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Opeth Ghost Reveries album cover
4.28 | 1788 ratings | 145 reviews | 54% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ghost of Perdition (10:29)
2. The Baying of the Hounds (10:41)
3. Beneath the Mire (7:57)
4. Atonement (6:28)
5. Reverie / Harlequin Forest (11:39)
6. Hours of Wealth (5:20)
7. The Grand Conjuration (10:21)
8. Isolation Years (3:51)

Total Time 66:46

Bonus track on 2006 Roadrunner limited edition:
9. Soldier of Fortune (Deep Purple cover 2006 live take) (3:15)

Bonus DVD from 2006 Roadrunner limited edition:
1. Beyond Ghost Reveries: A Documentary by Fredrik Odefjärd (38:01)
2-9. Surround 5.1 mix of full album (66:46)
10. "The Grand Conjuration" video - Director's Cut by Bill Yukich (5:06)

Total Time 109:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Mikael Åkerfeldt / electric & acoustic (6- & 12-string) guitars, Mellotron, vocals, producer
- Peter Lindgren / guitars
- Per Wiberg / piano, electric piano, Mellotron, Hammond, Moog
- Martin Mendez / basses (fretted & fretless)
- Martin Lopez / drums, percussion

- Martin Axenrot / drums (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Travis Smith

CD Roadrunner Records ‎- RR 8123-2 (2005, Netherlands)
CD+DVDv Roadrunner Records ‎- 168 618 078-2 (2006, US) Limited Edition w/ 1 bonus track + Bonus DVD-Video including full album in 5.1 Surround audio, 1 video clip & a video documentary

Thanks to Henkka for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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OPETH Ghost Reveries ratings distribution

(1788 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(54%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

OPETH Ghost Reveries reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by frenchie
5 stars I feel like a bit of a bitch for blagging a pre-release version of this album but don't worry because I will definitely be buying a real copy when it comes out. I have heard quite a few people saying that this album is good but doesn't offer much that hasn't been heard on previous albums. I think this is a very fair point and sometimes it is true, yet I am going to go against the grain and say there is a lot of new things here, I will also explain why I think this.

"Ghost Reveries" has the vocals and riffage that is most reminiscent of "My Arms, Your Hearse" and "Blackwater Park". Very dark and brutal. This album has a lot of experimental aspects on tracks like "Atonement", "The Grand Conjuration" and "The Baying of the Hounds" that is similar to some things they tried out on "Deliverance". There is also a lot of the acoustic parts that sound like "Blackwater Park" and "Damnation". "Hours of Wealth" and "Isolation Years" are complet acoustic tracks that sound like "Damnation". There is also a heavy use of keyboards/Hammonds/Mellotrons.

However, Opeth take all these aspects and make new uses for them. "The Baying of the Hounds" shows off experimental sides that are completely different to anything previous. The riffage is also new, yet still very Opeth sounding. The opening riff on "The Baying of the Hounds" is showing off some new styles and sounds like something they haven't really done before. The acoustic tracks sounds less like they are done for the hell of it and feel like they have a better placement on the album. The drum patterns on the opening track are very original for Opeth too.

"Atonement" is an amazing, mostly instrumental piece that sounds like it has invited symphonic rock into its overall prog metal feel. This is a very proggy track and shows off the amazing addition of keyboardist Per Wiberg. "The Grand Conjuration" secures the band a place for incredible drumming, best compared to "Deliverance" which had some stunning drum work on it.

"Ghost Reveries" keeps the theme of their gloomy atmosphere and ghostly lyrical and conceptual themes going that has become their trademark. This album displays more of a leaning towards black metal that hasn't been around properly since "My Arms, Your Hearse". The lyrics are less about seasons and forests and more about rituals and demons again on this album, yet there is still a feel of both parts of Opeth's sounds.

Overall this album does include all of their past trademarks, yet finds new ways to use them. There certainly is a lot of new things to hear here, which counts even more so for people who discovered this band through "Damnation" and "Blackwater Park" and haven't really ventured into their other works. This is a brilliant album indeed, perhaps not their best yet it is great to here this new venture.

Review by FishyMonkey
4 stars YES!

This is the one. This is the Opeth album that truly goes beyond their normal formula and ventures fully into prog. This is the Opeth album I've been waiting for. Ferocious, brutal, gentle, delicate, complicated, everything you oculd want it's here. Mellotron in abundance floats over every track. There are bone-crushing riffs all over the place, as well as three purely quiet tracks that could not sound better. Their creativity is superb, every song has a different feel and tone to it that makes this album NEVER get boring. The transitions between light and dark sections are more seamless than ever before, msotly because of the added amounts of clean vocals in heavier sections. Sometimes the clean vocals in heavier sections are used brilliantly (Ghosts of Perdition) and other times, not so well (Reverie/Harlequin Forest).

Opeth has never been more in touch with their proggier side. Like I said mellotron everywhere, great original compositions, long songs, astounding musicianship, flute, great harmonies, varied instruments, everything a prog song needs this album has in abundance. The vocals are the best second only to Daniel Gildenlow. Everything flows together seamlessly, and it never feels like the band struggled to think of their songs, though I'm sure they did. This feels, much like Blackwater Park, like music of the soul, that it just poured out of Opeth's minds and was perfect. This is metal for a progger, or prog for a metalhead. Opeth is by far one of the most original, creative and beautiful bands of this generation...nevermind generation, century! If you can sit down and listen to this and says it's bad, there's somethign wrogn with you. I'm sorry, no exceptions. The subtle touches, the inner beauty or brutal-ness, whatever, everything works and makes for an amazing musical experience.

Ghosts of Perdition: This song starts out with al ittle bit of piano, but quickly busts out into a heavy section with great death vocals by Mikael. The riffs here are truly heavy and awesome in every where. The drumming has gotten better and better every album, and this song shows it. At around one minute, it gets softer and we here Mikael's singing for a bit, which has never osunded better and more natural. Then we get our first taste of mellotron, seamlessly blended with heavy guitar work. Soon it gets heavy again with more singing and harmonies abound, but at around 2:30 we get a taste of the most beautiful melody every invented, with Mikael gently singing, "Higher...higher...". This goes on for awhile then we get some more heavy riffs with singing and works well. I really love the drumming here too. At 6:00 the melody andd singing here is phenomenal! At around 6:25 one of the heaviest sections on the whole album comes in, and it rocks. At 9:06, the gentle "Higher..." melody comes in again, and it always makes me kinda's that good. The song ends a little lamely, but hey, the rest of the song easily makes up for it.

The Baying of the Hounds: This starts with a great heavy riff and a really heavy section. Two minutes in, another great combo of singing, mellotron and heavy guitars is here. Quickly, some layered singing comes in with absolutely perfect harmonies comes in. A brief guitar solo. 3:20, it gets soft with some nice keyboard work. Mikael comes in with some of the best singing I've ever heard. His voice never fails to amaze me. The song is heavy for awhile after 5:30, which of course rocks. It gets soft for a bit, but ends massively heavy. Like, crushingly so. Awesome, amazing song.

Beneath The Mire: This song has a sort of Middle Eastern feel to it made by the mellotron, which really is used a lot on this song. The heavy section with distorted and acoustic guitars at around 0:45 is simply amazing, one of the best heavy sections. When Mikael starts growling, the music gets even more ferocious, and it works well. Mikael starts singing again at 2:40, which kinda works well ,but not quite as well as you'd help. First example of a big complaint I have with this album. 3:30 it goes soft with amazing vocals. The rest of thew song is pretty standard, good heavy sections and heavy mixed with clean vocals. The only thing left worth noting is the ending, which sounds like something straight off Relayer. It's definitely something new for Opeth, and caught me completely off guard.

Atonement: Ahh, my favorite light song that stretches on too long. This takes the Middle-Eastern feel of the last song and amplifies it pretty greatly. The guitarwork is truly outstanding here, Mikael's voice is quite good here, but not quite as good as the other songs. The distortion he adds kinda sounds weird. It goes on, kinda repetitive for ahwile, then busts into a new melody at around 5:00 right after some great piano work. If this song was 4:00 long, it'd be perfect. No such luck. Still amazing, however.

Reverie/Harlequin Forest: Ahh, within this song lies my chief complaint with this album. Singing where singing should not be used. I never thought I'd say that, but it's true. The singing works only about 50% of the time on this song during the heavy sections. The whole song also feels kinda uninspired to me. Even the slow lighter section seems kinda dull, which hadn't happened yet on this album. 7:00 is an example of a section where death vocals should have been used but weren't. All they'd have to do would be to make everything a little more nasty and it would have been perfect...coupled with death vocals. This song kidna fades out with some odd start stop cuitar playing a la Meshuggah, but it's not too Meshuggah-esque. Not a bad song, could be better by Opeth standards.

Hours of Wealth: Another all acoustic/light song. This one drags a bit too, but it's not too bad. It mostly focuses on subtle usage of flutes, piano, mellotron and other instruments and guitar work which sounds great. Mikael's voice is much betetr here than on Atonement, although I like Atonement more altogether. The harmonies are truly inspiring on this song. It just should have stopped a little earlier. "But I'm alone...and far from home...", so beautiful.

The Grand Conjuration: Interesting song, very MAYH Opeth sound. Keyboard work is quite good. This song also truly feels like a mysterious conjuration. It's got a lot of traditional Opeth heaviness, whch is neccesarily bad, but there isn't really enough material here to justify a 10 minute song. More like 7 or so, but it's not TOO bad. There's not much to say about this song because it doesn't do that much. It is probabaly the most evil song ever, and it gets bonus points for that, heh.

Isolation Years: Sounds right off Damnation. Fairly pretty, and a good way to close the album. It's not as good as the other two light songs, but it's not bad. My least favorite track, however.

Soft sections: 9/10 Heavy sections: 8/10 (they're a LITTLE lacking on some songs) Lasting Appeal: 8/10 (If anything it's grown on me) Musicianship: 10/10 (They've gotten more and more talented every album) Creativity/Originality: 10/10 Ghosts of Perdition: 10/10 Baying of the Hounds: 10/10 Beneath The Mire: 10/10 Atonement: 9.5/10 Reverie/Harlequin Forest: 8/10 Hours of Wealth: 9.5/10 The Grand Conjuration: 8/10 Isolation Years: 7/10

9 + 8 + 8 + 10 + 9 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 9.5 + 8 + 9.5 + 8 + 7 = 116. 116/130 = 89.4 = 89/100 = 45/50 = 4.5/5. Final score: 4/5. Essential, definitely, but I can't give this a 5/5 simply because BWP is better, and in my opinion a band can only have one or two masterpieces, and this album just doesn't quite have that magic feel. It just lives up to my wildest dreams, but it's nothing unbelievable.

Review by darkshade
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars There is no doubt about it. This is absolutely Opeth's most shining moment. I can name at least one thing wrong with all the past albums.

This album has no problems with it. This is Opeth, with great sound, tight playing, etc. And the acoustic passages actually work for every song!

Opening track, Ghost of Perdition is a perfect Opeth song. Kinda taking all different influences from past albums and mixing them into one. The Baying of the Hounds and the rest of the album is where you notice the differences with that and previous albums. TBOTH is totally prog, with so many time signatures and some very weird riffs in places. Beneath the Mire introduces some interesting Egyptian style riffs and melodies. This is interesting, even though it's been done a million times by a million bands, but because it's Opeth, it obviously sounds more unique. Probably the most interesting song on the album.

The 3 acoustic songs are all very well done, and, i think, better than all the Damnation songs. Since there's more use with keyboards, theres so much more things goin on. No more just guitar and vocals, or everyones playin, but the guitar is the main point. Everyone shines on the softer songs, and theres great atmosphere throughout.

Finally you have the best songs on the album. The epic Reverie/Harlequin Forest is a mammoth of a song. There's psychedelic stuff, jazz, blues, metal, acoustics, everything. Theres a lot of clean singing over the heavy parts which is usually a rarity in the past. The Grand Conjuration is probably the best song on the album. Everyone's heard this song and had a 50/50 response to it. But when you listen to the album as a , the song really grows on you. It's a much heavier and doomier song than theyve ever done. The middle section uses so many riffs and musical ideas it's unbelieveable. And they stick to a main riff for a good portion of the song, something they rarely do.

This is album is a must have. Best Opeth album ever, and not cause it's new and everyone always thinks new stuff is the best then they get over it. This is truly their MAGNUM OPUS! Maybe it used to be BP or SL or even Damnation, but this is truly it. There's no denying it.

Review by FloydWright
4 stars One of the first things I noticed immediately when I started Ghost Reveries was a definite Lateralus vibe, though in a heavier context. If you like TOOL's album, then you should definitely try this one. I noticed right off in "Ghost of Perdition", the keys are used to better effect in the hard songs than they have been with previous albums; the music is no less brutal, but this enhances the atmosphere. The growling is there, but AKERFELDT also seems to be further exploring his clean vocals. MARTIN MENDEZ' bass ventures into DE FARFALLA territory here--he manages to make his bass sound fretless even though I don't believe that's what he plays. On "The Baying of the Hounds", an overdriven Hammond enhances the guitar. The brutality of Deliverance is evident in the lyrics. More of the Lateralus vibe shows up in the way the guitar is used. This was the only song I didn't find that amazing, but it was definitely solid.

"Beneath the Mire" shows the incorporation of the Middle-Eastern vibe from Damnation's "Closure" into a harder setting. I'm not quite as much of a fan of the way PER WIBERG is mixing his Mellotron (I would've put in more reverb like STEVE WILSON did on Damnation), but it's certainly not a bad idea. There also seems to be a revisiting-with harder backing-to a riff from the opening of "The Drapery Falls". There's something surprisingly bluesy in the guitar in the soft section (which revisits on "Hours of Wealth"). Some argue OPETH isn't breaking new ground.but I think the blues and the Middle Eastern work are the new contributions. There is an utterly haunting outro with an almost "Interstellar Overdrive" interlude feel with the guitar tone reminiscent of PINK FLOYD's SYD BARRETT, and the keyboard textures certainly help the impression.

"Atonement"...what can I say other than it's my favorite track on here? This is a totally new atmosphere for OPETH-almost Zen (think of the long spaces where that simple humming/buzzing is left alone), and very uplifting in its lyrics: this is someone coming around from their previous evil. It's even more strongly Middle Eastern, in a purer, even more melodic form. The only thing I don't like as much is the Farfisa-sound WIBERG uses, but it is fitting to the song because it matches with the distorted vocals. Drummer MARTIN LOPEZ takes the Arab style heard in the "Wreath" interlude on Deliverance to center stage, and it works fantastically. The best moments, though, are the gorgeous, simple, wordless unfiltered vox! Perhaps the closest comparison in the OPETH catalogue, as far as feeling, is "Epilogue" from My Arms, Your Hearse. Subtle vibraphones and pianos from WIBERG really fill the song in.well, as much as one would want to fill in such an airy, spacious piece. This and "Hours of Wealth", more than anywhere, are where OPETH most truly breaks new stylistic ground.

As for "Reverie/Harlequin Forest", I'm definitely a fan of the intro of this one. Oddly enough, your CD counter will count backwards here, perhaps to separate "Reverie" from "Harlequin Forest". It almost feels more "hard rock" than extreme metal once "Harlequin Forest" kicks in. LOPEZ is definitely in the groove here.though it almost seems to me his metal style has become a bit more simplified. The soft rolls in the interlude are great, though, so he definitely has not lost his touch! One heavy segment in this song is reminiscent of "Serenity Painted Death" on Still Life. I definitely like the acoustic interlude. There even seems like a return of the "Weakness" keys in that section as well-subtle but well-placed. Then the Lateralus influence shows up noticeably in the very outro. The final section is quite protracted, like a much softer version of the "Deliverance" outro.but then, I tend to be one of those who hears a good thing and then likes it repeated! , as far as how you get into it!

"Hours of Wealth", like "Atonement", is totally unlike anything OPETH has done, aside from a bootlegged cover of Deep Purple's "Soldier of Fortune".and maybe the vocals at the end of "To Bid You Farewell" on Morningrise, though this goes even further. I love the bluesy vocals and guitar solo, and the nearly a capella harmonies. Here the Mellotron choir and strings pick up the reverb-y, PORCUPINE TREE-like mix that I favor. PER WIBERG is at his best with that and a sad, gorgeous piano riff, and bluesy electric piano. I would go so far as to call this incredibly sparse song gospel-like. It wouldn't seem out of place to sing the lyrics of "Amazing Grace" to the last part. What's more, I'd like to make a personal note..."Hours of Wealth" is utterly chilling in these current, sad times-seems like it came straight from the Delta. Talk about a case of unfortunately suitable timing.I know I will always associate it with the disaster, even though that's not what it was intended to be. As for what OPETH intended, I think it's here to contrast with the next song.

