black Rose Immortal' ends up being is a song that while being a good song, doesn't meet up to my standards even close of what I thought it would shape up to me. Not to say it isn't good, and I know alot of Opeth fans who think that it's the greatest thing, but it's never hit me as being a mind-blowing song. Some of the parts in the song (after a few listens) get a bit sickening.

'Advent' and 'Nectar' are both songs that never hit me the first few times listening to them. The only difference is that as of writting this review, 'Advent' blows my mind, whereas 'Nectar' ranks as just being alright, and sort of forgettable.

This is still a work of a band that's growing and developing, and Opeth wouldn't find their perfect voice until the masterful 'Still Life' a few years later. But this album is the greatest of Opeth's early works, and while it might not have the flow or grace of a masterpiece, it's still a great album, from a great band. While some may have a problem with the production quality, and the 'black metal' feel of the music, it's a very intelligent work. Four stars.

Review by J-Man
4 stars I'm giving Opeth's second release four stars, but I'm half-tempted to five simply because of how underrated this album is. It seems to me like anything before their fourth album, "Still Life", gets way too much criticism. This is a great album! It is not quite as good as some of Opeth's other releases, but it is certainly in the same league.

One of the things you'll notice while listening to this is that this album was before Mikael Akerfeldt's growl deepened and matured greatly. It's still good, but is not what it would soon become. Also, every song is over 10 minutes, proving that this is not your typical 90's death metal act. This also includes the 20-minute epic "Black Rose Immortal". Strangely enough, this is my least favorite track, and is possibly why I'm giving this release four stars. I'll explain all of this later. Now that you have a short overview of the album, I'll explain the songs in more detail.

"Advent"- This song has a very cool opening with intense double bass pedals. I love the way the fretless bass is used in this song, and shows how much Johan DeFaralla added to the band. This also has a nice acoustic break that progresses nicely into a proggy riff. A great opener!

"The Night and the Silent Water"- Mikael Akerfeldt wrote this song about the death of his grandfather. This could very well be my favorite song on the album. It starts heavy, and goes into a nice acoustic section with Akerfeldt's clean vocals. This progresses into another heavy section that goes into a dark, melodic, and awesome last few minutes. The song ends on a cool acoustic guitar harmony. Another great track!

"Nectar"- This song begins on a drum intro that goes into the main riff. I love the way the riff is heavy and melodic, and the way the acoustic guitars blend beautifully with the electric. This song is very good as well. "Nectar" has a proggy and complex ending that is very enjoyable for any prog fan.

"Black Rose Immortal"- The 20-minute epic on Morningrise. This is the longest song Opeth has ever recorded. Sadly, it is my least favorite song on the whole album. While it has great music, it lacks what creates a great epic. There are NO repeating themes in the song. All of the music is very good, but it has nothing that makes it feel like one epic track. With that said, it is still an excellent prog metal song that is not worth skipping.

"To Bid You Farwell"- The closing song on this album features no death metal growls, which is another thing proving that these guys weren't your average death metal act. This song reminds me of something off of their "Damnation" album. This is a very good song that any prog fan (not just prog metal fan) needs to hear.

This isn't the place to start listening to Opeth (that would be "Still Life"), but it is a great, highly underappreciated album. It's a shame that this was the last album with bassist Johan DeFaralla. It's clear how much he and his fretless bass added to Opeth. This is a highly recommended album to anybody who already is familiar with some of Opeth's other music.

4/5 stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The first two Opeth albums are an acquired taste. Two of the most alluring qualities of Opeth were still very under-developed:

First of all the singing. There's almost no clean singing at all here. There's bits and pieces scattered throughout the album but they are still very insecure. Even worse is the fact that Mike's grunting here resembles more a black metal rasp then his full-bellied demon attack we all came to love him for on the later albums.

Secondly, the progressive rock element is still missing. Yes sure, the songs are long and long and long and long, but they're made up of folksy riffs that are just sequenced, rather randomly, one after the other. The intricate epic metal riffs with their jazzy and Camel flavours is still far away.

