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Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.94 | 737 ratings

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4 stars The third album from Opeth is a giant leap and a massive improvement to the two previous albums Orchid and Morningrise. My Arms, Your Hearse starts the sound that Opeth is famous and known for today. The monumental and massive wall of guitar blended with more mellow acoustic moments and Mikael Åkerfeldt growling and clean vocals. My Arms, Your Hearse is generally a very heavy album, so don´t expect seventies prog rock here even though there are traces. Opeth comes from the Doom/ death metal tradition and even though Opeth is a bit more progressive than most bands in that catagory there are still many doom/ death moments on this album. There are plenty of the more mellow moments though to keep ones interest in the album and give you a breather between the massive metal riffing.

The sound quality could have been a little better. It´s raw and pretty unpolished which is an aquired taste. Personally I like my metal a bit more polished normally, but when the music is as good as this I´m ready to forgive everything.

The musicians playing here are very competent and I can never seem to get enough of Mikael Åkerfeldt´s clean singing even though it´s still quite imature here compared to later releases. His growling is also an aquired taste for sure, but I enjoy it. Being an old death metal fan helps of course. The biggest difference in the lineup is the addition of Martin Lopez on drums. He is such a good drummer for this kind of music and even though this is metal he gets to show his latin background some places. There are no latin parts though, it´s more a matter of touch. A brilliant addition to Opeth. Mikael Åkerfeldt handles both vocals, guitar and bass on My Arms, Your Hearse as Opeth had not yet drafted a new bass player for the recordings. Martin Mendez who would soon become the new bass player for Opeth, are on the pictures on the sleeve though. Peter Lindgren plays some nice guitar on the album as well. The dual attack of Lindgren and Åkerfeldt is very much the melodic focus on My Arms, Your Hearse.

The music is as mentioned above made out of massive and monumental metal riffs with growls and softer acoustic moments with clean singing and sometimes there is clean singing over the metal parts as well. This is a cocktail most metal bands use today but in 1998 this was the exception to the rule. Especially the way Mikael Åkerfeldt sings is very exceptional in metal. Very soft and melodic. Standout tracks for me is my favorite When, Demon of the Fall and the soft acoustic Credence. The ending song Epilogue is a nice instrumental with some exciting dual guitar leads and some nice Hammond organ from Fredrik Nordström.

The two bonus tracks are worth mentioning as well even though I´m not that excited about them. Celtic Frost´s Circle Of The Tyrants is covered in a good way even though I prefer Obituary´s version on their album Cause of Death. The problem with this song is that I´m not too fond of Celtic Frost. I never understood why they were hailed as metal gods by especially death and black metal bands. The other cover song is Iron Maidens´s Remember Tomorrow from their debut album. Opeth plays an ok version but again it doesn´t excite me very much. Just don´t think of the two bonus tracks as part of the album, but take them for what they are.

All in all there is still some way to the masterpieces Opeth would make later in their career, but My Arms, Your Hearse is an excellent progressive extreme metal album and I´ll rate it 4 stars.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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