The track "The Grand Conjuration" was officially released early, and was my first introduction to the new album. It remains my favorite of the heavy songs. WIBERG's synth here is probably put to the best effect here of any of the heavy songs, and it is utterly chilling! The overdriven Hammond serves incredibly well to add some more punch to the guitar--as if it didn't already have enough punch! The lyrics here reach a new level of brutality, too. Some might mistake them as promoting Satanism-but, while one could call these occult lyrics, I do not think they promote evil as anything good to do. Rather, it seems aimed at exposing the ugliness of such behavior-it's more like Apocalyptic imagery reminiscent of Revelation than anything. It's also evocative of the song "Blackwater Park". I love the creepy whispers, and the explosion into the heavy growling section. You'll want to crank this one.

"Isolation Years" is short but a melancholy way. The line beginning with "The years she's lost." has such sad, high vocals from AKERFELDT that are incredibly effective. The guitars blend superbly with the Mellotron here. OPETH is developing a real strength with the Damnation style, and it's good to see that continuing. Lyrically, I really like the line "The wound in me is pouring out to rest on a lover's shore". You get kind of a catharsis at the end of the song, and that's needed after what you've heard before it.

Overall, OPETH'S Ghost Reveries is a very solid album, and in some places does break new ground even if it's subtle. The rest is the good old OPETH you can always count on, and fans should appreciate it. The mix is strong, and certainly not suffering from any of the problems of Deliverance. I'd still recommend Blackwater Park or Still Life as a first album (Damnation for those not quite ready to wade into metal), but if they liked that, I'd certainly encourage getting Ghost Reveries.

Review by Marc Baum
5 stars "Ghost Reveries" is far more proggy than any thing Opeth have ever done, but have they lost their edge? No. No it doesn't. On the whole, this is a quieter effort than the Swedish masters have produced in the past - bar the band's recent entirely folk/prog rock effort, Damnation - yet Ghost Reveries still packs a hell of a lot of punch.

FIrst up is "Ghost Of Perdition", one of the two tracks leaked onto the net a few months back. Opening with ethereal guitar strumming, you'd be forgiven for expecting a "Closure" style ballad. Not so; we're suddenly blasted by a minute of Still Life-era heavy riffage. This is followed by Mikael giving more variety than we've yet heard in his vocals, leading into a melodic guitar section combining double-bass drums with some subtle mellotrons. This continues for another minute or so, until we get to the classic Opeth death-vox-meets-melodious-guitar segments we all know and love. Lopez shines on the drumming throughout the album, and this is a great kick-off point for his displayed skills, rivalling those of Sean Reinert or Dan Swano. At about 2:30, the track brings in the first quiet section of the album, which includes a rather beautiful harmony from Mikael, and brings Mendez's bass to the forefront, which is good, as I've always felt Opeth has lacked strong bass work since Morningrise. At the end of this relaxing interlude, the Gilmour-esque guitar wailing brings us back to reality, with Lopez's fills and Peter's riffs backing up another clean verse from Mikael. More nice melodies bring us to an astounding drum section, and more clean vocals, then about seven minutes in we hear Per Wiberg's mellotrons and Mikael's acoustic guitar adding life to an already pounding track. Per's keys are fairly consistent throughout the rest of the track, which ends on a heavy rendition of the song's first quiet interlude. A great start for the album, and with it's prog doom-death feel, would have felt most in place on Still Life.

The next track, "Baying Of The Hounds", begins with Deep Purple style organ riffs courtesy of Per while Mikael belts out lyrics that seem to be deliberate parodies of black metal's occult themes. This death-polka segment, almost remniscent of Finntroll, continues for about two minutes, then the organ continues while Mikael's vocals shift gears and we get some excellent harmonious verses - "you are are everything, they are nothing". Some very progressive guitar work follows, with Peter Lindgren tearing up and down the scale and switching time signatures like Buzz Osborne on crack. The next few minutes are a jazzy, subdued segment with some clean vocals and a lot of bass. This breaks into a black metal inspired epic riff, with eerie keyboards and constant double-bass kicks combined with Mikael's ever-asskicking death vocals. A Blackwater Park era segment rounds out the next few minutes, and then a quiet drum-and-acoustic section, with requisite mellotrons, jumpstarts into the song's final section - a heavy segment very, very reminiscent of My Arms Your Hearse if mixed with some Porcupine Tree style riffs (I think the mellotron and the general melody gives me this impression). That section is easily one of the best on the album. As with most Opeth tracks, "The Baying Of The Hounds" twists and turns for almost ten minutes, and ends up sounding nothing like it did in the beginning. Excellent.

Then comes "Beneath The Mire", starting with quite possibly the funkiest segment Opeth could ever produce - it sounds more like Farmakon, to be honest, who are usually like a jazzier, if less melodious clone of Opeth anyway. Mellotrons and funk drums flow behind Peter's on-off guitar riffage for about two minutes, and we then get Mikael's best heavy vocal melody of the album. A recurring blast beat from Lopez gives the edge Mikael needs here, before going into the proggy guitar and emotive, clean vocals for a while - "you'd cling to your pleasant hope, in it's twisted fascination." After this, comes Per on piano while Mikael has a short, sweet solo reminiscent of the one he gives in Porcupine Tree's "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here". Mikael switches to acoustic for a moment before leading us into the maelstrom once more - a great death scream and some inventive drumming bring us to another catchy, melodious section with heavy guitars and clean vocals. Finally, the guitars rise and fall like a tide, leading into an ending rich with off-kilter time-signatures and Pink Floyd style guitar experimentation. Another excellent song that shows the band's mature exploration of progressive themes.

The first real quiet track of the album is "Atonement", with some nice subdued drumming and synth effects alongside Mikael's skillful solo work, which is often likened to that of David Gilmour. More keyboard effects come in to play here, and bongo-style drumming that builds up to Damnation style filtered clean vocals. A mellotron-rich harmony section brings the guitars back in, and we repeat the idea for another verse or two. Before some beautiful lounge piano comes in at around four minutes. This song seems to be set up to balance Mikael and Pers and show off their respective skills. At around 5:20, the song cuts out, then comes back in after a few seconds for a soft finale that lasts a minute and feels like it was ripped straight from Damnation. Guitar and keyboard synths cease just in time to blast right into the next track - however, this makes me think that the advance copy of the album which I got may not be 100% complete, as I'd believe that this last minute should be a part of the next song, much like the first minute of "The Apostle In Triumph" was always meant to be the final minute of "Requiem". Oh well.

"Reverie / Harlequin Forest" is a roaring track, very reminiscent of Blackwater Park in it's balance of heavy and soft movements. Again the lyrics follow a dark, occult theme - "a trail of sickness leading to me, if I am haunted then you will see." One wonders if this is a concept album like My Arms Your Hearse or Still Life. I suppose when I buy a copy and read the lyrics, I'll know for sure. Anyway, the first few minutes of this song are very proggy, with clean vocals and subtle organ work. The heavy vocals come in about three minutes along, but are still clear enough to be understood. A soft segment from Mikael and Mendez follows, then both drums and bass drop away for a solo of Mikael's vocals and guitars, that gradually brings in Per's keyboards to create an eerie, atmospheric quality. Mikael's acoustic comes back, as he begins to sing about trees (guess it fits in with the title, haha) in a deeply warm and melancholic fashion. He then gets another soft guitar segment punctuated by Lopez's fills until Peter's guitar storms into the scene again. "It's all false pretension, harlequin forest, awaiting redemption for a lifetime..." Sticking to the same melody, the song grows heavy for a while and then soft again, then ends with odd time-signatures, much like the previous song. Not as memorable as the others, but still has some excellent moments, especially in terms of vocals.

Now we get to the real quiet part of the album, "Hours Of Wealth". To say this is relaxing is an understatement. If you hated Damnation, you'll loathe this track, but then again in that case you'd probably be the kind of person who thinks Cannibal Corpse is the pinnacle of music. This is probably one of the best songs on the album, and reminds me a lot of "Weakness". It's incredibly quiet, with Mikael's voice layered to provide some beautiful effects. The music is minimalist keyboard and acoustic guitar for the most part, and the lyrics continue the band's on-again-off-again themes of solitude and suicide. "Looking through my window, I seem to recognise all the people passing by. But I'm alone, and far from home... nobody knows me." A cold, distant guitar solo winds up this heartbreaking track, which feels like a somewhat calculated prequel to "Dirge For November ".

Perhaps the most epic song on the album, and surely what will become the most crowd-pleasing due to it's catchiness, it's easy to see why "The Grand Conjuration" was the first track leaked to the internet. The main riff, which is heard throughout a large majority of the track, is brutal and certainly encourages headbanging. An incredibly cool clean vocal melody drives the verses, along with "Demon Of The Fall" style whispered, filtered backing vocals, and keyboard effects bordering on electronica. The heavy vocal sections are backed with asskicking mellotrons that give a black metal feel, pounding drum fills, and Peter's soaring, gothic melodies. The buildup at around 3:45 leads on to a heavy section with some excellent double-bass drums, and also drops in some nice keyboard interludes, before soaring to a heavy section replete with more mellotrons and a filtered death scream, which heads perhaps the heaviest section on the album in terms of both music and vocals. The albums builds up - with whispering, demonic voices - to a goddamn brutal version of the opening riff, which rolls along straight to fadeout (during which Eastern-sounding drums and chants can be briefly heard). This will be a killer ending to their live sets, and may even replace "Demon Of The Fall" as their encore song if it gets received like I expect it to be.

The album closer, and shortest song on display, is a nice little quiet piece called "Isolation Years". Basically, if you like "Hours Of Wealth", you will like this one. Quiet, acoustic, with a bit more bass guitar, and more mellotrons and more emotional singing. The final synth and acoustic guitar fadeout closes the album beautifully.

Has Opeth gotten more technical and progressive? Yes, certainly. But by no means has this compromised their heaviness. And, to reverse that statement, by no means does their heaviness (or their addition to the Roadrunner Records lineup) compromise their seriousness as artists. This is an incredible band, and to be quite frank, it's those who are too dumb to realise this that like to brand Opeth as boring or weak before going and listening to their roster of generic grindcore or pathetic mallcore acts. Opeth are progressive without being wanky, and they produce doom-death without becoming a one-trick pony. And that in itself is worth enormous praise.

Mastermind Mikael Akerfeldt combinates the quiet beauty of "Damnation" with the intelligent brutality of older Opeth death prog material, takes some new colours for the whole picture and creates a piece of art, which you can maybe compare with some of Picasso's pictures in a musical sense, only much darker. The use of mellotron in some parts are interestening specially for listeners, who miss something like that in most prog metal and recent prog rock releases. What you can also hear is, that Mr.Akerfeldt's guest appearence on Porcupine Tree's "Deadwing" gave him additional inspiration, some parts (mostly acoustic) remind on some recent PT material. Camel is also like always an important influential fountain for the band sound, the flute part in "Ghost of Perdition" for example underlines that statement. The production is simply perfect, and the pretty cover art is the crowning gimmick of a masterpiece, which ANY prog listener should discover. Opeth created their most ambitious and complete sounding record with "Ghost Reveries", so a high score is the logical result. An exciting journey created by a unique geniously band!

album rating: 9.5/10 points = 93 % on MPV scale = 5/5 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

Review by horza
5 stars This album has surpassed all my expectations.Currently touring the UK,Opeth will be hard pressed to choose which,if any, tracks to exclude from their set.If Harlequin Forest is omitted it will be a crime.This epic features clean and growling vocals and should win over any doubters.It has touches of Led Zep in it in places,it touches a few other bases during its 11 or so minutes.The whole album is full of surprises,keyboard phrasing similar to Heep in their heyday and a bluesy track showcasing excellent vocals.Do yourself a favour,give it a try.This album has convinced me Opeth are about to become big as in BIG time.
Review by Zitro
5 stars 4.6 Stars ... 5 stars if this was ''.

This is my first Opeth album.I actually dislike death metal (the growling), so this album took over five listens to sink in (I have heard this over 10 times) and get used to the growling here. The difference of this band with a typical death metal band is that Opeth is influenced by structures from prog rock songs, is very virtuosic (the drumming and guitar especially), has atmospheric and mellow musical breaks (very beautiful), and of course : they write melodies!!

Prog? Well, if you define prog as the sound you hear in the 70s, this is not prog. However, this album, like Tool's Lateralus and Radiohead's Kid A, is extremely progressive in terms of creating something new in music. This is a genre on itself .. it is like Progressive space- metal. I am happy that these musicians are getting recognition as they can give the world intelligent music, and may convert them to the beauty of progressive metal.

Ghost of Perdition begins immediately with some good times! The growling is introduced in this section. Then to my surprise, it gets acoustic and porcupine Tree-style music is played in a level of beauty that band could not achieve. The haunting melody combined with the acoustic riff is magical. Then, it starts alternating between acoustic music and heavy metal. This track is excellent!

The Baying of the Hounds starts as a death-metal track with hammond organs and contains growls like its predecessor, but later the changes occur: while it keeps having very heavy riffs, the singer performs normally without any screams. Like in all the album, Opeth's mellow sections gives me goosebumps like in Tool's, and this song is full of them!

Beneath the Mire is somewhat weaker in quality, but I still love it to Death. The best part of this song is the first half : it floors me whenever I hear those powerful guitar riffs. The middle section is soft and melodic. The song ends with powerful distorted guitar riffing and avant-garde soloing.

Atonement is a hypnotic, brilliant, melodic and beautiful song with piano, organs, mellotron, great percussion, effective haunting vocals, and a gorgeous guitar riff which I adore, though the later section is a bit unnecessary.

Reverie/Harlequin Forest is an epic that metamorphes so often in its 11 minutes that it requires multiple listens to enjoy it fully. There isn't much to say here. This is an outstanding heavy (and light) track that ends with a repetitive bizarre rhythm that is great.

Hours of Wealth is a mellow track that starts with symphonic arrangements which show how important a keyboardist is in music. The second half is dominated by Mikael's vocals and keyboard chords. A slow melodic guitar solo ends the piece. Everything about this song is great.

The Grand Conjuration is the heaviest track in the album. However, this track is one of the most accessible pieces of Opeth. The reason is that the guitar riffs are instantly likeable and the rhythm is very impressive. The song is not fast and heavy all the time. There are moments where the singer sings melodically while the electric guitar follows the melody and the percussionist plays the best possible drumline that one could ever come up with in such a situation. The choruses are extremely heavy and has a genius use of rhythm guitars.

Isolation Years is a melancholic sounding track like Hours of Wealth. It is a solid closer to a solid album, with excellent choruses that contain vocal harmonies and jazzy percussion.

1. Ghost of Perdition (10/10) 2. The Baying of the Hounds (9/10) 3. Beneath the Mire (8/10) 4. Atonement (9/10) 5. Reverie / Harlequin Forest (9.5/10) 6. Hours of Wealth (9/10) 7. The Grand Conjuration (9/10) 8. Isolation Years (9/10)

Verdict : This is a serious band that only want to create masterful metal music and never fool around with it. This is probably their best album. If you like death metal, you are missing the greatest album of that genre. If you do not like death metal, try it anyways. I do not like death metal, and I consider this the best album since 'Pink Floyd - The Wall'

My Grade : A-

Review by Vanwarp
5 stars Whenever Opeth releases an album, you know there's reason to be excited for the progressive/metal movement. These guys have never failed to impress those who enjoy progressive music in general.

I think Ghost Reveries sounds very much like any other Opeth album, perhaps closer in spirit to Still Life and Deliverance, but you''ll also find that the band sounds and feels rejuvenated and that they've injected a good deal of new ideas to their progressive music such as the more obvious jazz & blues elements found on this new album.

Akerfeldt has said something to the effect that the best songs are the unpredictable ones. Although I agree with him wholeheartedly, I'd have to take this idea a step further and say that for me, the best albums are often the most unpredictable ones as well. And just like each and every Opeth release that came before it, Ghost Reveries is most definitely unpredictable and conceivably more technical and fluid than ever before. Though everyone familiar with Opeth's past work won't be overly surprised with the music of Ghost Reveries as it mixes aggressive moments with acoustic passages, moving from brutal to soft atmospheric lamentations. In fact, Ghost Reveries maintains a perfect balance between the soft and heavy, the technical and melodic, the dark and atmospheric. This is basically what many have come to expect from an Opeth album.

As is almost always the case with a new Opeth release, there are often a few surprises worthy of mention and Ghost Reveries is no exception.