Even so, this beautiful bleak album, what it that lacks in song mastery of later albums, it makes up with its haunting and chilling atmosphere.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
3 stars Opeth's second studio album, "Morningrise", has been surprisingly highly regarded among fans or even critics. Considered one of the best death metal sophomore albums, this album before listening to it seemed really, really good. But I'm overall disappointed with the result, which could have been easily more ambitious than how it tempted to be.

This album is part of the first Opeth period, keep that in mind; like every progressive metal band, the first albums have a very rough production, very influenced by thrash and doom metal. "Morningrise" is no different. Frankly this is an element that always annoyed me, even though the sound might have been very much intentional. Mikael Akerfeldt, the lead singer and one of the best metal singers ever, here doesn't bring at all his immense talent in both songwriting, singing or guitar playing. His vocals are always put into the shadow of the noisy guitars, whether they are clean vocals or growls (very blackened in this album). The acoustic guitars are the only thing that sound really good and not lo-fi in any way. Anders Nordin's drums are a little too rigid, but the bass playing is outstanding in some points, played by Johan DeFarfalla.

Musically the album is very basic blackened death metal, with some acoustic interludes. In fact, in each of these five songs, the rough metal moments, where the guitars always use counterparts instead of simple power chords (another thing that I do not like much), are immediately followed by acoustic, folky passages, somewhat tense and ready to open up another violent part. These constant alternations definitely give the label to the album "Progressive". The thing that mostly disappointed me is that this structure is repeated in every one of the five, extremely long songs, without one of these tracks being different or more experimental from the others if not for the change of melody. It definitely gets monotonous in many points. But I never said that these melodies can't be gripping in the best moments. "Advent" has really good melodies, and it is with "To Bid You Farewell", the song that features no growls and is for a good half of it acoustic, the best song of this record. "The Night And The Silent Water" however Is a little dull, and didn't move me in any way. The twenty minute epic "Black Rose Immortal" had much more impact on me, and you can definitely feel the progressive influences here.

So it is in the end a good album, with weak points that often are brought up, but generally it's a decent metal album, recommendable to who is a big fan of the band and decided to look back at the first works.

Review by Warthur
5 stars Opeth's second album finds them taking a big leap forward from their debut. The most obvious aspect of the band's approach on Morningside is the long, epic song structures - there's not one composition here that is less than 10 minutes long, and the standout track Black Rose Immortal is over 20 minutes - and the extensive use of acoustic guitar, unusual in a death metal context. Mikael Åkerfeldt and Peter Lindgren intertwine their guitars and use them both to paint delicate pictures and as weapons of death metal brutality when it's called for; in keeping with this dual approach, Åkerfeldt's vocals are in a mixture of harsh and clean styles.

Do not, however, overlook the band's rhythm section, because they really tie this one together. Anders Nordin's drumming is solid, but for me it's Johan De Farfalla's work on bass which is really Opeth's secret weapon on here, adding textures which are just as important as the delicate acoustic guitar work.

Around a year or so after recording Morningside, Opeth would undergo a shift in lineup with the departure of the rhythm section of De Farfalla and Nordin, leaving Åkerfeldt and Lindgren to rebuild. Of the two albums that this lineup produced (Orchid and this one), I would say that this is clearly the superior effort, with all four band members contributing a career-making performance which really helped to set the tone for Opeth's approach going forwards.

Review by Hector Enrique
4 stars A few months after "Orchid", Opeth's second album, "Morningrise", sees the light (or darkness...). Keeping that combination of the most inhospitable metal tonalities constantly contrasted and complemented with acoustic oases (or lakes...), the Swedes led by Mikael Akerfeldt deploy their instrumental arsenal over a thematic base that runs through mossy and gloomy landscapes of nature and mortality in extensive pieces with no respite in between. Each song is carefully thought out, and despite their lengthy running times, the band manages to keep them gripping and intriguing throughout.

