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Opeth - Ghost Reveries CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1556 ratings

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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.

Nightfly | 5/5 |


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