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OPETH

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Sweden


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Opeth biography
Yes, some people would consider OPETH to be a pure (melodic) Death Metal band but you have to differentiate a lot. The four guys from Stockholm/Sweden feature a lot of different elements on their albums. We have the aggressive death metal with Mikael's growls (which are not generated with help of a computer, it's actually his voice) with lots of breaks, mostly acoustic including Mikael's clear voice. Mr. Åkerfeldt himself always underestimates his clear voice and often points out that he is a novice regarding this kind of singing. But that's not true, false modesty is the term here. His clear voice is warm and simply beautiful. The whole music is guitar orientated, on the one hand we have great riffing for aggressive parts, awesome melodic solos and on the other hand acoustic breaks with admirable melodies with some Scandinavian folk influences here and there and of course Mikael's clear vocals. Sometimes you even get some PINK FLOYD or PORCUPINE TREE like parts or whole songs.

Sure, the band started out as a pure Death Metal combo regarding to their first release" "Orchid" but from their second release on the prog elements got more and more. The second album "Morningrise" for example features a pure Prog song with PINK FLOYD like parts as well as epic song lengths. Mikael Åkerfeldt who also is the indispensable head of the band, often mentions that he is a proghead and mostly likes bands like CAMEL and PORCUPINE TREE. No doubt, you can hear those influences on albums like "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park" but their highlight regarding to pure Prog for sure is their 2003 release "Damnation" which features an entire album in the style of PORCUPINE TREE. Not really astonishing regarding the fact that Steven Wilson of PORCUPINE TREE is a good friend of Mikael and Peter and even worked together with the band for their double release "Damnation" and "Deliverance". Steven Wilson also produced their album "Blackwater Park" which is regarded as their best work so far, not only by death metal fans but also by many others normally disliking death metal growls (like me). "Damnation" for sure is the album most of you would be interested in because it is a pure Prog album. But Mikael said that the band will not do something similar again, he even announced the next album to be their most heavy, we will see. Sure isn't that this release opened the door to new fans and certainly displeased some of their old fans coming from the death metal origin.


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Pale CommunionPale Communion
Roadrunner Records 2014
Audio CD$8.30
$7.50 (used)
Blackwater Park: Legacy EditionBlackwater Park: Legacy Edition
The End Records 2010
Audio CD$8.35
$10.65 (used)
DamnationDamnation
Import
Sony Import 2007
Audio CD$4.90
$3.56 (used)
Still LifeStill Life
Special Edition
Peaceville 2008
Audio CD$7.30
$5.60 (used)
WatershedWatershed
Roadrunner Records 2008
Audio CD$4.95
$3.61 (used)
Ghost ReveriesGhost Reveries
Roadrunner Records 2005
Audio CD$4.23
$1.23 (used)
HeritageHeritage
Roadrunner Records 2011
Audio CD$4.66
$3.43 (used)
The Candlelight YearsThe Candlelight Years
Box set
Candlelight 2009
Audio CD$12.91
$11.67 (used)
My Arms, Your HearseMy Arms, Your Hearse
Extra tracks
Candlelight 2003
Audio CD$6.97
$6.00 (used)
DeliveranceDeliverance
The End Records 2007
Audio CD$2.77
$2.09 (used)
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OPETH shows & tickets


  • In Flames + Opeth + Red Fang at Riviera Theater, Chicago on 3 Dec 2014
  • Red Fang + In Flames + Opeth at Mill City Nights, Minneapolis on 4 Dec 2014
  • In Flames + Opeth + Red Fang at Sokol Auditorium, Omaha on 5 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Ogden Theater, Denver on 6 Dec 2014
  • In Flames + Opeth + Red Fang at The Warfield, San Francisco on 8 Dec 2014
  • In Flames + Opeth + Red Fang at Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles on 9 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Marquee Theatre, Tempe on 10 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Warehouse Live on 12 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, Dallas on 13 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Tabernacle, Atlanta on 15 Dec 2014
  • In Flames + Opeth + Red Fang at Electric Factory, Philadelphia on 17 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Terminal 5, New York on 18 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at The Palladium, Worcester on 19 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Métropolis, Quebec on 20 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Kool Haus, Toronto on 21 Dec 2014
  • Sweden Rock Festival on 3 Jun 2015
  • Tons of Rock on 18 Jun 2015
  • Bloodstock Open Air 2015 on 6 Aug 2015
  • Opeth at London Palladium, London on 18 Oct 2015

