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

MY ARMS, YOUR HEARSE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.94 | 736 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

horsewithteeth11
Prog Reviewer
3 stars As anyone who knows me, be it on this site or in real life, has learned by now, I am an obsessive Opeth fanboy. They're my second favorite band and there are few things I can say about them that I really don't like. Unfortunately, most of the negative feelings I have toward them stem from their first two albums and some things from this one as well.

I suppose that instead of a track by track review, I'll simply highlight what I like and dislike about this album. Let's start with the negative things first. Looking at the credits, one immediately notices that, one notices that Opeth is at this point a three-piece band with the departure of DeFarfella. Akerfeldt himself took up bass duties for this studio album, because even though Mendez had at this point joined the band, they were restricted to time constraints, which caused Akerfeldt to take up the instrument which originally got him into Opeth. However, after listening to this album enough, I can understand why I think Akerfeldt made a good decision in switching to lead guitar. I find him to be only slightly above average in terms of bass skills. And then to make matters worse, I think Akerfeldt's tone on bass isn't that great to my ears. To me, it drags down a bit the songs where it is more prominent. The other thing that still bothers me, like the previous two Opeth album, is that the production quality is still slightly subpar. However, the quality has certainly improved much over the previous two albums to the point where I can actually tolerate it, even if I don't enjoy it.

With that being said, I should mention some of the things I enjoy about this album. Some people say that this, with Deliverance, is some of the darkest music Opeth has ever made. I would happen to agree with those people. The tunes on here are all brutal and relentless, and while we see less of the folk influence and guitar harmonies on this album, more and more progressive metal types of riffs are beginning to emerge. While not quite in the spades that they would be fully developed on in Still Life, the change in sound is very noticeable. The traditional Opeth sound is finally beginning to emerge amidst all the chaos from before. This also happens to be Lopez's first album with the band, and the Latin influence in his drumming definitely makes this album more enjoyable.

If I had to pick my favorite tracks, I would probably go with When, the beautiful Credence, and the brutal Demon of the Fall, a live favorite and one I've had the pleasure of seeing myself. While this album has some very noticeable weak points, it also has many redeeming qualities. If you are an Opeth fan, you will want to get this album eventually. If you are new to the band and more of a traditional prog fan, do not start here. You might be turned off if you are not used to the brutal sound of death metal and it's raw production. For all the high and low points this album has, I think a 3 star rating fits it perfectly for both this site and for me. A good listen, but not the first Opeth album I'll go for if I want their heavier material.

horsewithteeth11 | 3/5 |

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