With Per Wiberg as their new fulltime keyboardist, this is perhaps one of the most evident new influences to the bands sound. Another obvious observation is Akerfeldt's vocals, a more equal balanced mix of clean and growling moments are found throughout the album as a whole. Also, there is an apparent general tendency to mix equal parts of heavy electric guitars and soft acoustic/keyboard moments as well.

Moving on to Martin Lopez, well, his drumwork is more technical and much more varied than ever before. His performance here is like...WOW! Martin Mendez obviously wanted to leave a lasting impression as well cause his work on bass is simply phenomenal. Forget that all but 2 songs were written in open tuning, something that Akerfeldt and Lindgren had not done on past recordings cause this met that the solos had to be done in open tuning as well. So, if Akerfeldt and Lindgren could not rely on past licks or solos for inspiration.that obviously resulted in some interesting and refreshing guitar work from this highly skilled duo. I assure you, that if Akerfeldt and Lindgren's guitar work doesn't impress you, then Mendez and Lopez's rhythm work will surely have you turning your head at every change of pace.

I have no intention of doing a song by song review, but I do want to point out a few brilliant moments and some of the highlight's for me. You know, the things you should check out or definitely listen for...

1. Be prepared for a most fascinating listening experience during "The Baying of the Hounds." Now let me try to explain why? The destructive energy one usually feels when listening to this track will appear to subside around you during the more aggressive violent musical moments. Conversely, when the music is less complicated and technical yet heavy and methodical, you'll feel like ripping and tearing apart everything around you. The softer moments allow the listener the time required to grasp this very odd and unique musical experience. I don't know if the band deliberately had this in mind but the results are truly original.

2. Do take notice of Lindgren and Akerfeldt's harrowing guitar work on "Reverie/Harlequin Forest."

3. I must also point out the truly magnificent images invoked by Akerfeldt's lyrics and music on "Reverie/Harlequin Forest" which for me, is the best damn track on the album.

4. Akerfeldt's vocals, Martin Lopez's drum work and Martin Mendez's bass work on "The Grand Conjuration" and "Ghost of Perdition."

5. Per Wiberg's keyboard work and Lindgren/Akerfeldt's acoustic guitar work and blues solo on "Hours of Wealth."

On a final note, I was reminded of Tool at certain moments during "Ghost of Perdition", and Deep Purple on "The Baying of the Hounds." I don't know if they'll ever admit being inspired or influenced in some way by them, but certainly these two tracks gave me much pleasure and were very enjoyable moments just the same.

Highly recommended album, intelligent music for progressive metal lovers of all ages, only those suffering from chronic allergic reactions to progressive death metal should stay far away from Ghost Reveries.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Opeth's latest album should not be one that created controversy between unconditional fans as it seams to this outside observer that it is very much the continuity of their career and presents tracks from all of their periods. The opener clearly reminds you of their first albums and the other tracks all having many moments that would make them approach groups like Arena if it was not for the gruesome gory vocals popping up here and there. It is also quite to me that the band's roots are more into the 70's metal than in the 80's NWOBHMB which is why this band appeals more to me than many similar groups. Should any of the older progheads want to investigate prog-metal as a genre, this album might be a fitting crash course or at least one of the first stages on the Prog Metal in 20 Lessons manual, although I am sure many prog metalheads beg to differ.

Opeth is clearly one of the better bands in this genre (at least in this reviewer's eyes), even prompting me to rent the Cd from the library and review it although the genre in itself is not (by far), his favourite style of music.

Review by Bob Greece
3 stars First off, I don't think this album is a masterpiece. It's certainly not a bad album but I don't think it matches the quality of Blackwater Park, Still Life or Deliverance. It does have its exciting moments such as the end of "The Baying of the Hounds" and the start of "The Grand Conjuration" but it also has many sections which I find a bit dull. I was hoping that the addition of keyboards to the band would give the band a fuller sound than it does.

The album is certainly progressive. You have death metal vocals side-by-side with soft ballad sections but sometimes I don't think it flows very well. The album is interesting and progressive but for me it lacks the consistency of the older albums.

Review by imoeng
4 stars Ghost Reveries

This is eight studio album from Opeth and was released in 2005.

Just a little bit of story from me. This album is really my first Opeth album and I was introduced on a forum board, most people talked about this band and about how great this band is. Moreover, they always talked about Ghost Reveries, which then I bought. Then I went to my room, rip the songs to the computer and start listening to it (the first song). Well, I was astonished because with the name "Ghost Reveries", the songs must be hard and heavy, but it starts with mellow guitar intro and I was thinking to stop the player. After that, I was dumbfounded because of the death metal vocal sound, which at that time, I really hate death metal. But then, lately, after I listen to the songs every time I can, the album is really amazing!!

This album was intended to be a concept album, which means has story, one story behind it. The story is about a man's turmoil after killing his own mother. However, Mikael Akerfeldt chose to include a song, Isolation Years, into the album, which creates the songs are not continuous. Also, it such a shame that this album is Martin Lopez's last album with Opeth.

Ghost Of Perdition - Starts off with slow guitar intro, really tricked me at the first time I bought this album : ) Then it follows by crazy (positive) death metal sound and heavy guitar riff with non-stop double pedal drum section. The vocal sound changes at the third verse, "Devil cracked the carthly shell foretold she was the one." After that, death metal again, followed by mellow slow vocal and guitar riffs, really beautiful.

The Baying Of The Hounds - Heavy guitar and keyboard riff for the intro then straight to vocal. The best guitar part is at 2:50 minute, just beautiful, dark but beautiful. The song slows down at 3:19, but the drum part still played, along with slow guitar keyboard line. As well with slow vocal section, "drown in the deep mire." At 6:50 the guitar solo starts, really good solo, just perfect and fits with the song itself. After that the song slows down again before it finishes in heavy dark style. Beneath The Mire - The intro is a solo drum section, more like rock slow drum section, then guitar rhythm starts along with slow keyboard lines. The whole intro is really good, not too heavy but not too mellow, just great. Starting at 2:24, the stereo sound mix starts, its like goes left to right and left, somewhat great, follows with guitar solo. The song then slows down with very mellow guitar spot and groovy drum section with deep vocal sound. The climax of the song is when Mikael screams after the solo section. The ending of the song is somewhat strange with unusual keyboard synth.

Atonement - Again, slow guitar intro with also slow drum riffs. The vocal sound starts with deep heavy and strange sound effect creates a dark ambience. Moreover, the song is really mellow, if you want to compare with the other songs in the album. The song is also considered a short song, just about 5 minutes.

Reverie/Harlequin Forest - My favorite song in the album, really great song!! I love it that sometimes I jump off to this track : ). Well the song starts with heavy metal guitar riff and nice vocal sound, "into the trees.", very dynamic tone, great! The song really represents Mikael Akerfeldt sound besides his dark death metal style. The best part for me is at 2:54, when the guitar sound is just from the left speaker then it continues just like as usual, really great composition, and its just after the death metal sound. The rest of the song is just beautiful, not too death metal but not too slow.

Hours Of Wealth - A somewhat slow song, very much like Atonement. The song consists somewhat blues melodic guitar style and slow keyboard rhythm style. This is probably the mellowest song in the album, since it has no drum section whatsoever.

The Grand Conjuration - The intro is like, umm, Strange Déjà vu by Dream Theater, in my opinion. After a short break with Hours Of Wealth, a dark, heavy song starts. In fact, I think this is the only dark song which doesn't have any break or mellow part at all. In other words, the song is very ultimate heavy metal throughout the song. The drum sections are very dynamic with heavy guitar riffs.

Isolation Years - Just like I mentioned above, this is the song which doesn't connected with the rest of the songs (if the album is a concept album). The song is somewhat a short song, just about 4 minutes. And just like Hours Of Wrath, the song is rather mellow and slow, but it has drum sections.

I give four stars, it is because this album is one of the best albums I have. This album is also the first Opeth album for me. However, just like I mentioned before, death metal style is not my favorite, but it really opens my mind to other style of music.

Timur Imam Nugroho - Indonesia

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars What? I'm not giving this album 5 stars!? Yea, I'm not, because this album isn't worthy of five stars. Opeth is an outstanding band, but the material here is not there best work, and while many of the songs are quite a progression from some of there previous work, some of the tracks are well, bland.

Even the heavier songs have a general blandness to them. I'd say your best bet is to listen to the first three songs on the album, those being the the best. The album is very listenable, but its not anything outstanding, except for Baying of the Hounds. Opeth disappointed me here, with what I would consider a progression from previous work, but a progression made half way, like they weren't able to make the whole step, so instead you get something done half way. That fulls step may never be realized though, as unfortunately, with the departure of Lopez, this might be Opeth's last good work. Axenrot is not a drummer with prog on his mind.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Forget about this album, ...

...if you don't like growling vocal! My advice is: go to the nearby CD shop and buy any CD of band under death metal category, bring it home and spin the CD many times. Oh yes, you will find heavy growling vocal but keep going with spinning the CD. You don't need to enjoy, just spin! After couple of spin, then try this Opeth "Ghost Reveries" album. How would you feel? Better? Worse? Or same? Well, my point is simple: it's a great fallacy to pass this album for only one reason of growling vocal style. Bear with me is you can stand still with this style of singing you will find a full joy of Opeth music! If you compare the singing style of this album by any other Death Metal band, this is much much softer and you still might be able to enjoy it.

As a matter of fact, this album offers you a rich texture of progressive metal music in its own unique style which no other band compares with it. The music of Opeth gives you sense of balanced between heavy side of progressive metal with outburst guitar riffs and choral arrangement and ambient style which is usually characterized by guitar fills. It's for me really engaging the mind. This CD has been with me for months but I just did not have a sufficient time to really enjoy it until last week. Once I spun it back, I kept repeating the spin couple of times and it's probably ten times (or more) overall. Every time I spin it, it always be in its entirety - yes, I could not afford to press "Stop" button at my CD player. It's so enjoyable, I can tell you!

The first two tracks "Ghost of Perdition" (10:29) and "The Baying of the Hounds" (10:41) are basically heavy ones with heavy guitar riffs and growl voice line. There are a lot of surprises from mellow to heavy guitar riffs and also there are many segments which serve as musical break - be it a silent break with mere guitar fills or some with percussions and other instruments like keyboard / mellotron. I even enjoy the growling part because typically it is followed with long sustain music and long growling. It's really nice and fits in with Mikael Åkerfeldt voice characteristics. One unique strength of the band is the musical break with acoustic guitar work and vocal line.

Oh man ... "Beneath the Mire" (7:57) really killed me the first time I listened to it. It's so unique as since the beginning there is a great combination of eastern music nuance and music riffs which project gothic nuance. It starts off basically with a simple drum beats followed with keyboard sounds that resemble eastern music and it's very nice. As usual the music flows in heavy mode but still with the ambient sound. This song sounds to me very thematic with long instrumental piece followed with powerful growl. What a great shot!

"Atonement" (6:28) brings the music into slower pace with some texture of dance music accentuated with eastern sound keyboard work at the background. "Reverie / Harlequin Forest" (11:39) starts with a medium tempo music with some guitar riffs and "normal" singing style. This track seems to be an accessible one; there is some growling but to me is really nice. "Hours of Wealth" (5:20) is an absolute break from heavy music as this comprises guitar fills in a mellow style plus some soft keyboard and great voice line. "The Grand Conjuration" (10:21) brings the music into heavy style with energetic beat and powerful keyboard and guitar work. The album concludes with a sweet "Isolation Years" (3:51) in mellow and melodic style. I can hear strong mellotron sound.

This is definitely an excellent addition to any prog music collection. I even tend to give it a five star rating but I want to give it sometime for me to crystallize my final rating. For the time being, let's just put four stars. Highly Recommended!

Life without music is a mistake. Music without progressive is a fatal tragedy!

Yours progressively, GW

Review by Australian
2 stars "Ghost Reveries" greatly disturbed me when I first heard it; very soon after I began to really like this type of prog Death-metal, but nowadays I find it too loud and unhappy. It is plainly too dark and depressing for me, I don't see the point of listening to such dreary, death evoking music. The album art is again very depressing and freaky and how 'bout the CD, Coal black. Opening the CD booklet you get more images of demons, skeletons and ghosts, things that really deter me from such music. "Ghost Reveries" was a pretty successful album and I think it got to about number 30 in Australia and in the 60's in the US and UK.

Now the actual music of "Ghost Reveries" is quite complex for a Death-Metal album and Opeth have some good quality guitar playing on the album, not just run of the mill metal riffs. They also tune their guitars up or down to get different sounds out of them. I can't say I like any of the songs all that much, the skin peeling lyrics and such annoy me. Also the problem with death growls are that they are impossible to understand, and when reading the lyrics from the CD booklet you see even more how dreadfully dreary they are. If I had to name one okay song I would say Reverie/ Harlequin Forest.

1.Ghost of Perdition (2/5) 2.The Baying of the Hounds (2/5) 3.Beneath the Mire (2/5) 4.Atonement (2/5) 5.Reverie/ Harlequin Forest (3/5) 6.Hours of Wealth (2/5) 7.The Grand Conjuration (2/5) 8.Isolation Years (2/5) Total = 17 divided by 8 (number of songs) = 2.1 = 2 stars Collectors/fans only

I'm not going to give "Ghost Reveries" 1 star because there are at least a few good musical passages which count as something. Other than that "Ghost Reveries" is a poor album in my mind and serves only to create unhappiness for listeners. This much is true for me; every time I listen to it I become very depressed and soon put on something like jolly like Jethro Tull or Yes. But when you think about it all prog isn't that happy a genre (excluding Jethro Tull.) I suppose major metal heads would enjoy this album so I recommend it to such people. And also I don't write this review as a hate message directed at any persons, I'm just voicing my opinion.

Review by TRoTZ
4 stars In Ghost Reveries Opeth tryed to perspective a new direction. It was achieved mostly by adding a keyboard member to the band. The keyboard textures gave the chance to create new scenarios. The sound gets even more heavy and clean here, particularly the guitar riffs, resembling (in sound, not in creativity) those seen in modern nu-metal bands. New sonorities were explored as in "Atonement", whose guitar patterns taste like an east european sonority. Opeth continue faithful to themselves, making once the usual 10- minute-like complex song structures. Tracks evolute, transition in transition, in the usual natural way, flowing between heavy guitar riffs, growls, memorable choruses, and moments of accustic peaceful serenity.

Best tracks are the first, "Ghost of Perdition", and "Reverie/Harlequin Forest" whose incountable complex variations would turn this review unreadable. They use the formula said above, as usual in Opeth's sonority. "The Grand Conjuration" is the single of the album, the most commercial of the badge, while having a great rythmic section does not sound to impressive at all. "Hours of Health" and "Isolation Years" are great accoustic tracks, in the way of those made in Damnation, but with the keyboard textures.

Overall, a good album, does not disappoint and it is a step further in the evolution of Opeth's sound. Nevertheless, the work does dot reach the emotional sensibility perfection seen in past works such as Still Life or Blackwater Park.

Review by evenless
4 stars To me Ghost Reveries is the most progressive record that Opeth has come up with! After working with Steven Wilson on their last three records they really got the taste for making progressive metal! Their music matured even more and got even more melodic containing loads of keyboards and mellotron. They even hired a new band member (playing keyboards) turning this album in a progressive metal masterpiece.

The album consists out of 8 tracks that last an average of 8:00 minutes each. Typical Opeth album so far you could say. But now lets discuss the album.

The opening track Ghost of Perdition starts out quiet for about 7 seconds after which you will find yourself falling off any chair you were sitting on. Mikael's growls kick in and the music blasts you away. After 1:00 minute we get some great drumming followed by Mikael's clean vocals sounding better than ever. After this we get some growling again until the 2:30 time mark. Here Mikael's voice gets pseudo heavenly (very atmospheric part) and this is interrupted by even better drumming than the part I mentioned earlier. WOW! The singing after this part has some great melody and the variation in this song is great to make it all complete. This song is pretty much a good representative for the entire album.

The Baying of the Hounds also kicks in with some heavy growling until 01:50 when we hear some great guitar riffs and Mikael displays his beautiful clean vocals again in a very catchy part. From 03:15 the song changes quite a bit and we get a beautiful instrumental part with great keyboards and bells. Mikael continues to sing with clean vocals again until the next instrumental part after which we hear some more of his growling. Me not being a fan of "grunts & growl" can even appreciate it in the way Opeth does it. Combined with great instrumentation, melodies and tempo shifts in one song it makes the whole very complex and interesting to listen to.

Beneath the Mire is another great song and I especially like the instrumental part that starts around 03:25 followed by another nice clean vocal part that goes : Lost love of the heart in a holocaust scene memory

Atonement is a nice mellow song where Mikael sings with a soft voice and the music has some Arabic touch to it. Very catchy ending.