OPETH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

OPETH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 480 ratings
Orchid
1995
3.72 | 547 ratings
Morningrise
1996
3.92 | 570 ratings
My Arms, Your Hearse
1998
4.33 | 1181 ratings
Still Life
1999
4.25 | 1205 ratings
Blackwater Park
2001
3.76 | 702 ratings
Deliverance
2002
3.93 | 992 ratings
Damnation
2003
4.24 | 1125 ratings
Ghost Reveries
2005
3.94 | 921 ratings
Watershed
2008
3.83 | 950 ratings
Heritage
2011
4.29 | 388 ratings
Pale Communion
2014

OPETH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 89 ratings
Lamentations: Live at Shepherd Bush Empire 2003
2006
4.08 | 167 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
2007

OPETH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.01 | 186 ratings
Lamentations: Live at Shepherd's Bush
2003
4.05 | 123 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
2008
4.69 | 196 ratings
In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall
2010
3.89 | 9 ratings
Live at Enmore Theatre Sidney Australia
2011

OPETH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.23 | 44 ratings
Limited Edition Box Set
2006
3.78 | 63 ratings
The Candlelight Years
2008

OPETH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 20 ratings
Apostle in Triumph
1994
4.30 | 37 ratings
The Drapery Falls
2001
3.89 | 28 ratings
Deliverance
2002
4.49 | 37 ratings
Still Day Beneath the Sun 7''
2003
3.05 | 21 ratings
Selections From Ghost Reveries
2005
3.22 | 35 ratings
The Grand Conjuration
2005
3.00 | 19 ratings
Watershed - Radio Sampler
2008
3.66 | 37 ratings
Porcelain Heart
2008
3.62 | 36 ratings
Mellotron Heart
2008
3.69 | 53 ratings
Burden
2008
3.45 | 60 ratings
The Throat of Winter
2011
3.66 | 81 ratings
The Devil's Orchard
2011

OPETH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Watershed by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.94 | 921 ratings

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Watershed
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by brainsuccasurgery

4 stars Outside the rain hits the glass with a dry sound, depending on the speed of my fingers on the keyboard, writing slowly at first then faster. I looked at the object I need to review, the 2008 Opeth record. I thought, another book to the twilight atmosphere. I shivered contemplating photos on the front and back cover. I felt something cold, incomprehensible. The sensation of touching a dead tree. I write as the good old days of first spectral Black Sabbath. An avalanche of blinding lack of pictures then make me waver. A moment of 1980 when I listened for the first time this old thing. I pause, look back at all that has been written on Watershed, rubbing my temples. Oboe and medieval death metal? Headache overtakes me. The overwhelming rhythmic heaviness does not help. From the beginning, the work of Opeth seems certify room presence, effective, an army of shadows moving. All his ghostly iconography, carrying a very nineteenth century Gothic despair. Watershed does not alter the case. Ideal for dark days, it contains some of their essence. The apparent clarity of "Coil" which opens the album with hot and sweet voice of Nathalie Lorichs (Remember Julianne Regan of All About Eve) is not sufficient to relieve a general feeling oppressive. But I see nothing serene or bucolic there. Watershed tends to the gods his heart like poison coated dishes we pass in a divine meal.

After "Coil" Watershed continues with "Heir Apparent," a continuation of Ghost Reveries, this very personal vision has Mikael Åkerfeldt of death metal. "Burden" is more surprising with its unbridled solo Hammond organ and a final daring flamenco and detuned guitars. As usual, Mikael is ubiquitous: only "Porcelain Heart" is co-written with guitarist Fredrik Åkesson faithful. As a bonus to the special edition, the heroic "Derelicts Hands" (6:28). And three times, including the rampant Blues, "Brigde of Sighs" (6:55). The storm that moved away, rumbling east (the voice of giants?). I put in the drive and Watershed plunges me into reading an old Bram Stoker demonstrating that nothing is shorter than our life and death is only silence. Voice and music of giants!

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 Pale Communion by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.29 | 388 ratings

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Pale Communion
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 stars After being impressed with Opeth's wonderful "Heritage" album my hopes were set very high on "Pale Communion". I make no secret of my dislike for really abrasive growls in Prog. I believe Opeth's finest hour is the melancholy and haunting "Damnation" and now they are blending that beautiful vocal approach with the progginess of "Heritage" to produce one of the albums of the year.