From the opening "Advent" and its light jazzy touches when the decibels drop in intensity, the confessional melancholy of the black-metal "The Night and the Silent Water", the overflowing and demonic "Nectar", and the versatility of the huge "Black Rose Immortal" that runs through all the metal and folk nuances of epic tinges, the band builds an impassable, hostile instrumental wall that suddenly dissolves to give way to gentle, arpeggiated touches of sanity, and rebuilds again with the same virulence in a cycle that repeats itself over and over again. Akerfeldt again shades his guttural vocals with more passages of clean vocal development, accompanied by Peter Lindgren with whom he shares saturated and bent guitars, Johan De Farfalla's well-assembled bass and Anders Nordin's, at times, less corrosive percussion than on "Orchid".

The album's closing track is reserved for "To Bid You Farewell", an aching ballad unplugged and given over to a sober rhythmic development that towards its last stretch features a dramatic dose of guitars to give it an even greater emotional charge, something that will be repeated in the band's later works.

With the participation of the influential and prolific Dan Swano, responsible for the bipolar and very successful production of the album, "Morningrise" represents another step forward in Opeth's career.

3.5 stars

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 788

Opeth is a progressive metal band that was formed in 1990 in Huddinge, a small town south of Stockholm. The name Opeth is a reference to the book "Sunbird" by Wilbur Smith. Opeth have become as one of the most influential heavy metal groups in all of the Northern Europe. Though their musical beginning was firmly rooted in the death metal, as can be seen especially on their three first studio albums, the albums that were released by the Candlelight Records, they were already threading many progressive elements into their music, like some acoustic instrumentation and influences from several musical styles, such as folk and jazz. As the band's individuals grew musically and personnel shifted, their approach and sonic palette expanded, losing practically all death metal influences getting closer and closer to prog.

So, "Morningrise" is the second studio album of Opeth and that was released in 1996. The line up on "Morningrise" is Mikael Akerfeldt (lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars), Peter Lindgren (electric and acoustic guitars), Johan De Farfalla (backing vocals, fretless bass and 6-string bass) and Anders Nordin (drums and percussion). "Morningrise" had also the participation of another musician, Stefan Guteklint (bass), as a guest.

"Morningrise" is considered to be an iconic album for death and prog metal fans, but the word iconic also applies to Opeth's history, because it certainly gave them that boost of popularity in the underground metal scene of the 90's. The first of a long line of great albums by Opeth was released following their debut "Orchid" the year before. "Morningrise" is often regarded as the defining album for the band with a diverse range of sounds. It's an epic album full of epic songs, with elements of death metal and acoustic blues to mix things up. On "Morningrise" we can say every songs are long, the shortest has 10 minutes. Don't expect a chorus or melodies to sing along with, but just the music and the atmosphere it leaves. It's first progressive, not only for the song structure but the technicality of each of the band's members. You can find no weak points here because there isn't an instrument that shines more than the others. The music is, either heavy, with growls, or acoustic with clean voices. It isn't too much fast but there are some great riffs.

"Morningrise" has five tracks. "Advent" is a wonderful opener with the typical Opeth's soft-to-heavy transitions. It's an excellent example of Opeth's hallmark blending techniques with its soft passages and an interesting groove that is interspersed between death metal riffs and growling vocals. The song follows the typical high-low pattern of their songs by transitioning fluidly from aggressive metal energy to folk acoustic guitar. The melodies, both on this song and the entire album, are immortal. "The Night And The Silent Water" is a great track with some amazing harmonies and a cascading ending. It runs all the way through its length with a mournful and contemplative feel befitting its melancholic subject matter. It's heavy but later gives way to some sad sounding material. When the clean vocals come in, you can hear that Mikael croons over the loss of his grandfather during some of the most heartfelt acoustic passages in the bands history. "Nectar" is closely similar to "Advent" in style, though not in its structure. It begins with a much more aggressive riff and follows a path of anger through the emotionally tortured lyrics up to a truly epic peak at the end of the song. We are presented to a staggering twin guitar harmony during the middle of the song. It's almost shocking how many riffs Opeth are using into their songs. They literally employ tens of changing riff patterns and incomparable melodies on a single track. "Black Rose Immortal" is the magnum opus of the album. It's a twenty minutes long epic in every sense of the word, and definitely one of Opeth's best songs. It has brilliant moments with great mix between the calm and strong parts. The melodies here are amazing, and the lyrics are indubitably the best Mikael has ever penned. It deserves a place of honor in Opeth's career. "To Bid You Farewell" is the mellow song on the album. It's sung in all clean vocals and contains finger picked acoustic melodies and touches on elements of jazz, folk, rock and even a blues guitar solo. This is a relaxing song and a great closing track. It's one of the best closing songs on any Opeth's album.