Reverie/Harlequin Forest also starts out rather heavy and the change to mellow instrumental piece happens around 03:30 followed by some more wonderful clean vocals. The song really seems to change around the 05:00 time mark, so I guess that's where Harlequin Forest would start? I especially like the dreamy catchy instrumental guitar chorus if you like, which reminds me quite a bit of the Damnation album. Great stuff!

Hours of Wealth starts out as a good instrumental track where after 2 minutes we get some delicate singing. Very mellow track that also could have been on Damnation as well.

The Grand Conjuration probably is the heaviest track of this album and probably my least favourite track.

Fortunately the album "closure" is the wonderful mellow track Isolation Years which also could have been easily a track on the Damnation album. This track is simply beautiful!

Probably, together with "Still Life" and "Damnation" my favourite Opeth album!

Definitely a step forward for Opeth! 4.5 stars

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A Step in the right Direction

Where "Ghost Reveries" differs from much on offer in the realms of Prog Metal, is the organic and spontaneous feel given to the composition by judicious use and re-use of existing thematic material - and avoiding the traps of going off at ludicrous tangents by considerately using material that provides a true contrast, as opposed to yet another riff.

And so it is that "Ghost of Perdition" gives us the first glimpse of this truly progressive style, with only a few minor hiccups.

The opening is a rather nice mellow guitar that suddenly explodes into a Doom style riff, although somewhat elongated and stretched in time, with vocals that, while appropriate in style, don't seem quite "right" (whatever right is - you just feel it) - too comic book for my tastes. This has nothing at all to do with the "growling" style in itself, which has been used to great effect by other bands, but the manner in which Akerfeldt uses them here.

This is followed by a kind of quasi-funky bouncy riff, over which the flat vocals appear. Fortunately, the riff is engaging enough to distract from the vocals, which are just there - the lyrics aren't coloured in any way by the music, so we take them to be there because a song needs lyrics - and they are repeated, which kinda emphasises this.

A flurry of related and developing rifferama follows this, and takes us to the A section - the growling vocals, which are difficult to make out. Just as well, really, as when you know what they are, you wonder why the vocal tone was necessary - it seems to have been used more to underline the feeling of different tonal colours in the section than to drive the lyrics forward.

A new, lighter idea follows, more smoothly than it has any right to really, and emphasises the progressive feel of the piece well by some excellent word colouring on "winding ever higher".

The riff that follows is derived from the first and second - a nice piece of development - although the vocals don't really add much except a rhythmic counterpoint. In keeping with the soft/loud sections structure, this is stripped back, then built up to a more intense section with processed vocals.

What follows is a nice surprise, texturally - the Mellotrons are brought forwards for some nice tonal colours, but then it goes a little Pete Tong - there are vertical "splats" in the riffs that follow, not the nice crunchy and squishy parts, but the sudden moments of discomfort and utter wrongness that tantalisingly drift into and out of view. This would be a fine section to the song if it wasn't for those.

More development of thematic material follows, implying a relatively complex structure to the song - but with still too much emphasis on individual sections for me to consider full-blown Prog.

Nonetheless, there is much intelligent thematic development, so a Prog Metal song it is - and a really good one it would be, with decent lyrics and vocals.

The Hammond on "The Baying of the Hounds" gives a creepy Uriah Heep goes Death Metal flavour - which, again, really is rather good. The vocals fit perfectly - somehow the comic book aspect is not so apparent here as elsewhere. The lyrics are a cut above the average Death Metal band - but still a little 6th-form. As before, in the melodic section that follows, the melodies are flat and uninteresting - and at some points, the words seem crowbarred in, as if to underline their insignificance in the song.

However, the instrumental section that follows is texturally fabulous - a crunching, dischordant guitar idea gives way to... if can imagine, for a moment, Gentle Giant with only the fundamental notes left in, you'll get an idea of the overall texture. An atmospheric vocal section then chips in, followed by a more intense riff section.


The sections thing is rearing its head again - and the feel of a "one-trick pony" would be stronger if it wasn't for the fact that Opeth create such interesting riffs and ambient ideas.

The guitar solo is surprisingly Spinal Tap - I've got to plug this one again for Uriah Heep fans ;0).

What follows the guitar solo is a bunch of interesting ideas strung together very well, and followed up by a quite surprising return to the verse, and a pointless-seeming instrumental break which lets down the overall quality of this piece - which otherwise would be higher.

It's good to hear so much Mellotron, and you can't have enough of the riff to "Kashmir", especially when it's 'Tronned up to the max. Opeth drop this before it feels like a rip- off, and plunge into a rather mushy sound - the mire?

The lyrics don't really suit the vocals, although the vocals do suit the music - Akerfeldt really needs to work on balancing it out, in my opinion - and this album certainly shows a great deal of potential.

And so the album goes on really - after a while, a certain sameness begins to creep in because of the overuse of the same techniques in every song, and the lack of colouration in the music to provide any kind of emphasis to the lyrics - which are the album's weak point anyway, so maybe the band were wise to do it this way.

The rest of the album does have its moments - the intro to "Atonement", for example (although it does sound a little derived at times - Within You Without You, Eat That Phone Book and more!), the riffing to "Reverie" is among the most spontaneous and inventive I have heard of late, with great energy, "Hours of Wealth" is extremely derivative, especially in the "Shine On" guitar, but an unexpected find on a Prog Metal album, "The Grand Conjoration" has some great riffs and superb textures, and works quite well as the album's overall climax, while "Isolation Years" rounds it all off with the prescribed cool-down.

All in all, a very well balanced album - although the majority of the compositional fireworks seems to be concentrated in the first two tracks, and the remainder are essentially more of the same with less attention to detail - what would be a good collection of songs, if the vocals were up to snuff, in a logical order that reflects the ordering in the composition of the pieces themselves. I'm not at all keen on the vocals - the "Growling" style is an approximation of what it could be, and the "melodic" vocals are flat (in style - vocal correction software is an amazing thing) for the main part, with a few notable exceptions.

However, this album pans out to be something worthy of the name Progressive Metal, with real artistry in composition, in the first couple of tracks particularly, despite the somewhat derived feel of much of it, and occasional "glitches", especially in the realms of harmonic progression.

If this review was based on "Ghost of Perdition", then it would achieve an Excellent addition rating - and I would strongly recommend both this track and "The Baying of the Hounds" to any fan of Prog Rock that wants to hear some decent Prog Metal - and expects to hear Metal, not some cacophonous approximation.

Very nearly 4 stars - it just didn't hold my interest for long enough. But there's still a way to go before Opeth catch up with Gentle Giant as composers.

Review by Dim
3 stars Good old Progressive death metal, and no one gives it to us quite like Opeth. This album was a kind of back to mono album for the group, not to metallish, and not to sentimental. There are many great moments in this album that are just awe inspiring, and there are some that are a bit ugly. Anyway here is my review.

Ghost of Perdition- A very harsh song, a very harsh good song. Everything clicks here, but the thing that will always stand out to me is the guitar tone. Yes, very nerdy, but electric and acoustic I cannot get over how beautiful it sounds, Without the amazing quality of the dual guitars, the song's quality would drop immensely. Akerfeldts vocals are angry/ harsh to pretty/ melancholic throughout the ten minutes this song is going, except near the end when he does a voice over, I think this shows the amount Steven Wilson has influenced him. If I were to turn on the song right at that point, I could thing it was a Porcupine tree song. 5/5

The Baying of the hounds- A bit more violent then the last song, but good. I could use a couple more soft parts and take a break from all the growling. The solo is excellent though. 4/5

Beneath the Mire- The order has been Well leveled, harsher, now it's rediculusly fast and way too much growling. The drums are very nice but besides that, this song is way to dark and death metalish. 2.5/5

Atonement- Very nice song a good breather from all the growling and relentless thrashing and shredding. Beautiful electric piano, cool distorted vocals, and awesome guitar harmonies. The guitar sol is superb, both Akerfeldt and Lindgren are just amazing! 4.5/5

Reverie/ Harlequin forest- Awesome song, the first song over seven minutes that doesnt start with growling, Just beautiful vocals and guitar. Of course this all changes, but after one stanza of growling, it goes into a typical Opeth acoustic passage. The only problems with this song is that the lyrics are pretty stupid, I dont even know what he's talking about. And the ending riff drags on for about three minutes, quite dumb. 4/5

Hours of wealth- A bit more sentimental and heartfelt than Atonement, otherwise the same thing. 4.5/5

The grand conjuration- The single of the album, and my favorite track! Complete controlled rage from start to finish! The drums are amazing and the guitar solo just as well!This is a very angry song, and kinda taps on the subject of satan which is kind of a turn off, but oh well the muzac is awesome. Towards the second have of the song it starts getting experimental, with little breaks and pauses, just to explode into more rage and screams/growls. Nothing to complain about! 5/5

Isolation years- I guess this song is part of the concept that fell apart and never was really rebuilt. just like Atonement and hours of wealth. 4/5

Uggghhh, I do plan on rewriting this eventually, but since I reviewed this album, I really have found some flaws in it, and will bump it down to a three star. I may even further degrade it to a two star, but more listens needed.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This was originally going to be a concept album as Mikael says "The idea was to base all the songs on the different stages of demonic possession. Not like Linda Blair, but on the main characters false belief of being possessed and how everything/everyone turns against him. It started great but then I wrote the lyrics for "Isolation Years" which didn't have anything to do with the concept in any way. Yet I was so happy with that one that I decided to scrap the idea of the concept in favour of this one lyric". One big lineup addition is Per Wiberg formally from the band SPIRITUAL BEGGARS playing keys, organ and mellotron.The other difference for me is that Mikael's clean vocals sound different. Most say it's better, but I prefer his clean vocals from "Damnation". In the liner notes Mikael thanks among others PAATOS, ANEKDOTEN, Steven Wilson, Reine Fiske, Mike Portnoy & DREAM THEATER and Arjen Lucassen. And he thanks his "heroes" Andy Latimer, Ritchie Blackmore, David Gilmour and Steven Wilson(again).

"Ghost Of Perdition" takes all of 7 seconds to become crushingly heavy with death vocals. Clean vocals and some amazing drumming arrive as this contrast continues. It's almost like a dream before 3 minutes. I love the guitar 8 minutes in that recalls "Damnation". "The Baying Of The Hounds" features some good organ as the sound is heavy with death vocals, just not as heavy as the first song. Clean vocals 2 minutes in while a couple of minutes later i'm thinking of "Damnation" again. Some blistering guitar 7 minutes in while a flood of mellotron rolls in before 9 minutes. More heaviness to follow. "Beneath The Mire" has Eastern sounding keys with a waltz-like rhythm for almost 2 minutes. And check out the mellotron !An incredible section 3 minutes in with clean vocals and amazing guitar.The song almost stops as a nice laid back passage follows. Heaviness with clean and death vocals follow.

"Atonement" is a mellow song with a cool guitar melody that is repeated. Reserved vocals,mellotron and tablas all make for a good song. "Reverie / Harlequin Forest" features more hammond organ and mellotron.The first 2 1/2 minutes are like a breath of fresh air, and then were hit with death vocals.This is an amazing song ! Another "Damnation" reference before 5 minutes. Death vocals are back before 9 minutes. "Hours Of Wealth" features beautiful guitar melodies with mellotron and vocals for 2 1/2 minutes. The rest of the song isn't nearly as good though. "The Grand Conjuration" features TOOL-like drumming to open and mellotron. Vocals are great, sort of haunting. These are contrasted with death vocals throughout. I love the drumming ! This is my favourite song on the album. "Isolation Years" is a mellow tune with meaningful lyrics.

Another great record by OPETH but this one for me is a step below "Still Life", "Blackwater Park" and "Damnation". 3.5 stars.

Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars Following the release of Deliverance and Damnation, Opeth enjoyed an even bigger breakthrough, thanks to the mellow atmosphere of the latter that appealed to fans of softer prog. However, I found myself wishing that Opeth had taken the high level of songwriting and combine the two aspects of their sound to make one killer album instead of two good ones. Then Ghost Reveries came out, and it seemed as if Mikael Åkerfeldt read my mind. Ghost Reveries marks the culmination of Opeth's career so far. Mikael's voice has sounded this full since Blackwater Park, and his clean vocals have reached an haunting sound that is unparalleled on any of his previous albums, even Damnation.

The album opens with Ghost of Perdition, which replaces The Drapery Falls as the quintessential Opeth song. A misleading piano intro abruptly cuts into death grunts and heavy riffs. The movement of the song is perfect, from riffs to soft jazz with ethereal vocals, that build until the song's climax before coming back down again with one final burst of energy at the end. The Baying of the Hounds keeps the magic going, this time by showing off Per Wiberg, officially a new member and the first keyboard player to be considered a full-time member. The addition of keyboards really shows on this song, and it gives Opeth even more atmosphere (something I wouldn't have considered possible before the release of this album). Beneath the Mire sounds like an outtake from Deliverance, as it speeds along with brutal vocals and riffs. Lopez is the star player of this track with his thundering drums. Atonement is where the Damnation influence seeps in, and it provides a great contrast with the previous tracks (which seems to validate my wishes that the last two albums had been combined). It manages to be even more depressing than much of th material on Damnation, proving just how much the band has progressed.

The second half of Ghost Reveries reminds me of Blackwater Park in that it isn't as strong as the first half. Reverie/Harlequin Forest features a mismatch of music and vocals; Mikael's sings where he should grunt, and vice versa. The composition is, as always, incredible, but some tweaks to the vocal arrangements would have been welcome. Hours of Wealth follows in the same vein as Atonement, and it's the best song of the second half with it's depressing vocals and composition. The Grand Conjuaration is full of rage, and Lopez really propels this song. This song makes me wonder how Opeth will fare without him. Mikael's has a wonderful guitar solo as well. The album ends with Isolation Years, another soft track that doesn't meet the high standards set by Atonement and Hours of Wealth.

Critics hailed this release, saying how the band had matured into one of the masters of modern prog. I've never really enjoyed the use of the word mature in music. The whole point of music is conjuring the range emotions that is usually only felt in youth. This is true for every genre of music, but rock especially. Great music makes you feel young, even if you already are. However, if ever a release deserved to be called mature, it would be this. Mikael and the gang have fully realized their potential, and it seems that by splitting their sound on the last two albums they took the time to examine both aspects of their music and determine strengths and weaknesses. Still Life and Blackwater Park are still better albums, but this is the album that shows Opeth at their peak.

Grade: B+

Review by Prog Leviathan
5 stars Another magnificent release which, despite its explosive intro and heavy sonic assault, is remarkably approachable, and shows that the band is further mastering their iconic blend of heavy/soft dynamics. "Ghost Reveries" contains everything Opeth fans love, this time adding more dedicated keyboard textures and intricate songwriting to the epic metal tapestry; Per Wiberg is a welcome addition to the lineup. The songs are an even balance of soft/heavy, more so than ever before, and perhaps most of all... they are actually catchy; the listener will likely have be singing hooks long after hearing them. Moods range from a delightful, eerie paranoia (such as in "Grand Conjuration"), melancholic blues, and of course the band's powerful (and dexterous) melodic metal.

A perfect place to begin for those interested in discovering one of the coolest metal bands around-- the enjoyment of heavy/dark music is essential, but I heartily encourage those who "dislike" death metal to give Opeth a try... you won't be disappointed!

Songwriting: 5 Instrumental Performances: 5 Lyrics/Vocals: 5 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Review by sean
4 stars Although I might like some other Opeth albums more, this one has a special place since it was my introduction to this great band. This album is filled with strong songs, and I wouldn't call any of them bad, although i wouldn't say it is a masterpiece, as it has its flaws. "Ghost Reveries" is full of what we've come to love about Opeth, that wonderful juxtaposition of heavy death metal passages and haunting acoustic passages featuring clean vocals. This is also Opeth's first album with a full time keyboardist, and it does make a difference. I think the keyboards are especially useful in making the clean passages that much more haunting. Highlights of the album are "Reverie/Harlequin Forest", "The Baying of the Hounds", and "Ghost of Perdition".
Review by russellk
5 stars Not the faultless masterpiece 'Blackwater Park' is, but an essential album nonetheless.

After a start reminiscent of 'Deliverance', OPETH prove within three minutes that this album is a step up from their 2003/3 recordings. 'Ghost of Perdition' has a memorable descending three-note hook that binds the song together, making it an excellent composition. 'The Baying of the Hounds' is even better, opening with a storming, abrasive riff and complex rhythms - actually, this would have been a better opener for the album, as it nails down this album's personality much better than 'Ghost' does. The quiet section, reporting for duty at precisely the right moment, after three minutes of sonic terror, is beautiful. I'd so missed the integration of light and darkness characteristic of 'Blackwater Park'. This is a song worthy of that album.