"Pale Communion" is a stunning album on every level, opening with a soundscape of keyboard layers, capturing a dramatic ambience from the start. The vocals are harmonized and sound not unlike the style of Yes in some ways. Perfect harmonies, and easily decipherable lyrics on "Eternal Rains Will Come".

This is followed by the one that hit the online community in the initial stages, "Cusp of Eternity". Akerfeldt's voice is sensational as always, he won't be growling on this album. The catchy chorus hook will settle in your brain after a few listens. Definitely a keeper in the Opeth greatest hits package.

"Moon Above, Sun Below" is an 11ish minute mini epic with a steady rhythm and some glorious guitar and keyboard flourishes. There is a darker feel on this with the vocal style, more aggression and heavier riffs, though this is still as far removed from the style on "Deliverance" as you can imagine. The hypnotic mantra of the title will engrave itself upon you, then there is a gorgeous twin guitar section. After this tranquility Akesson launches into a blinding lead break. Then it settles into a haunting keyboard motif and reverberated vocals. This is so catchy it always jumps out on the album. The melodies are as good as Opeth gets.

"Elysian Woes" is driven by somber acoustics and vocals at first. Akerfeldt's voice is crystalline clear; surely one of the greatest vocalists this year. The influence of Steven Wilson shines through. The melancholy approach is startling, with beautiful guitar interplay and some angelic keyboards at the touch of Svalberg.

"Goblin" is an instrumental driven by raging keyboard finesse and quirky time sigs. "River" returns to quiet solitude with acoustics, sweet harmonies and pleasant lead guitar soloing. I love how the time sig changes and locks into a twisted meter and some incredible lead guitar trade offs. The Hammond is delicious and oh the sweetness of the Mellotron!

"Voice of Treason" has a fantastic drumming performance from Axenrot and those keyboards are absolutely divine. This is a powerhouse track that springs from nowhere and it keeps building with amazing vocals and ominous musical embellishments. The bass solo of Mendez works nicely with the drums. The staccato violin style keys remind me of the recent James Bond theme song. This track is a definitive highlight that gets better on every listen.

"Faith in Others" closes things with Mellotron soundscapes encapsulating a Pink Floyd atmosphere. The mood swings from dramatic tension to a very heartfelt gentle emotion at the end. Mellotrons float lambently to the end as Akerfeldt croons softly. It is an effortless light approach from Opeth that may surprise some with its consistence ambience.

There's not a shred of metal on "Pale Communion" so headbangers keep your distance. This album is more symphonic than anything Opeth have done previously. It is another "Heritage" style exploration of retro prog?and I like it!

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 Pale Communion by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.29 | 388 ratings

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Pale Communion
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Pale Communion" is the 11th full-length studio album by Swedish progressive rock/metal act Opeth. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in August 2014. There´s been a lineup change since "Heritage (2011)" as keyboard player Per Wiberg has been replaced by Joakim Svalberg.

With "Heritage (2011)", Opeth more or less took a left turn fully embracing a 70s influenced progressive hard rock sound and leaving their death metal past behind. They did a similar thing on "Damnation (2003)" but returned to their trademark progressive death metal sound on the next couple of albums. This time around they seem to mean business though and as "Pale Communion" is now their second album in a row which features a 70s influenced progressive hard rock sound, we can probably safely assume that the band´s death metal days are now behind them and that a new chapter in the band´s history began with "Heritage (2011)".

So the music on "Pale Communion" is a continuation of the progressive hard rock sound on "Heritage (2011)" and as such has little to do with metal although there are some hard rocking riffing on the album and references to artists like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, and Atomic Rooster are valid enough (also because of the dominant use of organ). But there are references to a lot of 70s artists and musical styles on the album. Vocalist/guitarist/main composer Mikael Åkerfeldt are known for his broad tastes in music and you´ll hear elements from both hard rock, symphonic progressive rock (the sections with mellotron and the sections with orchestration are beautiful), folk rock, and even a whiff of jazz rock on "Pale Communion", which is ultimately a pretty varied album.