Conclusion: "Morningrise" is in many ways one of their darkest and most captivating albums. It's a transitional album, one of learning and experimenting, but it still remains a pleasure to listen to. The music is full of intricate melodies and sounds that are best enjoyed by shutting your eyes in order to take into account the complexities and the outstanding poetry through the lyrics. It's true that "Morningrise", as its predecessor "Orchid", has a raw and dry sound compared to the band's later efforts. I, however, believe this is all intentional to help create the dark atmosphere on this album, which is simply unique. Certainly this isn't Opeth's best album overall, but it definitely is very good. It displays all of their signature characteristics well. It's an incredible and diverse album and, while it isn't for every prog fan, I would recommend it to any open-minded proghead. Besides, until this moment, I still haven't found one weak album of Opeth.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

3 stars ''The potential of Morningrise'' Morningrise is an album that my opinion has changed drastically over time, being the second album by Opeth (my favorite band), Morningrise was an album that I already loved, but which I currently think is the weakest the band has ever made, the least inspired, ... (read more)

Report this review (#3057131) | Posted by theaqua | Sunday, June 2, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Morningrise by Opeth was the second album released by the band. Opeth was still playing a very heavy black metal and melodic death metal sound back then, and mixed in with the progressive rock influence, it turns out pretty good. The album is very long, with the album including one of the longes ... (read more)

Report this review (#2455560) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Sunday, October 11, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Opeth's 'Morningrise' was one of the cornerstone albums of my teenage years, and was the single album which put me on the path to becoming a progressive rock lover. When I first heard this album I was seventeen years old, I'd just started college and was already obsessed with heavy metal; but ap ... (read more)

Report this review (#1432712) | Posted by AndyJ | Wednesday, July 1, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars There are two most common approaches to Morningside. One is to regard it as some sort of a lost masterpiece, another - as a warm-up to what was to come. There are a lot of things to like here. It stays true to the trademark Opeth style - frequent changes between extreme metal and vocal sections ... (read more)

Report this review (#1283030) | Posted by Progrussia | Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Morningrise continues in very much the same direction that was left off from the previous album Orchid, where a folky, black metal style where classical acoustic moments are present throughout. The album before this one, also had quite a few songs that were over the ten minute mark, while this one i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1064290) | Posted by Codera the Great | Monday, October 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Morningrise was my introduction to Opeth and while it took me a few listens to truly grasp the intricacies that envelope this masterpiece it eventually became one of my favorite albums of all time. Like most great music, Morningrise takes a while to completely comprehend. For example; the first ... (read more)

Report this review (#734612) | Posted by sindali | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Even though Opeth is my favorite band of all time, it is my job as a reviewer to review an album as non-biased as possible to the outside world. Opeth's second release is when the prog elements of Opeth's style begin to take notice. Like Orchid, this album also contains five long songs (not c ... (read more)

Report this review (#600581) | Posted by thesleeper72 | Saturday, December 31, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Morningrise ? 1996 (2.8/5) 10 ? Best Song: 'To Bid You Farewell Surely enough, I can readily assess how and why the band was saddled with the (in my view) demeaning title of melodic death metal. The folks who attributed this style to them probably did more harm than good, but Opeth eventually ... (read more)