I must admit a sentimental partiality for the retro synth at the beginning of 'Beneath the Mire'. Redolent of LED ZEPPELIN's 'Kashmir', it imparts a stirring exotic vibe and brings to our attention something that has been nagging at us since the album started: OPETH is no longer a four-piece, they have added a keyboard player, which finally gives us an excuse to call them 'prog' (despite the fact they have been playing progressive rock since day one).

'Atonement' is the most convincing 'half-way' song OPETH have done to this point. It has a magical melody and would be the highlight of any album upon which it appeared. AKERFELDT's love of CAMEL comes through clearly here. And it appears at exactly the right moment of the album.

'Harlequin Forest' is a slow burner, working into an excellent track - takes its time, though. The last three minutes are worth waiting for. It is followed by 'Hours of Wealth', the most minimal song of any length OPETH have done. Then the drama-laden 'The Grand Conjuration', which makes a great feast at the single-length five minutes or at the album-length ten. Riff-laden, keyboard-limned, drum-hammered, weighty and portentious, this track is a perfect summary of OPETH. Play this to the few doubters who claim OPETH isn't progressive. 'Isolation Years' concludes the album with yet more pastoral beauty.

After the debacle of 2002/3 and the divided albums, it's wonderful to have this talented and creative metal band back at top form.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In short, with Ghost Reveries Opeth have released their best album to date, even surpassing the superb Blackwater Park. The quality of the music here is some of the best youâ??ll ever hear in the Progressive Metal Genre. But what makes Opeth so good is their extremely effective use of light and shade where they can go from the most brutal Metal riff to an acoustic interlude with effortless flow. Okay, so many Prog Metal bands do this but few do it as well as Opeth. They were originally a Death Metal band but even on earlier releases still displayed Progressive elements to their music and particularly from their Still Life album onwards have displayed strong melodic sensibilities. Opeth are able to pull this off so well because they are also fantastic musicians, not a weak link is present in the line up on this album and they have added another string to their bow with the addition of Keyboard player Per Wilberg who favours 70's Keyboards like Melotrons and Organs as well as Piano. Mikael Akerfeldt uses Death Metal growls when he sings for fifty percent of the time. It's a shame as when he chooses to sing properly he has an excellent melodic voice and should make more use of it.

The album opens with perhaps the two finest compositions the band have ever written. Ghost of Perdition and Baying of the Hounds display every element of the Opeth sound. The former opens with the most brutal riff and through the course of the song goes through all the aforementioned time and mood changes. Particularly impressive is Drummer Martin Lopez' playing. He is so much more than a Metal Drummer. Sure, he has all the fast double bass drum rolls off to a fine art but also plays with such dexterity and subtlety when called for. Baying of the Hounds displays similar qualities and the opening riff bears more than a passing resemblance to Uriah Heep. It's also worth mentioning that whilst many Metal orientated guitarists go for a blur of notes at the expense of melody in their solos, Akerfeldt and Peter Lindgren go for the latter, which is far more pleasing.

Beneath the Mire opens with riff bearing a slight resemblance to Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. Particularly effective is the more laid back mid section with some excellent subtle playing from all which is followed by the Indian flavoured Atonement giving the album yet another dynamic and musical shift.

Reverie/Harlequin Forest brings us back to full power and is another album highlight featuring minimal use of Death Metal growls which is a good thing as they are replaced by some of Akerfeld's best vocals on the album and a syncopated end section which must have took a bit of practising to perfect.

It is usual to have a mellow interlude or two on an Opeth album and we get that here with Hours of Wealth and album closer Isolation Years, the former being particularly good but between them we get the excellent The Grand Conjuration. An excellent riff, Drum pattern featuring rolling Bass Drums and haunting Keyboard textures open this track with all the usual Opeth trademarks present throughout the song. Great stuff!

Musically I would award this album 5 stars but some of the songs would work better without the death metal growls.

Review by JLocke
4 stars The first Opeth album I ever bought. I think it should be noted that when I held the SE copy of this album in my hands in the store, debating whether or not to slam my money down for the purchase, at the time the only Opeth song I had heard I didn't like, and as far as I was concered, they were just another growl-driven crushing death metal band with nothing original to offer, but knowing that they were associated with Porcupine Tree, one of my favorite bands ever, I decided to give them a real chance, and I bought the album. Damn, was that the right decision!

I felt like I should point that out, so that anyone who may have disliked Opeth upon first listen in the past vould possibly be encouraged by my story to go out on a limb and give the band another go!

First, let me just say how amazing the Special Edition packaging is. I know that Roadrunner records are notorious for re-releasing their band's albums unneccesarily, but in this particular case, the extra couple of bucks on the price tag is justified. It comes with a beautiful booklet with liner notes talking about the original (but ultimately abandoned) occult concepts behind the record, how the record label change was going to have no effect on the band's overall progression, and it even explains why the cover of ''Soldier of Fortune'' is present on this special edition (Deep Purple apparently is a huge influence on Opeth, along with Steven Wilson's work. Needless to say that knowledge had me feeling much more comfortable with the band now).

GHOST REVERIES is a fantastic album, and it proves that Opeth is truly a prog rock band, not a tech/extreme death metal band, not really. There are so many different genres to be found here (Jazz, Rock, Alternative, Death Metal, Acoustic, Space-rock, etc.). Too many to fit Opeth in such a stifling category of Death Metal.

Ghost of Perdition. It starts off with the typical cookie-craving growls I was anticipating, and frankly I am not too impressed usually by this sort of thing. I mean, I love it in any other context, but when it comes to prog, I expect more/ A band like Meshuggah's lead singer has a much more appealing 'yell- scream' quality to his voice, but the low, gravelly grunts I heard at the beginning of this song sounded to me like any other death metal band. But I stuck with it and decided to listen to the whole song before I made a judgement call. Smart move, because once the action slowed down and I heard the colourful rhythm guitar work come into play, I realized that this band actually liked to leave space, not just stay aggressive all the time. So I was relieved a bit by this, and then when Mike came in with his first bout of clean singing, I knew I was in for a great ride. Something else I noticed was how clearly I could hear the intricacies of the music and all of its layers. The instruments, including the distorted guitars, were very clear and apparent, showing that this band could also actually play. Around two minutes and thirty-five seconds in to the fray, and everything slows down and starts over with a completely different approach: acoustic guitar work. Never before had I heard something quite like this done. The heavy action stopped completely in its tracks and made room for this truly beautiful interlude of clean musical work. Absolutely amazing, I remember being very impressed by that.

Now, some people seem to not be able to see how this band and Porcupine Tree are alike. ''Well, one is death metal, the other is prog rock''. Wrong, my friend, wrong. Here is a perfect example where you will see just how close to PT Opeth can sound. A moment here when Mikael Åkerfeldt does a vocal flourish merely by humming a haunting tune is very reminiscent of the song ''Lips of Ashes'' by Steve Wilson and company, as is the melodic clean guitar solo that follows, If one listens to that moment of ''Ghost of Perdition'' and truly cannot see the connection, then they never will. However, in my mind the similarities are very distinct, just not all the time. But when Porcupine Tree gets heavy, or Opeth gets softer, both bands share common ground, which by the way is a good aspect of both acts. Needless to day by this point I was hooked completely by how successfully Opeth had managed to frankenstein such polor opposing genres (Acoustic and Death Metal). Honestly, I was impressed beyond words by that. Alot of bands attempt to do this, and don't succeed, but Opeth passed the test with flying colours. It is official: they have talent.

At 04:54, a solo and riff combination thunders in almost like a bennediction, and the emotion is so strong in the music. Truly. So far I had been pissed off, calmed down, fustrated again, and then incredibly uplifted all within just the first song! Oh yes, this was proving to be quite the wise purchase, indeed. The line ''Ghost of Perdition!'' is barked out by Åkerfeldt again in his growl voice, but see, this time it was different; I knew he could do so much more with his amazing voice by now that I no longer minded this side of him, because it is indeed only one side of him. Then before I knew it, the acoustic guitar and electric guitar were playing alongside of one another (Another Porcupine Tree trait). Another brillant but not showy solo, then at 08:26, one of the coolest heavy guitar riffs to hit my ears in a long, long time. Luckily this riff replayes several times until nine minutes in, then the acoustic guitar busts in again, reprising Åkerfeldt's meloding humming in the background with echo. Really great work in keeping this very diverse and far-reaching track feeling whole and consise. By the end of it all, I could still see thw whole shape, and none of it seemed convoluted at all. Wow, unbelievable.

''The Baying of the Hounds''. Kind of the same opening as the song that preceeded it, but I wasn't worried about that, because had every song that followed gone along the exact same path as ''Ghost of Perdition'', I would have still been a happy man, that first track was just that good. Happily, however, each track that followed it on the album would rpove to stand alone in their own individual greatness. How this band has managed to elude my ears for so long, I will never know, but never again! At around 01:05, Mikael sings some truly catchy, 'hum-along' notes, while still not sacrificing originality for commerciality, and by three minutes in, the progressive elements show through brightly and majestically, with odd time signatures and mellotrons-a-plenty.

The song then becomes very quiet, and by the four minute mark, the song has become much more Jazzy, which is great! So, Åkerfeldt's diction doesn't differentiate between soft and hard 's' and the word 'desire' is pronounced incorrectly, I guess the obsessive compulsive one within me could potentially get slightly annoyed by this, but it's ridiculous in the long run, because the vocal performance, especially at that particular moment, is breathtakingly beautiful. Back to the growling again, then we hear some truly head-bang-worthy guitar riffage, soon followed up by an otherwordly solo courtosy of dear Mikael. Oh my God! Then at 07:27, absolutely dazzling acoustic guitar playing takes the song in a completely new direction all over again, sealing the deal as a prog track yet a second time this record? Can all of the song really be as equally fresh and new as these first two? The answer is yes! Also, some great keyboard work in this particular section. One last blast of heavy metal stylings before the track ends.

''Beneath the Mire''. Haha, well, the riff here sounds very familiar (''Kashmir'', anyone?), but the keys in the background and the originallity to follow redeems that very quickly for me. The first of what you could really call the 'short' songs on the record, and even that is stretching it. To be honest, the track doesn't go anywhere different until around two minutes and fourty seconds in, but I suppose that is soon enough. The riffing is still the same, though, but the singing style changes. However, at three eleven, a huge change happens with some awesome guitar soloing. But at 03:23, the biggest change of all occures, and the song instantaniousely becomes a blues/jazz song, with some truly spine-tingling minor notes being peing played on piano and clean guitar. Ultimately, though, a great mystifying electric guitar solo comes into play and once again keeps the whole track feeling like the same song and not just bits and pieces from different ones. In the end, it all comes back around to the heavy side, and by five minutes, we have come all the way around the musical spectrum and landed back where we began at the song's opening. Seems to me that Opeth is very good at taking the listener through mini-adventures musically as many times as possible each song without losing structure, and they once again succeeded here. Ooooooh, a great guitar solo followed by some Meshuggah-esque riffing at 06:48. Ah, yeah, that's what I like! Give me those catchy but difficult guitar chords combos! Haha, Marz Volta-ish bass and guitar doodling can be heard in the background now, not to mention some more great 'tron work. A seemless segue leads us into the next song.

''Atonement''. The opening riff is Space-rock if I have ever heard it! Psychedelic to its fullest, and I relish every second. Bongos now, eh? Oh, and old-fasioned vocal distortion? On a death metal record?! Nah. On a prog rock record? Absolutely! At a minute fourty-five, more Porcupine Tree similarites, and awesome vocal work from Mr. Mikael Åkerfeldt. It's more of the same until around four-and-a-half minutes when piano work comes into play, adding a very tastey flavor to the whole thing. I absolutely die of listening opleasure as the track ends abrubtly with some great synthed piano keys running together to produce a very chillingly wonderful sound. Very difficult to explain in writing, you're just going to have to listen for yourself to understand fully what I mean.

''Reverie/Harlequin Forest''. This is by far my favorite track on the entire album. Why? Because unlike the tracks that preceeded it, this one doesn't go in a different direction and back again only one, but twice, possibly even thrice. Still yet, it manages to stay a completely wonderful, mesmerizing song! I truly could never describe it well enough to do it justice, so all you have to know is this: It features some of the best acoustic guitar playing I have ever heard. Ever. I'm talking about something that rivals even Michael Hedges. Don't believe me? Listen for yourself. Oh, and as for the heavy parts? Superb as well. The most Meshuggah-esqu riff is at the end of this song. Odd time signatures, really, really catchy structure. I love playing along to that part of the song, trying to keep up with the complex but oh-so-sweet sounding rhythm guitar! The clean vocal work is also the best on the album along with anything and everything else. This song is perfect. I has no flaws. Seriousely. So how can I justifiably and correctly review a flawless song? What is the need? Just . . . haha, listen to the song for yourself. After a few intense listens you will know exactly what I mean. Perfect. Perfect. PERFECT!

''Hours of Wealth''. I LOVE this song! It is the bluesiest track on GHOST REVERIES, and the guitar solo featured here is just stunning. Amazing work that truly shows what all these guys can do. And apparently they can do anything, an assumption that I would consider not too far from the truth. They certainly show more versatility than any other artist on this site I have listened to yet. If that isn't progressive, I would love to know what is.

''The Grand Conjuration''. Well, this is the single form the album, but offers so much more the radio edited mutant that most of us heard before buying the real thing. Starts off with some brutal guitar playing, then it quiets down, and we hear Mikael singing some awesomely evil tunes, soon followed by a great heavy riff that I just love playng myself, because of how simply yet powerfull it is. Once again, the voice is growling here. The problems I have with this particualr song is that for one thing, it goes on way too long without changing anything up. It is probably the weakest track in this regard. Secondly, the main solo in the song is fabulous, but after that everything else feels a little too bland and frankly boring. Had the the track been shortened a bit (but NOT in the fashion the single edit was) and the solo come in later, along with some style switches along the way, it could have been just as good as the other tracks.

''Isolation Years''. Ahhhh, another great acoustic song! Just what we need to close the album with. I love singing along to this beautiful yet haunting chorus that Mikael has dreamt up. And once again, the clean guitar playing is probably even more impressive and intricate than the distorted guitar work. Quite impressive, coming from simply a 'death metal' band, wouldn't you say?

''Soldure of Fortune''. Only available on the special edition (along with a very cool DVD that gives some great background on the band not to mention behind the scenes of this particular studio release, band member interviews, and much, much more! Get this version if you can!), this song I felt was worthy of a mention. It is a pretty good cover, I guess. I mean, I have never heard the original Deep Purple song (I know, I know. I'm hopeless), but I loved what I heard. It clearly isn't an Opeth original, because the time signature, structure and overall vocal style is too straightforawrd based on the eight preceeding tracks I had just listened to, but noetheless, this is a very good song, and possibly an even better album closer than ''Isolation Years''. So please, do yourself a favor and get tis album, and hopefully you can get the Special Edition of it, because the extra expense is actually worth it this time!

Final verdict: I am impressed! I never knew Opeth would be one of my favorite bands, but now it is beginning to appear thwat way, and that is just fine with me. Mikael Åkerfeldt, like Steve Wilson, is the mastermind and clear leader of his band. Not only does he come up with most of the concepts himself, but he contributes the most to the songwriting process, since the man can obviousely play anything he can think up. True talent, there, my friends. Observe it, appreciate it, because there aren't many people quite as talented as this around. When one finds it, especially if it is present in a genre as pretentious and self-indulgant as prog rock, it must be praised and complimented. So that is what I am doing, I am praising Opeth at great length, here, because I think they have something that most other bands-- of any genre, mnd you --will never even come close to obtaining. Now, that is something worth listening to! 4.5 Stars!

Review by The Crow
4 stars This is just another great Opeth's record!

Since the marvellous Still Life, Opeth has managed to release a bunch of incredible albums... Deliverance is still my favourite one, but I must say Ghost Reveries is maybe the most complete album they have released (maybe Watershed will surpase it in variety and quality?) Nevertheless, is not their best in my opinion.

The Per Wiberg's contribution made the Opeth's music going a step further, giving the songs even more personality and new textures... You have only to hear the great ambience of songs like The Baying of the Hounds and Atonement... This man is a master in the keys. Not only in the playing. His best is giving a deep feeling to the songs, and sounding always perfect and in the right place every moment... I am a big fan of Spiritual Beggars too, and when I heard about this man joining Opeth, I could only agree!

Apart of the keyboards, when you hear Ghost Reveries after all the other Opeth's albums, you notice this is a more diversified one... Maybe their most luminous album, and along with Damantion, the most 70's influenced Akerfeldt's work. The psychedelic elements of Beneath the Mire, the mellow parts of Ghost of Perdition, the whole Atonement act... Per Wiberg's keys also help to create this proper and original retro ambient mixed with the usual Opeth's technical death metal.