The description above can more or less also be applied to "Heritage (2011)", but "Pale Communion" is not a sequal clone of that album, as the band have opted for a more structured and melodic sound on this album compared to the more messy sounding "Heritage (2011)". "Heritage (2011)" often sounded like Mikael Åkerfeldt had 10.000 ideas and was hellbent to cram them all on the album. That ultimately made that album quite an adventurous ride but at the same time not the most memorable or well composed one. With "Pale Communion" it seems that Åkerfeldt has cut a bit more to the bone and focused on the actual compositions and the longivity of the melody lines. As a result "Pale Communion" is instantly memorable and quite a bit more accessible compared to it´s predecessor.

"Pale Communion" is produced by Mikael Åkerfeldt and mixed by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and not surprisingly the album is graced with a warm, detailed, and organic sounding production, which suits the music perfectly. The musicianship are as always of high class. The instrumental performances are organic and tight and Mikael Åkerfeldt´s vocals are distinct sounding and delivered with conviction. The use of choirs and backing- and harmony vocals on many tracks are great assets to the music too.

The album features an overall great flow and all tracks are memorable after only a few listens although complex enough to ensure longivity. It´s not easy to pick standout tracks on an album where all tracks are equally great, but I´d like to mention the closing trio of tracks, "River", "Voice of Treason", and "Faith in Others", as some of the highlights. The former because of the surprising shift in atmosphere (here is a track where several different sounding compositional ideas work well together) and the two latter (which seque into each other to form a sort of mini suite) for their intriguing emotional impact and use of orchestration. But then again I could have mentioned any track off "Pale Communion" and call it a highlight.

While "Pale Communion" certainly digs deep into the 70s progressive rock and hard rock scene for inspiration and does feature a retro sound, it doesn´t feel as forced as it´s predecessor did. It´s more fresh sounding, more musical, and overall just a better and more memorable release. I was beginning to wonder where Opeth were heading with "Heritage (2011)", but with "Pale Communion" I think they are back on the right track. A track that brings promises of even greater future output in this style. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

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 Pale Communion by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.29 | 388 ratings

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Pale Communion
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Einwahn

5 stars Opeth are a band undergoing a radical, and for myself very welcome, evolution. By their frenetic standards, Pale Communion is a mellow and at times almost commercial album. But the magical guitar work, and fascinating drumming, are ever-present in this superb production. The instrumental side of Opeth has always excited me, but I have never been able to leave square one as far as the dreadful growls were concerned. Now two consecutive albums with clean vocals mean we can begin to believe the growls are gone for good. For myself, Pale Communion does not quite match the excitement and constant surprises of its magnificent predecessor Heritage, but the musical mastery and innovation still deserve masterpiece status. And a top 20 chart position in my own country - prog bands do not often achieve that these days, well done!

Verdict: destined to become a classic.

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 Pale Communion by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.29 | 388 ratings

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Pale Communion
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Lute

5 stars What an album! This is one I play constantly. Funny seeing the complaints from some who never want the growling back and the others who dismiss Opeth for not growling any more. Every album is what it is. Opeth have always set the bar very high. This album is right at the top of their own bar. This is very atmospheric, technically brilliant without getting silly. Is this a mix of the good old DT and Steven Wilson I hear? Some say this is 70s and I would agree. That means it is music to my ears. I don't have a favourite track. I tend to play it back to back, 2 or 3 times and still do! Album of the year? Quite possibly!

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 Ghost Reveries by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.24 | 1125 ratings

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Ghost Reveries
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

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 like, but I did really enjoy it. However, Opeth is something that I simply can't listen to often. I do, though, acknowledge their abilities.

Ghost Reveries is an album that I checked shortly thereafter, and I found it to have some fairly nice songs. Yet like other Opeth albums, I grew fairly tired of it, and I cannot listen to it the whole way through. Many of the sections within the songs are very nice to listen to, and are fairly brilliantly written and arranged. However, Opeth's style is something that I cannot listen to much of at the same time.

I know that this album is well-written and is great for fans of the genre (which I'm not necessarily one of), and for those reasons I believe it merits a 3 out of 5 stars from me, because my personal tastes come in the way of my enjoyment of the album.

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 Pale Communion by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.29 | 388 ratings

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Pale Communion
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

5 stars There was too much 'talkabout' on Opeth's new album. I loved Heritage (2011) thought it was a fantastic new sound for the band. Now, all this talking about the band kind put me off a bit, especially after the horrific weak single released before the album ('Cusp Of Eternity') so I waited to listen to their new album, Pale Communion (2014).

