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Opeth - Morningrise CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.72 | 732 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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

Now a track by track:

Advent -

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

The Night And The Silent Water -

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

Nectar -

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

Black Rose Immortal -

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

To Bid You Farewell -

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

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

The Pessimist | 4/5 |


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