The musicians also bright specially here... The Martín Méndez bass shines in every track. I really love his work on Beneath the Mire (although I consider this song is not so good like the rest...) Martín López made his best work here, without a doubt... Both in the hard and mellow parts he shines in every minute. His drums playing is so full of details... It's a real pleasure to hear this really talented man here. And so good is hearing the Akerfeldt's improving on vocals... The growls are so good as always. But his clear voice is in Ghost Reveries better than ever... So this great musicians's playing along with the outstanding quality of the music, make Ghost Reveries a true pleasure to the ears!

Despite this amount of good facts, the quality of the album is not so homogene... Beneath the Mire is under the great level of the fist two tracks. Is not bad, specially the acoustic section, but not so great. And although Atonement manages to recover some of the outstanding quality of the beginning with its 70's psychedelic feeling, it doesn't comes back completely to Harlequin Forest, another classic from this album. But then, Hours of Wealth push the album down again... I think that Opeth was not really inspired with the acoustic tracks here! They are good, bot not so great like in Damnation. Also the acoustic sound is not so good, not so direct...

Best songs: Ghost of Perdition (of course... The best song of the album. I specially love the drums and the great guitar riffs), The Baying of the Hounds (the most progressive track of the album... A variated and complex song), Harlequin Forest (it includes the best acoustic part of the album in my opinion...) and The Grand Conjuration (a bit repetitive... But really catchy, with another bunch of great riffs... This song is perfect to be played live! I loved it when I saw Opeth live in Madrid...)

Conclusion: this is one of the best Opeth's albums... They have maybe 4 or 5 albums that could be considered masterpieces... And Ghost Reveries is one of them. Not so hard than Deliverance, even more diverse than Blackwater Park, with the same feeling than Damnation, more surprising than Still Life... This album is just another step further in one of the most exciting and incredible metal acts of the last years. I can't give it five stars because it has some weak moments, specially Beneath the Mire and Hours of Wealth... And I consider than the acoustic sound is not so brilliant as it was with Steve Wilson on production. But I strongly recommend this album to every lover of the good music, and specially to the prog metal fans, because Ghost Reveries is simply one of the best prog metal releases of the new millennium!

My rating: ****

Review by sleeper
3 stars After the disappointments of Damnation/Deliverance, Opeth needed to deliver here, at least in my eyes, and to an extent the band certainly did. Gone now is the production and occasional mellotron and guitar work of Steven Wilson but in comes the bands first full time keyboard player, in the shape of Per Wiberg. Ghost Reveries would also prove to be the final time that Martin Lopez will sit behind the drum kit on an Opeth album.

In the main, there are two major differences between Ghost Reveries and previous albums that the band has previously released. The first is the production, its immediately apparent that the crystal clear and highly defined production of the albums Still Life through to Damnation is gone in favour of a more muddy and blurred sound to it, the instruments don't seem to quite have the individual space in the overall sound that they used to. The second is that the overall feel of the album is bizarrely far more upbeat than on any other album of theirs. Its this last change that is so perplexing because the dark, melancholic atmospheres of previous albums was their towering strength. Extreme music of this variety doesn't really work to well when you try to inject an up-beat feel to it, it would appear.

There are two problems here, though. The first being that Per Wiberg seems to be something of a none-entity, with his keyboard playing well and truly buried and contributing little to the overall sound of the album. Secondly, the tendency to extend songs past their lifetime on Deliverance has been kept here, though to not such a crippling degree. The worst offender being Reverie/Harlequin Forest as the last 4-5 minutes could have been cut down to less than 2, and The Grand Conjuration and Ghost of Perdition could have done with a little pruning as well. Having said that, this is definitely not a bad album and certainly a big improvement over the last two, with the band making full use of its trademark style of contrast. The Baying of the Hounds is exceptional song and stands out as one of Opeths best whilst the eastern influences of Atonement make for an unusual track.

In the end, though, Opeth can and have done better, 3.5 stars.

Review by LiquidEternity
4 stars The inclusion of a keyboardist into their ranks is exactly what Opeth needed, I have to say.

Before Ghost Reveries, their sound was a bit stale, inexplicably flat. Just a bit monotonous, though without this album I couldn't have said why. Per Wiberg jumps onto the scene here, adding the sonic backdrops that Opeth deserves. Suddenly there are more flavors to Opeth than just the sour taste of old, sad rust, which isn't a bad sort of vibe, just a bit much to hang on to for seven albums.

The music is more lively, too. The heavy parts play heavy like you would expect, but they also start adding speed--and adrenaline. No longer just a sense of fear or doom, but a sense of thrilling fear, of intriguing menace. Hard to explain, but the difference to me is quite clear between this album and the ones before it. The overall production and sound quality is rounder, fuller, more full of life, if you will, though still retaining that ideal of death metal.

Also of note is, in the vein somewhat of Damnation, the presence of three completely clean-vocals mellow tracks (Atonement, Hours of Wealth, and Isolation Years). The rest of the tracks feature some measure of growling and grunting. This album also marks the first (and I guess last) album where Martin Lopez's drums strike me as interesting and creative. Fans have long sworn by the man, but only here do I find his rhythm work worthy of extra notice. The band still keeps the bass prominent in the mix, filtering out some of the domination of the guitars to add in the keyboards.

And in the end, the balance works great. This is a very good starting point for someone interested in Opeth, and a must have for anyone who is enjoying the band to much of a degree at all.

Review by CCVP
5 stars It took me a wile, but i finally saw the light

Though not being the first Opeth album i ever listened, Ghost Reveries was, in fact, the first Opeth album i ever bought, probably sometime between November and December of 07. Since the time i bought it i liked the album but i was not able to enjoy it completely probably because i was not mature enough in prog rock and in progressive metal (specially in the extreme session of progressive metal), so it was recently that i finally realized how good this album really was.

In that maturing process was very important to listen carefully to all Opeth's discography, so i could realize their stylistic evolution. For example, though this album is still very heavy and have the guttural vocals that characterizes Opeth, Steven Wilson's influence was very deep in Mikael Åkerfeldt and that caused: the appearance of another one musician in Opeth's line-up (Per Wiberg, who would tackle the keyboard duties) and increased complexion in Opeth's music, most notably using the keyboards to build a harmonic base, better balance in the songs (the heavy songs have more calm or increased usage of acoustic instruments and with the soft songs the opposite happens) and, due to the two previous features listed, the orchestration in general became more complex.

This album is, also, the first album Opeth released without any special guest since Still Life, back in 1999. So, Ghost Reveries symbolizes some kind of rebirth, after being six years making albums with Steven Wilson.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

This album have some musical differences from its predecessors that must be pointed out. The most important is the inclusion of keyboards in Opeth's music, as i said before. The keyboards, apart from making the harmonic base, also makes the music thicker, in the lack of a better term. Also their music is noticeably more ethereal and moody, heading every time more towards progressive rock than to extreme metal.

As always, the instrumental work is wonderful: both guitars work perfectly as a team, just like the whole band that, though being reasonably independent among themselves (the only exception being the keyboards, who supports the whole band), work perfectly well together.

Grade and Final Thoughts

It almost took me a year, but i finally saw that this album is really, really good and deserves the masterpiece grade and the significant improvements listed in my review support my decision. A great album indeed.

Review by The Pessimist
3 stars A very good album from the best prog metal band of our day.

Recognised as Opeth's best album by some, a great effort by most, Ghost Reveries is arguably the band's proggiest effort to date. Personally, I don't think it quite touches the standard of the classics Still Life, MAYH, Morningrise and Blackwater Park, but it is pretty good to say the least and entertaining throughout. The only thing that lets it down however are three tracks which I don't find are at the standard of the rest: these three tracks are Baying of the Hounds, Atonement and Isolation Years. The rest of them though are quite brilliant.

Of the good tracks, which are what I'm about to focus on, I would say that Ghost of Perdition and The Grand Conjuration are my favourites, for the simple reason that they are the most interesting to me. Ghost of Perdition is quite possibly one of Opeth's best songs, and is the standout track of the album. It goes through many phases of which include bonecrunching riffs, breathtaking drumming from Martin Lopez, a beautiful quiet section towards the middle, complex songwriting, Mikael Akefeldt's deepest growling and overall a perfect contrast of brutality and melody. The Grand Conjuration is a harder rocker and is great to play loud. Only one word can describe this piece: brutal. All the way through almost, and it is pretty damn strange at best. My favourite part of this song is the break after the quite section with the guitar fading into an aggressive riff. This also contains one of Akefeldt's fastest guitar solos and is fantastic to listen to all the way through if you love prog metal like myself.

The remaining standout tracks are not too shoddy themselves. Beneath the Mire introduces us to a middle-eastern feel with a kickass, yet simplistic, drum beat. This is the proggiest effort off the album by a narrow margin, and includes a very symphonic middle section. Reverie/Harlequin Forest is a brilliant song which is divided into two parts. The first is a standard hard rocker with majoritively clean vocals and some lyrics that deserve a mention. The second has a rather obvious Pink Floyd touch to it and a superb ending that sound reminiscently, as mentioned before, of Meshuggah with the yes, it is in 4/4, but you just try and keep in time with it approach that was seen before in the ending of Deliverance. Hours of Wealth is a beautiful ballad which is pure melody. Tasteful is the perfect word to describe this effort, and even though it is one of the only Opeth songs that lacks drums, it is by no means boring. The middle build up is simply brilliant and the finale guitar solo rises the hairs on the back of my neck.

The other three tracks that i don't care much for are not by no means poor. I simply just don't like them. No use asking me to explain myself, but they just don't float my boat. End of story.

Overall an excellent album. However, because they don't touch the standard of the classics, I am forced to give it a ranking lower than 4 stars. But it is too good for 2 stars by a mile. So 3 stars it is, i think that is justice in my eyes. If it were a 10 star rating system i would give it 7, but unfortunately it isn't. Good, but non-essential.

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Ghost Reveries' - Opeth (9.5/10)

At first spin of this album, I was quite taken aback by it's unique blend of heaviness and progression. However, I wasn't quite in love with it just yet... In fact, it took me almost a year and a half to completely let the album sink in, long after Opeth had become one of my favourite bands, and I was an owner of a considerable portion of their repetoire. Then one day, I decided to take it back out and give it another few listens. To say I was 'blown away' is only the beginning. From then on, 'Ghost Reveries' has since become one of my favourite albums of all time, and arguably my most enjoyed Opeth release yet.

This album has everything that could be asked for in a Progressive Death Metal release... There is a sufficient level of weirdness to maintain interest for many, many listens, and there are parts that can only be described as earth-shatteringly heavy. However, despite these heavy leanings, Akerfeldt still manages to sneak in some more mellow, melodic ballads (such as the vocally powerful 'Hours Of Wealth' and the ever beautiful 'Isolation Years') into the album's tapestry.

'Ghost Reveries' has very few, if any 'boring' moments. The result of which is an album that is in no way a chore to listen to from start to finish. Songs like the grandiose 'Ghost of Perdition' and the depressingly romantic 'Isolation Years' stood out for me as being truly worthy of brilliance.

A great album to start your Opeth fanhood with, and one of the few modern classics of metal.

Review by Negoba
4 stars Prototypical Opeth..this is the one to buy first

My advice to start here may sound strange as I have already rated two Opeth albums masterpieces over this one and may add another (Still Life). But this album is the balance point where you get much of the best of the band in its many aspects. Many point to Blackwater Park as THE Opeth album, but I actually like this one better. The high points are higher, the track order is better, and there are fewer lulls. And unlike some albums, this one deserves a track by track description.

Ghost of Perdition - This is Opeth in a song, probably their best ever and certainly top three. It contains Mikael's perfected growls, harmony vocals, folky acoustic guitars, multiple 3-time melodic riffs and of course crushing death metal syncopation. It's a true prog epic, in that there are many different sections that weave in and out with clear purpose and intention. Where many bands have chord beds for improvisational solos, this song is obviously carefully composed. One of the best headbanging moments of all time (the "Devil cracked the earthly got to live before you die young" section) appears early in two repetitions, and is never seen again. That's songwriting maturity. Rather than milking a good riff, this section serves a purpose within the whole song and nothing more. The solo is relatively brief and simple, and again, is perfectly placed. If you wanted one song to exemplify the entire genre (Prog Death Metal), this is it. 11/10

Baying of the Hounds - This song pushes things further into adventurous territory, opening with a riff more grooving than is typically heard in an Opeth song. Along with plenty of storytelling done in dragonvoice (a frequent but strange Opeth element) this song brings in various keyboard sounds from vibes to mellotron to strings. This song doesn't pull you in like the opener, but it has some great sections, and multiple monster riffs. Akerfeldt also begins to introduce some serious dissonance, prog sound, and weirdness that will fuel Watershed (esp Lotus Eater). 8/10

Beneath the Mire - Opening with a simple groove, a staccato guitar riff backing a violin key melody takes into a slide-y section a little reminiscent of Drapery Falls, but thicker. Harsh vocals enter, as melodic as they can be, breaking through the thick layers at just the right time. Multiple solos also punctuate this piece, and while none are as memorable as track 1's guitar break, they are perfectly placed. This song is a good example of apparent harsh breaks in the music actually making melodic and thematic sense. It takes multiple listens, but is worth the effort. I especially like the classically proggy outro. 7/10

Atonement - This is a mid-tempo song with clean electrics and plenty of keyboards, effected vocals, strummy guitars and a fairly straightforward lead over some laid-back drums in four. The 70's prog influences allow the repetitiveness of the song to stand-up, but is a let-up in creativity. Not as poor as the closer, but a still a little weak. 6/10

Reverie / Harlequin Forest - The most epic song on an album with several epic-length pieces. This one has some great moments and some overlong sections, but the overall structure is that of classic prog, a multi-section narrative with a unified theme. Much of the storytelling here is done in a low clean voice, with good melodic content which maintains the listeners interest well. When the growls come in (8:30 is a great example), they make sense and contribute to the song. 7/10

Hours of Wealth - The best quiet piece of the album, this song contains both clean electric and acoustic guitar, mellotron and does evoke Damnation to some extent. However, it's actually a little quicker and, if possible, warmer than the chill of Opeth's all-clean album. There are near a capella parts with just keys, nice harmonies, a tasty solo in Akerfeldt's jazz-bluesy style. A very nice transition piece, though certainly not a highlight in itself. 7/10

The Grand Conjuration - The album closes in more listener-friendly fashion, first heavy and then light. This song, which was not surprisingly chosen for a video, is based around a simple 3 note/chord pattern that gets varied and twisted in many different forms, but provides a very simple anchor that makes this song much easier to understand on first listen. Similarly, the light whispered vocals, slow addition of instruments and angry chorus border on formulaic. Interestingly, this light touch hides the fact that this song has the most blackened lyrics of the album. The guitar solo section has a fairly straight tapping section and more standard metal sound than Mikael usually employs. At midpoint, the song shifts to a much more proggy section starting with keys and then hitting full blast death metal. This song is a live favorite and it's easy to see why. It pulls you in easy, slowly grows and then releases energy in a sweet angry release. The outro, a return to the main theme, is probably not needed, and seems a little too long. It does work well in the live setting and had it been the end to the entire album (it should have been), I would have also agreed with the choice. 8/10

Isolation Years - the low point of the album for me. Many fans lump Opeth's clean vocal / guitar works into a Damnation bin, but they actually vary widely in quality, adventurousness, melody, and emotion. This one is perhaps the weakest of the entire catalog. The lyrics, the melody, the harmonic structure are simple-minded (almost pop), somewhat repetitive, and seem out of place on an Opeth record. The vocals are well performed but the songwriting is below the band's standard. For me, a disappointing close to a strong record. 4/10

So we have a masterpiece song, one throwaway, and a variety of 6-8/10 songs showcasing the different faces of the band well. Again, I think this is a perfect introduction to the band, perhaps the best example of their typical sounds. The following album, Watershed, is moving in a new direction, Damnation is the equivalent of a side project between Steven Wilson and Akerfeldt, and other works are simply more uneven than this record. Not a masterpiece, but very good extreme prog metal.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Well it seems that, two years earlier, I was too pessimistic about Opeth's future. Akerfelt must have found a new treasure box of fabulous riffs and serves them hot and spicy in a stellar 60 minute journey right through the heart of magic metal land. (Excuse me for the somewhat exuberant style here; I just thought I needed something to fit the music).

We can regret that it lacks the unmatched atmosphere of Opeth's early years, as both the frost bitten gloom of the early albums and the haunted angst of Still Life and Blackwater Park are no more, but the musicality and song quality are unbelievably high throughout. With this album Opeth has created another best rock album ever. It's unfair just how good this band is.