Now, I'm giving it a spin on it through Spotify and what can I say, track one 'Eternal Rains Will Come' is simply outstanding, amazing track. Then off we go to 'Cusp Of Eternity' that's way too much SW for me, and Opeth is better than him, doesn't work really. Good that 'Moon Above, Sun Below' comes in to erase the previous track very well indeed. 'Elysian Woes' continues the high quality path, but acoustically.

While 'Goblin' indeed reminds the classic Italian band, 'River' is a folk ballad in the same path of Rush's 'Rivendell'. 'Voice Of Treason' and 'Faith In Others' continue the good path of the album.

Pale Communion (2014) is able to bring all the classic Prog Rock that I love with a fresh air to it, and that's why this is so interesting and one of the great releases of the year that so far was so week.

4.5 stars really!

Recommended!

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 Still Life by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.33 | 1181 ratings

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Still Life
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars While sticking to My Arms Your Hearse formula of long songs with alternating death metal and acoustic sections and some more traditional metal riffs and solos, Still Life improves in major areas. Songs are longer, extreme parts are better integrated, creating for some interesting textures, as opposed to just juxtaposing the two extremes. Some of the riffs and solos are actually catchy to nod your head to in a thrashy sort of way, as opposed to just skull crushing and dissonant. But I still think this is overrated. Almost every song from the My Arms-Still Life period repeats the same formula heavy-less heavy-acoustic etc. and you'd be pretty much content with one of them, say, The Moor, or Godheads Lament. Fortunately, the album redeems itself with Face of Melinda, which is a classicist tune that has nothing to do with modern metal, foreshadowing things to come in Heritage and Pale Communion, proving that talented people would be talented in all the styles they try.

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 Watershed by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.94 | 921 ratings

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Watershed
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Opeth on Watershed sound like a band that either thought Ghost Reveries were too catchy for their own good, and tried to do some convoluted stuff even by Opeth standards, or thought that they achieved all they could with their trademark lets-hop-from-death metal-to acoustics-every-minute style, and indulged experimental tendencies. A folksy duet with female vocalist Coil, a melodic vocal over a blast beat, a wholly classicist track Burden, and is that a laugh at the need of Burden? Now thats progressive death! (Although the death stuff is still very much prevalent here). However, to my ears all this sound more like a lets through in some weird stuff and see what happens, rather than musically logical.

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 Heritage by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.83 | 950 ratings

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Heritage
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Opeth, I have not explored so much of their discogrophy, only a metal album in the middle and the real prog album of this year "Pale Communion". That was a story they began 20111 with this record "Heritage" the band's tenth record. When I started to listen to this record a long time ago had I hard to understand it and I found it too melancholic for me. Now that has changed. Heritage is, and I am sure most people think that a good record. It features Mikael Åkerfeldt on vocals, guitar, mellotron and grand piano, Fredrik Åkesson on guitars, Per Wiberg on organ, mellotron, fender rhodes, wurlitzer and grand piano, Martin Mendez on bass guitars and Martin Axenrot on drums together with percussionist Alex Arcaña and Björn J:son Lindh, a fabulous flutist who unfortunately died recently and the pianist Joakim Svalberg.

The cover is one of the best things with the album. It is an amazing paintign with the heads of the band members and in the background we see a burning city and under the tree we see hell. The album is a heavy progressive album with so much interesting notes. It has its ups and downs and for me it's hard to keep my interest through it all but the highlights are worth picking up. The opener and the closer are almost only piano and the melody feels like Swedish folk music. For those who have heard Jan Johansson's jazz record with Swedish folk tunes will these tracks remind you of them. "Marrow of the earth" is honestly the album's most nice track (10/10) like massage for my ears. Second best is "The Devil's Orchard"(9/10), an explosion of melodies, riffs and strong progressive music where Åkerfeldt's vocals do a fantastic job. He sings very well on the whole record. "Nepenthe" is another example of song with wonderous vocals and the song is jazzy too(8/10). "Famine" is a long and lovely song also, a varied and story telling track with J:son Lindh's flute and lovely vocals(8/10). "I feel the dark"(7/10) and "Folklore"(7/10) are also more than good and the rest of the songs are good as well.

This is definitely an interesting record with high quality music and some very interesting tracks. Opeth has big potential to be an even better prog band if they become more pretentious. Perhaps is it also the sad feeling this music bears that holds down my feelings and so also my rating. For me it's a strong three star record and a little preview of what's going to come three years later.

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