Report this review (#441747) | Posted by Alitare | Monday, May 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Morningrise, second album by Opeth is one of the weirdest Opeth releases. Black/death metal growls, some parts of clean vocals (today we know how good Mikael's voice is), jazzy sounding bass, beautiful acoustic guitar parts and specific electric guitar harmonies with classical feel about them. Ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#308105) | Posted by bartosso | Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Opeth's sophomore effort is strong, with numerous highlights. More like its predecessor than its follow-up, this album is not as progressive as other Opeth albums, and it in fact is fairly heavy. The album begins with Advent, which is still played frequently at Opeth shows. This song, like most ... (read more)

Report this review (#294957) | Posted by Mystery | Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Opeth's second album is basically the first one bigger and better- great to see a band that learns so quickly from their mistakes. Only one year after Orchid, Morningrise visits the same territory but sounds like A) the budget was much higher, and B) a lot more thought was put into what the ... (read more)

Report this review (#267395) | Posted by Textbook | Monday, February 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As Orchid had a very raw approach to the Opeth sound, this album, albeit I don't feel that they had achieved their perfect sound on this album, was still an amazing album, and is probabbly my favourite off the Candlelight Years. The songs were alot longer, and the album had a more prog feel to ... (read more)

Report this review (#262958) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the 2nd album of the Swedish band. Opeth come from a really sympathetic debut, Orchid. Their second album appears to be the harbinger of the famous Opeth style. In fact, in this album, Opeth start to develop their unique style, which consists of Death Melodic Metal, accompanied by out ... (read more)

Report this review (#220795) | Posted by FatalV | Friday, June 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Morningrise is the second Opeth album and it is a decent improvement over Orchid. Orchid was a decent album but had a big problem: the songs could have been much better composed since the majority of the tracks out of that album sound disjointed. On songs like "In the Mist She Was Standing" there ... (read more)

Report this review (#194508) | Posted by Nhorf | Saturday, December 20, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Morningrise is the first Opeth album I heard and also the first death metal in general. I got it about 2 years ago. At first I didn't like it at all - the fast drumming, distorted guitars, mellow parts that seem to have no connection with other parts of the song and of course growling vocals. I c ... (read more)

Report this review (#98116) | Posted by blazno | Friday, November 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is Opeth's second release, and probably their first inarguably progressive outing. While it still suffers from a few of the former album's lackluster traits (over-gained guitars and somewhat thin, static laden production), the improvements are quite clear. The individual tracks are much easi ... (read more)

Report this review (#92505) | Posted by epifreak | Friday, September 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars When taking into consideration the aspects that make up not just good, but great, music, and a great band, the main elements include engaging, powerful songwriting; instrumental proficiency and chemistry; a keen, collective (and original) musical vision; emotionally involving compositions and ... (read more)

Report this review (#86101) | Posted by bleak | Monday, August 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the first Opeth album in their line of great albums, I think it is better than the rest because of this itself and the things that come with it. It is raw and real. Lets look at some examples: The riffage on this album is phenomenal only challenged on Blackwater Park. Advent has th ... (read more)

Report this review (#85397) | Posted by cococolajourney | Tuesday, August 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I think what makes this album even remotely tolerable past the horrible vocals (well, other than the occasional moment of relief where the singing is clean) is just how great the music is. If you're on the bus with nothing to do, this CD probably won't satisfy you because it'll be all you're foc ... (read more)

Report this review (#81950) | Posted by Berenger | Sunday, June 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Maybe the most progressive Opeth album. The songs are long (and I mean *long*, not a single one below the 10 minute mark) with mood changing almost every minute, with heavy music then black metal vocals then acoustic music then clean vocals and so on... The vocals are similar to the ones on Or ... (read more)

Report this review (#65868) | Posted by zaxx | Saturday, January 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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