Review by The Sleepwalker
4 stars Ghost Reveries was my first Opeth album, and I really can't imagine a better way to get into the music of Opeth. This album is much more melodic than the previous releases of Opeth. Many melodic passages can be heard throughout the album. Also, Ghost Reveries combines the heavy growls and death metal riffs with softer music, which clearly is influenced by the 70's prog bands. This album might as well be Opeth's most progressive up to date.

The album starts out with the heavy growls of "Ghost Of Perdition", a very diverse and progressive song. The sng takes us through many changes and passages, and really is a brilliant piece of music. The second song on the album, "The Baying Of The Hounds" starts out, just like the opener, very loud. Heavy growls and distorted riffs make this song one of the most striking songs I know. The song has a softer middle section though, but after about six minutes becomes just as powerful as the way it starts. "The Grand Conjuration" is another heavy song, though it is much less good than the previous two. It still is very enjoyable though.

The album has several softer songs, like Hours Of Wealth and Isolation years. The songs give the album some nice atmosphere, and make the album a very diverse thing. Another soft, atmospheric song is Atonement, of which the final minute is called "Reverie". Though the final minute is included in track 4, your CD player will tell you it's track 5 already. "Harlequin Forest" is probably my favorite Opeth track ever. The song starts out hauntingly powerful, though nowhere as loud as "Ghost Of Perdition". The second half is much more melodic though, and really is brilliant. Another great song is "Beneath The Mire". It opens with an eastern riff, but soon turns into a heavy masterpiece in the vein of "Baying Of The Hounds".

Ghost Reveries is a brilliant album, but I don't think it really is a masterpiece. The album definitely is worth four stars, but it just comes a very slight bit short to get five stars. Songs like "Baying Of The Hounds" and "Reverie/Harlequin Forest" are among the very best of Opeth though.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Ghost Reveries is the eigth full-length studio album by Swedish progressive death metal act Opeth. Opeth had signed to Roadrunner Records before recording Ghost Reveries and thereby taken another step forward in their career. There´s been a change in the lineup as keyboard player Per Wiberg is now a member of the band. The use of mellotron and organ on the Damnation (2003) album was obviously something main composer Mikael Åkerfeldt wanted to explore even further.

The music on the album is unmistakably the sound of Opeth. Mid-paced crushingly heavy yet clever riffing, acoustic sections, growling and clean vocals and as usual some complex song structures. The addition of keyboards was something I feared when I heard about it the first time. I´ve always enjoyed that Opeth´s sound didn´t feature keyboards and I was afraid how the outcome would be. As it turns out Per Wiberg´s playing is very tasteful and his use of vintage keyboards actually gives Opeth´s sound yet another dimension ( who would have thought that, that was possible?). The album is 66:46 minutes long and features 8 songs ( the special edition also features the Deep Purple cover Soldier of Fortune). 4 of the songs exceed the 10 minute mark. There´s a couple of new features on Ghost Reveries that Opeth haven´t tried before in the psychadelic tinged Atonement. A song it´s taken me quite some time to appreciate. After some time I´ve begun to really enjoy the variation it brings to the album. An album that was already the most varied album by Opeth up until then. Hours of Wealth and the beautiful almost ballad type track Isolation Years also really stick out. The main attraction on the album is the 5 longer tracks though and they are of a very high quality. Ghost of Perdition which starts the album is a strong track. The Baying of the Hounds and Beneath the Mire are also crushingly heavy yet varied and complex in structure. The same can be said about Reverie / Harlequin Forest which features lots of progressive sections and quite a lot of clean vocal sections. The Grand Conjuration is the most heavy and brutal track on the album and it´s also the track that´s taken me the longest to appreciate. Not because it´s too brutal but it´s the only track that doesn´t feature extensive clean singing and for a long time I felt it wasn´t varied enough. It´s still my least favorite track on Ghost Reveries but I´ve come to appreciate it more with time.

The production on the album is clean and enjoyable. Heavy yet well defined.

Opeth´s albums are like long adventurous journeys for me and it´s taken a couple of years for me to be able to review Ghost Reveries. I´m glad I gave it time because the album has grown on me in those years to a point where it´s one of my favorites by the band. While still maintaining their unique signature sound Opeth have succeeded in expanding the bounderies of their style again. Ghost Reveries is a masterpiece in my book and fully deserves a 5 star rating.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ghost Reveries was another important milestone for Opeth that showed that the band could write and record great music even without the help of masterminds like Steve Wilson. This is unfortunately the only strong point that I can think of about the album since I've never really been a big fan of its sound.

I had huge expectations on this album due to the massive success it became here in Sweden by reaching the top ten position on the album charts. This had probably more to do with the marketing that was done by Roadrunner Records than any particular doing on band's part. Still it was great to finally see Opeth get the royal treatment they deserved making them the second biggest Swedish metal band after In Flames. My first reaction upon hearing the actual album wasn't as pleasant as I have expected it to be, still I continued listening to it for a few more weeks after which I came to the conclusion that something just wasn't right here.

The album begins with the excellent Ghost Of Perdition which puts the album in the right gear for the rest of the journey but that's where it all comes to a halt. The next section of the album is just nothing more than just an average effort from the band that might have been saved by better production but the dull Roadrunner Records sound mixing just slaughters it for me. It's only when the material finally begins to shine with the introduction of Reverie/Harlequin Forest that I can see beyond those flaws and actually enjoy what I'm hearing. The remaining 20 minutes of Ghost Reveries are very atmospheric and end the record on a high note but doesn't really make up for the dull production. It's like, if I wanted to listen to Dream Theater or Slipknot then I'd listen to those artists so why does Roadrunner Records have to make everything sound so generic and compressed?

If you're not as sensitive to the production of this recording then I'm sure that you'll enjoy it a great deal more since the music featured here is definitely among the best that Mikael Åkerfeldt and the band have ever conceived. Still I have to follow my gut feeling and award Ghost Reveries no more than the good, but non-essential rating.

***** star songs: Reverie/Harlequin Forest (11:39)

**** star songs: Ghost of Perdition (10:29) Hours Of Wealth (5:20) The Grand Conjuration (10:21) Isolation Years (3:51)

*** star songs: The Baying Of The Hounds (10:41) Beneath The Mire (7:57) Atonement (6:28)

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars This is obviously a talented band. A very talented band. They can play rings around most metal bands that I've heard. And they can create some very complex prog. However, listening to Mikael Åkerfeldt throw up in his throat is not something I prefer to listen to. I suppose that if it was only done occasionally, it might have a more jarring effect, but about half the vocals are belched out in this fashion. It comes across as immature. Ooooooohhhh, how satanic these guys are.

Grow up. I wouldn't ever think of playing this mess for any adult listeners. And it's too bad. If it wasn't only aimed at fifteen year old boys, I'd probably like this album a lot.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars Opeth is one of the most highly regarded metal bands of all time. They have radically changed the genre since they've been around making albums. "Ghost Reveries" is one of their latest albums, released after the two big masterpieces, "Still Life" in 1999, which was the perfect definition of a death metal album widely veiled with progressive, and 2001's "Blackwater Park", their most accessible and solid album, keeping the heavy riffs and the prog influences. "Ghost Reveries" is the perfect follow up to BP; Saying this, I can add that this album is one of the best and most solid Opeth albums.

Akerfeldt and his band bring everything they had put up so far to a new, more advanced level, and in every way they try to bring everything up a notch under every point of view. All the heavy riffs are heavier than the ones from the past, all the softer songs have never been softer, the experimentation is used much more frequently, sometimes even utilizing some unusual instruments, bringing up the shadows of Pink Floyd, King Crimson and such. With all this put together, you can't expect anything else but a brilliant album. Almost everything about this is great, the songwriting, the musicianship (I never noticed it before, but that Martin Lopez can really bang the drums), the at times quirky arrangements in the middle of the songs.

Stylistically, this is the most representative album by the band, the album that perfectly synthesizes their sound. The violent and strong riffs are enriched by Akerfeldt's amazing growl vocals, the more melodic parts are beautifully dressed with clean vocals, the instrumental parts very open, like I mentioned earlier to experimentation and progressive influenced. Almost all the songs, except the two soft ballads, are long, from six to ten minutes, and all of these have, even though each one is extremely unique, a very similar song structure. "Ghost Of Perdition" is very possibly my favorite Opeth song, the ten minute track opener, which is always able to surprise and move, regardless of the completely different moods that form this song. "The Baying Of The Hounds" is another ambitious song, with the most experimental part in the middle of the track. "The Grand Conjuration" is a grandiose and spooky masterpiece that will soon become an Opeth classic, "Reverie" is the longest song, probably the most ambitious song, thanks to the many calmer parts. "Atonement" a tense but somewhat beautiful with always in the air a tragic sense of loss and resign. All these songs are compositions that, if you appreciate any type of metal, will sink in you subconscious, to never be forgotten.

"Ghost Reveries" is one of Opeth's greatest and most original albums, a major piece in their highly praised discography.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Opeth's third best album!

Wow, this thing is getting 5 star reviews and gushing praise from the respected prog community so I suppose I better check it out. With a renewed interest in the band, after some horrible albums, I was pleased to revisit Opeth with such a progressive album. So here are my reactions to the tracks. Okay, let's see, 'Ghost of Perdition': very dark lyrics and brutal death vocals. The cleaner vocals are well sung as always, especially "Dedicated hunter, Waits to pull us under, Rose up to its call In his arms she'd fall, Mother light received, And a faithfull servant's free". Very strong riffs that are rhythmically akin to Tool. Very heavy guitars and growls balanced with gentler vocals and acoustics. A genuine Beauty and the beast, and I love the innovative structure and killer riffing.

'The Baying of the Hounds': the gravelly vocals sound like Morbid Angel, I actually remembered parts of Sacrificial Rites which I haven't heard for about 10 years. The cleaner sections are awesome. The riff is a bit boring at first, same as other Opeth songs. Great lead break with twin guitar solos from Mikael and Fredrik. Per's chiming keyboards are a great embellishment, and Steven Wilson style vocals set off the atmosphere admirably; "Drown in the deep mire, With past desires, Beneath the mire, Drown desire now with you." Powerful song

'Beneath the Mire': continues the theme of previous lyrics. It is basically an album about the ghosts that rise after death or some such twaddle. I was never into Opeth's themes but the music more than makes up for any atheistic tendencies. Once again this begins with brutal vocals and then we have the cleaner style eventually. This seems to be a trademark of Opeths, moving from one style to another suddenly. The piano is very nice on this with gentle guitar. The actual structure is again inventive and progressive. I was expecting more brutal vocals but most of this is actually the opposite. More death metal vocals do return though. The guitar playing is incredibly complex. One of the best tracks on the album.

'Atonement': the East Indian melodies and guitars are striking. The vocals are processed through a voice vocoder that makes them sound psychedelic and phased similar to Sabbath's Planet Caravan or Beatles Blue Jay Way. I love this song and rank it among the finest the band have produced to this point. This is more like the latest Heritage's feel than anything else on the album.

'Reverie / Harlequin Forest': this is another track I heard first on the live Albert Hall DVD. It is a great track with very solid vocals from Mikael; "A trail of sickness, leading to me, If I am haunted then you will see." The melody is excellent with inspired manic drumming from Axe and complex time changes. The acoustic section is terrific, and the section at 5 minutes including wonderful melodic vocals and a divine twin guitar solo.

'Hours of Wealth': an ambient intro with Per shining bright. Gentle vocals are so peaceful here, with a sweet melody and soulful reflective lyrics; "Looking through my window, I seem to recognize, All the people passing by, But I am alone, And far from home, And nobody knows me."

'The Grand Conjuration': an unforgettable haunting melody and certainly dark brutal chorus. Great shredding lead break and crunching rhythm metrical patterns. I heard this first on the metal TV show with a bleak clip with a man tortured by a maniac and a girl disappearing down the toilet bowl. The album version is better, twice as long, more complex, and with extra lyrics.

'Isolation Years': a paean to lost love as the protagonist discovers a suicide note; "There's a sense of longing in me, As I read Rosemary's letter, Her writing's honest, Can't forget the years she's lost." The quiet atmosphere is bleak but still wreaks of beauty thanks to the pretty acoustics and sentimental melody.

There is something haunting about this album; it balances the brutality with beauty as all good Opeth albums do. This album is up there with Still Life and Damnation for my tastes. Now that I have heard all of their progressive albums I rank it as Opeth's third best (1. Heritage, 2. Damnation, 3. Ghost Reveries) - 4 stars.

Review by Warthur
5 stars It used to be that me and Opeth and me didn't get along, despite the fact that I've given them more chances than usual. With so many prog and metal fans lauding their work, I kept feeling as though I should give them another spin, but each time they just left me cold again. Ghost Reveries was a case in point: even from an early listen, I had to admit that it was an impeccably performed album, with crisp production and solid performances from the band, but at the some time it didn't quite speak to me.

It was only after going right back to their debut and working through their discography patiently that I came to really get where Opeth were coming from, and to sniff out how Ghost Reveries stands in their discography. You see, what now makes it stand out for me is the playfulness: this is an Opeth album with a sense of fun.

I should put that in a little more context. They've hardly become bubbly pop-metal here, after all. But the dark, brooding atmosphere of earlier Opeth albums, whilst still very much present here, seems to be shot through with traces of a more hopeful, the music getting an occasional bit of extra pep to its step.

Opeth's previous two albums - the twinned pair of Deliverance and Damnation - had them leaning on the extremes of their sound, with Deliverance by far the heavier and harsher of the two and Damnation teasing out their gentler acoustic prog side more than ever. Ghost Reveries is the sound of those two halves of their sound coming back together again in a new configuration - Opeth having taken the chance to analyse the two separately and get a new angle on them. What's more, in the process they seem to have found space to expand their emotional pallette and even produce sections which are rather upbeat, or at least upbeat in comparison to the often dour tone of much of their prior discography.

As such, Ghost Reveries seems to herald a new maturity in Opeth's sound. It's not that they've abandoned their proggy death/death-ened prog roots so much as they feel able to stretch out a little further; they know where their centre of gravity is and can return to it with ease, so they can explore just a tad further away from it and still trust that they can make it all make sense within the framework of their sound. The pulsating electronic vortex which opens Grand Conjuration is a case in point, as indeed is the soothing and almost ballad-like concluding movements of Isolation Years.

In short, it took me a while, but Ghost Reveries has finally clicked with me and I now see it for what it is: Opeth simply embracing the joy of making music and following where their muse takes them, regardless of the expectations set by their prior albums.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars This album has already been reviewed a lot and it's a good thing to see Opeth getting the attention they deserve. Although I am not a fan of the growling vocals, everything else about the band is awesome and I really can overlook it when the vocals have that growling sound because the rest of the music is top notch heavy progressive metal of the highest caliber. And Mikael's voice is actually excellent when he sings normally. I know it adds to the evil aspect of the music that the band focuses on, but, as the band has discovered with the almost simultaneous release of the companion albums "Deliverance" and "Damnation" (one very heavy and one mellow), music doesn't have to be loud to be evil.

The release of those albums was an excellent way to hear both sides of Opeth. But in this album, the best of both worlds come together. They have mixed sounds before, but this time around, in this album, it seems more natural and not as choppy as when it has been done before. Now, when the moods shift within a song, which is often on this album, it flows easily from one section to the next. The band has obviously perfected it's sound for this album. One of the reasons for the better transitions on this release is that the songs on this one were created outside of the studio and perfected and practiced before recording them. This method has definitely improved the overall sound of the band.

The sound of this album really varies a lot. You get hard and extremely heavy passages that are black metal and other sections that are more black-folk sounding with acoustic instruments. Ok, so far that sounds like the last few albums for Opeth. This time, like I said before, the transitions are better. But the other factor is that now they are utilizing and experimenting with other instrumentation and more keyboards, and it is done tastefully. One excellent example of this is in "Baying of the Hounds" which is also the most progressive of the tracks with ever changing rhythms, patterns and moods. But the softer sections include amazing sounds which are unlike anything the band has done before, and they do them well. It even approaches a light jazz fusion feel, but remains loyal to a great progressive sound with excellent dynamics.

The overall feel of the album is a great balance of harsh and soft, a lot of extremities, but now they also cover territory in between the extremes. This is a well-produced effort, as most of Opeth's albums are, but it is also very tastefully done and the musicianship is some of the best. Many compare the sound here to Tool, but the real comparison with Tool comes in the structure of the songs, being mostly long epics with many movements, changing melodies and great dynamics. The individual songs are quite elaborate. Opeth does have their own unique sound which is obviously different than Tool, and both bands do what they do in the best manner possible. The comparison is a great one, but, it's all in the structure and not so much the sound. Opeth has more black metal leanings making their music, overall, more harsh. But those quieter passages, which are very abundant on this album, are simply beautiful especially when contrasted with the harshness. And the experimentation and exploration into new sounds for the band is exciting making for a lot more variety in the music and more territory to explore. At the time, this was the best Opeth album to date for sure. 5 stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I could do without the death metal growls (though I must admit, I can actually understand the lyrics!), this band shows so many sides of themselves--of their talents and chameleonic stylistic abilities--within the course of a single song that it's mind-boggling. They're like shapeshifters! Mikael Åkerfeldt is such a talented singer, while appreciate all of the forms he can shape his voice into, it's too bad he just doesn't sing in his normal voice (he's better than Steven Wilson.) The band is so tight, following each and every turn of each and every composition with such ease and facility that it, again, boggles the mind.

Four of the eight songs here are over ten minutes with each shapeshifting multiple times, making it extremely difficult to rate much less decide if I overall "like" or "dislike" each particular song. There are parts of all four that I adore; there are parts of each that I would prefer to skip. I guess "Reverie / Harlequin Forest" would be my favorite because of the more straightforward vocals and instrumentation. (I get tired of too much machine gun kick drums.)

I really like "Atonement" and "Hours of Wealth"--could dig more like these. "Soldier of Fortune" is okay, a little too bluesy for me.

The production is excellent--especially in that I can always easily distinguish each instrument within the walls of sound. This really helps me when listening to metal music, otherwise I just get lost and/or overwhelmed by the barrage. As a metal album, this is a good one. As a progressive rock album, I'm not sure I'd rate it a masterpiece.

Review by FragileKings
4 stars My first Opeth acquisition was "Heritage" which I really admired for its bold take on retro-prog. But I knew this was not the Opeth known to most and I stepped in a got "Blackwater Park" and "Still Life". Thanks to these two albums, I started to enjoy and even appreciate death growl vocals. Then came "Pale Communion" and now I had two albums by the old Opeth and two by the new. It was time to reach in between and bring home "Ghost Reveries".

Now while the newer albums impressed me for their creative arrangements and explorative song construct, the older albums had a rich power with blast beats, ominous riffs and those vocals that could give Beelzebub the shivers. Though the old albums included some acoustic guitar, piano, and clean vocals, I often felt there was still such an extreme between the light and the heavy dark. How did Opeth make such a huge transition in style and sound from way back then to now? Yes, I heard about "Damnation" but that was more toward the "Heritage" extreme (maybe?) and not so much the middle ground between the two. But "Ghost Reveries" answers my question.

The opening track "Ghost of Perdition" is essentially one of Opeth's intense and dark death metal songs but blends in clean vocals and softer parts in a more natural way that flows well with the music and doesn't seem so obviously placed as an opposite extreme to the heavy side.

"The Baying of the Hounds" carries this thread by adding something typical from the old albums in the slower clean vocals segment but I feel there is a clear understanding within the band of how to shift from gruff and heavy to clean and slow to acoustic much more naturally. Overall I feel the musical creativity is on the rise and the band want to expand further than they went with "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park". Furthermore, the guitar sound in the heavier parts seems rich and bottom heavy (perhaps thanks to the bass and production) and Åkerfeldt's vocals are as earthshaking as ever. You'll also notice the use of Mellotron in the "Baying" and if not then certainly at the beginning of "Beneath the Mire".

It's here in this third track that I feel the progressive death metal act known as Opeth are really building on what they had been developing. The exercise with "Damnation" must have taught them a lot about how to expand their non-death metal capabilities and develop the heavier parts as well.

"Atonement" avoids any metal contact entirely and could have been a precursor to "Pale Communion". Notice the hand drums which will show up more on "Heritage" and "Pale Communion". In particular, I find the percussion section is a key factor in the development of the band's newer sound as it's the drumming on "Heritage" that especially caught my attention.

Then follows "Reverie/Harlequin Forest" which returns us to the explosive metal sound but with clean vocals. There's an awesome riff that comes in shortly after the death vocals start. Both "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park" have one song with a killer riff that I love to hear and on this album that one riff for me is here in this song. This song (or song pair) is so far the most varied track on the album and though it doesn't resemble anything from "Heritage" in rhythm and is too heavy at times to be like that future album, this track really sees Opeth taking their music to new heights, blending a bit of everything they've been working on so far (as far as I can tell and I've since acquired "Orchid" and "My Arms Your Hearse" as well).

The track list continues with the very beautiful "Hours of Wealth" including some soothing acoustic guitar, piano, and Mellotron, perhaps a highlight in Opeth's softer side so far. By now, Åkerfeldt and company are showing how capable they are of stretching out and away from their heavy dark side, though at this point they haven't really reached the point that "Heritage" would find them at. The latter half of the song is comprised of clean electric guitar and vocals, and it is here where I feel the album has shown its first weak moment.

Not a big deal though as the song is followed by the monster track "The Grand Conjuring". I get the shivers every time this song begins. For me, this is where Opeth have pulled it all together into one phenomenal song. The Mellotron, acoustic guitar, and hand drums appear alongside the crushing death metal side, at times in tandem, at other times they are there to enhance the tense and brooding atmosphere of the quieter but dark moments. This quickly became one of my favourite Opeth tracks.

The album closes with "Isolation Years", the shortest track at just under four minutes. It's another slow and clean number with some surprisingly beautiful vocal melodies from Åkerfeldt. Not a highlight but not a weak point either.

I have to say that this must be my favourite Opeth record so far. I love the heaviness of the older albums but sometimes find the overall atmosphere miring. The newer albums have more texture, flavour, and interest but don't have that awesome heaviness. This album does very well to capture what it sounds like Opeth was striving to become while also hinting at the future to come.

Review by VianaProghead
5 stars Review Nº 394

"Ghost Reveries" is the eighth studio album of Opeth and was released in 2005. Musically, the album is similar, in style, to their sixth studio album "Deliverance". Still, it retains also the atmospheric elements of their seventh studio album "Damnation". So, it became to be a mix of both albums, with heavy parts with growls, and soft parts with clean vocals. The final result is an album that carries a more gothic sound than what was heard in their two previous musical efforts.

"Ghost Reveries" was initially intended to be a conceptual album, with tracks linking together a story of a man's turmoil after committing an unconscionable act, symbolised by killing his own mother. However, the album only partly portrays a concept. It wasn't arranged in the same way as their two previous releases "My Arms, Your Hearse" and "Still Life".

"Ghost Reveries" is the first album of Opeth to include a keyboardist, Per Wiberg as a permanent band's member. However, Wiberg had already contributed with some keyboard work to Opeth's live performances, which starting around the time of "Lamentations: Live At Shepherd's Bush", released in 2003. By the other hand, "Ghost Reveries" is also the last Opeth's album that includes their drummer Martin Lopez and their former guitarist Peter Lindgren.

So, the line up on the album is Mikael Akerfeldt (vocals, rhythm, lead and acoustic guitars and mellotron), Peter Lindgren (lead guitar), Per Wiberg (Hammond organ, mellotron, grand piano and moog), Martin Mendez (bass guitar) and Martin Lopez (drums and percussion).

"Ghost Reveries" has eight tracks. All songs were written and composed by Mikael Akerfeldt. The first track "Ghost Of Perdition" is absolutely amazing. It starts with a few quiet chords and then explodes into a progressive death metal track. As the song progresses you are introduced to Mikael's beautiful clean voice. This is a song full of great vocals, good chord progressions and excellent musicianship. The second track "The Baying Of The Hounds" starts with a catchy guitar riff accompanied by an organ. This is probably, with the previous track, the two heaviest songs on the album. They're more dead metal songs than the majority of the other tracks on the album. But, they also have some soft moments with clean vocals. The third track "Beneath The Mire" starts with a drum feeling leading into a riff accompanied by strings. After that, the track breaks into slightly slower paced dead metal. Again, the track breaks into some more heavy parts with Mikael using his clean voice. This is probably the strangest song on the album. The fourth track "Atonement" is the first mellow song on the album and it's also the most experimental too. It sounds very Oriental and Mikael sings clean through the song and uses a telephone talk voice. This is a very catchy track, cleverly written with a nice piano in the end. The fifth track "Reverie/Harlequin Forest" is a song with a chord progression of the verse. It's extremely catchy and has a great Lopez's drumming. The song proceeds with great guitar work and Mikael's clean vocals. The song continues with great harmony turning into in one of the most beautiful songs on the album. The sixth track "Hours Of Wealth" is a very beautiful song with a guitar driven, with the addition of Per playing a mellotron over it. The song is complemented by beautiful vocals and acoustic guitar, piano and bass works. Sometimes, the most simple is the best on a song. The seventh track "The Grand Conjuration" is another great track with good drum and keyboard works. It's a song that changes between the heavy to the light, all over it. It's a very typical Opeth's song that sounds right off "Still Life". It's really a song with some great heavy and good light parts. Despite be one of he the heaviest track on the album, it's one of the most accessible pieces of Opeth too. The eighth track "Isolation Years" has a very melancholic feel. The lyrics are some of the most poetic that I've ever heard from Mikael. This is a great way to ending this album. It really relaxes the listener with its wonderful melodies and arrangements, very similar to "Damnation".

Conclusion: "Ghost Reveries" is, in my humble opinion, an album with amazing song writing, with its song length and the diversity of the musical styles involved, absolutely stunning, with incredible vocals, excellent riffs and drumming, beautiful soft parts, with everything combined together by a unique and dark musical atmosphere. The great highlights of the album are, for me, "Ghost Of Perdition", "The Baying Of The Hounds", "Reverie/Harlequin Forest", "Hours Of Wealth" and "The Grand Conjuration". The album has a great commercial potential, yet it's at the same time a truly progressive album and it stays, in my humble opinion, true to their musical roots. This might be an evolution into their music and "Ghost Reveries" can be considered a fantastic album which can easily compete with their classic stuff like, "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park". By the other hand, the addition of a full time keyboardist adds an extra dimension to their sound. This wasn't certainly a good thing for some of their most hard fans. Probably, with this album Opeth will lose a lot of long time fans. However, they probably will gain more listeners than they may possibly be able to lose.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

5 stars Giving this album the same rating as Blackwater Park because it has more ballads and therefore less growling which I enjoy more BUT the instrumentation and general atmosphere isn't as good as Blackwater Park's. Ghost Reveries is the follow-up to the Damnation and Deliverance records that worked as o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2582045) | Posted by Ian McGregor | Thursday, July 29, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars - Review #26 - While I must say that Opeth is far from being a band I love (my favorite album by them is five stars in my book), it's undeniable that they have a solid discography that is far from disappointing. Albums like Still Life or Deliverance are terrific works. With that said, Ghost R ... (read more)

Report this review (#2575293) | Posted by King Brimstone | Tuesday, June 29, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ghost Reveries kinda feels like a more diverse, less heavy Blackwater Park, and I blame that on the keyboards which make the whole album sound alot more cheesy. This album also sounds a lot like Dream Theater (a band I'm personally not very attracted to, most of the time) with its pompous riffs ... (read more)

Report this review (#2572333) | Posted by Gorgut Muncher | Sunday, June 20, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After the very strange Deliverance/Damnation duo, Opeth went for a more compact album. Ghost Reveries is regarded by many people as a masterpiece. I do think there's some great moments in this album. Ghost Of Perdition (5/5): I hate when the best song from the album is the first one, because ever ... (read more)

Report this review (#2493181) | Posted by Isaac Peretz | Tuesday, January 12, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ghost Reveries marks my third Opeth review and also my first five star review for the band. Ghost Reveries is just an album that goes hard from start to finish. In a world filled with cliche boring prog metal, Opeth is a band that has always kept their integrity creating truly heavy music and mo ... (read more)

Report this review (#2314341) | Posted by dougmcauliffe | Sunday, February 9, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In critical circles, it is usually Blackwater Park that is praised as the group's greatest work. But, as far as I can tell, this is simply because Blackwater Park was Opeth's first record to make any headway in the US market. For many critics, this was their first Opeth record and, as a result, the ... (read more)

Report this review (#2287389) | Posted by ssmarcus | Saturday, December 14, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Opeth are one of my favorite bands ever and I love every different shade of their music. Now they are considered as a complete prog entity, while in the past they were liked mostly by metal listeners. But they have always had a prog edge, from the beginning. And 'Ghost Reveries' was really prog ... (read more)

Report this review (#2134887) | Posted by ale73 | Friday, February 8, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Best growl ever. I could never understand all the hype about classic extreme metal albums like the ones of Atheist or, for that matter, Still Life by the band in our focus. They may have been innovative, but let's face it: the production, by modern standards, completely sucks. This does matter a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1640645) | Posted by Homotopy | Wednesday, November 9, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ghost Reveries turned ten years old recently, and it holds up as a unique experience and a masterpiece of progressive metal. An expansion upon the trademark sound presented in Blackwater Park, Opeth bring in new influences, hire a keyboardist, and step up their songwriting game. The result is a r ... (read more)

Report this review (#1468374) | Posted by Insin | Tuesday, September 22, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ghost Reveries is in my humble opinion an essential album in the Opeth catalog. This was the first album to break my preconceived notions of extreme-style vocals. At the time I was rather squeemish to anything resembling the metalcore style I'd grown the loathe. But when I was lent this album by a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1318497) | Posted by MusicalGluttony | Monday, December 1, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I first encountered Opeth quite a few years ago, through their album Still Life. I was enthralled by the album cover, and decided that I wanted to hear the music that potentially warranted the artwork. I wasn't shocked by what I heard, since I had heard descriptions of what the music sounds li ... (read more)

Report this review (#1286315) | Posted by Obsidian Pigeon | Tuesday, September 30, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the first extreme metal album I listened to and it was really like a smash in my head! Before that my only approaches of heavy stuff had been with bands like Mr. Bungle or Naked City, bands who have some metal influences. Opeth delivers an album of an incredible and fascinating alchemy. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1120922) | Posted by MonsterMagnet | Sunday, January 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars There's not much I can add to descriptions of Opeth, which is one of the more popular bands out there and the standard bearer for progressive extreme metal. Well, Opeth start with the basic foundation of dense death metal and enrich it with acoustics, folk, melancholic atmospheres, middle easter ... (read more)

Report this review (#1064320) | Posted by Progrussia | Monday, October 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This an excellent album that really got me into OPETH. Initially I tried "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park" but found it hard to grasp this type of music. I used to find the death growls to be distasteful, but after "Ghost Reveries", I've come to really appreciate them. A few of my favorite songs be ... (read more)

Report this review (#1058645) | Posted by SevDawg | Friday, October 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Opeth's eighth album is the last with Lindgren and Lopez in the lineup and, just as any Opeth album, an impressively crafted, multicoloured beast. Songs are even more diverse here than on previous offerings, vocals are great (growls at least), and the richness of musical ideas floors the listener. A ... (read more)

Report this review (#983601) | Posted by real_relator | Friday, June 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ghost Reveries is an album I listened to for the first time at the start of this year and thought to myself, "Hmm...different." Different indeed. Having only heard Still Life and Blackwater Park a handful of times up to that point, I was still relatively new to Opeth, but the new sonic texture ... (read more)

Report this review (#968401) | Posted by Neo-Romantic | Saturday, June 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was the first "new to me" Opeth CD after getting into them, so it might have been easy to overrate it a bit as I was still in the honeymoon discovery phase when discovering them, but having giving this several full listens recently, I can testify that this is still a magnificent record, o ... (read more)

Report this review (#802209) | Posted by Biff Tannen | Wednesday, August 8, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album simply put, is brilliant. by far and away the best album opeth have put together its even better than Blackwater Park in my opinion. if you are a fan of this type of music and havent took the time to listen to this album, DO! you wont be dissapointed. Ghost of Perdition, 10/10 Bayin ... (read more)

Report this review (#307851) | Posted by Ant_Barnett | Monday, November 1, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars More accessible Opeth It was very difficult for me to rate that album. I really love it. I listen to it very often and it never gets boring, yet I don't think it is a masterpiece like STILL LIFE or MY ARMS YOUR HEARSE. GHOST REVERIES is transitional record, which place itself between old (goo ... (read more)

Report this review (#306955) | Posted by bartosso | Wednesday, October 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was my first OPETH album, I was recommended them by a friend and this was the cheapest cd at the time of buying it (the special edition that came out a year later) and they quickly became my favorite band, so now finally deciding to actually write a review and thought i'd start at GHOST R ... (read more)

Report this review (#284590) | Posted by deathlifereborn | Wednesday, June 2, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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