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Opeth - Ghost Reveries CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.27 | 1694 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Whenever Opeth releases an album, you know there's reason to be excited for the progressive/metal movement. These guys have never failed to impress those who enjoy progressive music in general.

I think Ghost Reveries sounds very much like any other Opeth album, perhaps closer in spirit to Still Life and Deliverance, but you''ll also find that the band sounds and feels rejuvenated and that they've injected a good deal of new ideas to their progressive music such as the more obvious jazz & blues elements found on this new album.

Akerfeldt has said something to the effect that the best songs are the unpredictable ones. Although I agree with him wholeheartedly, I'd have to take this idea a step further and say that for me, the best albums are often the most unpredictable ones as well. And just like each and every Opeth release that came before it, Ghost Reveries is most definitely unpredictable and conceivably more technical and fluid than ever before. Though everyone familiar with Opeth's past work won't be overly surprised with the music of Ghost Reveries as it mixes aggressive moments with acoustic passages, moving from brutal to soft atmospheric lamentations. In fact, Ghost Reveries maintains a perfect balance between the soft and heavy, the technical and melodic, the dark and atmospheric. This is basically what many have come to expect from an Opeth album.

As is almost always the case with a new Opeth release, there are often a few surprises worthy of mention and Ghost Reveries is no exception.

With Per Wiberg as their new fulltime keyboardist, this is perhaps one of the most evident new influences to the bands sound. Another obvious observation is Akerfeldt's vocals, a more equal balanced mix of clean and growling moments are found throughout the album as a whole. Also, there is an apparent general tendency to mix equal parts of heavy electric guitars and soft acoustic/keyboard moments as well.

Moving on to Martin Lopez, well, his drumwork is more technical and much more varied than ever before. His performance here is like...WOW! Martin Mendez obviously wanted to leave a lasting impression as well cause his work on bass is simply phenomenal. Forget that all but 2 songs were written in open tuning, something that Akerfeldt and Lindgren had not done on past recordings cause this met that the solos had to be done in open tuning as well. So, if Akerfeldt and Lindgren could not rely on past licks or solos for inspiration.that obviously resulted in some interesting and refreshing guitar work from this highly skilled duo. I assure you, that if Akerfeldt and Lindgren's guitar work doesn't impress you, then Mendez and Lopez's rhythm work will surely have you turning your head at every change of pace.

I have no intention of doing a song by song review, but I do want to point out a few brilliant moments and some of the highlight's for me. You know, the things you should check out or definitely listen for...

1. Be prepared for a most fascinating listening experience during "The Baying of the Hounds." Now let me try to explain why? The destructive energy one usually feels when listening to this track will appear to subside around you during the more aggressive violent musical moments. Conversely, when the music is less complicated and technical yet heavy and methodical, you'll feel like ripping and tearing apart everything around you. The softer moments allow the listener the time required to grasp this very odd and unique musical experience. I don't know if the band deliberately had this in mind but the results are truly original.

2. Do take notice of Lindgren and Akerfeldt's harrowing guitar work on "Reverie/Harlequin Forest."

3. I must also point out the truly magnificent images invoked by Akerfeldt's lyrics and music on "Reverie/Harlequin Forest" which for me, is the best damn track on the album.

4. Akerfeldt's vocals, Martin Lopez's drum work and Martin Mendez's bass work on "The Grand Conjuration" and "Ghost of Perdition."

5. Per Wiberg's keyboard work and Lindgren/Akerfeldt's acoustic guitar work and blues solo on "Hours of Wealth."

On a final note, I was reminded of Tool at certain moments during "Ghost of Perdition", and Deep Purple on "The Baying of the Hounds." I don't know if they'll ever admit being inspired or influenced in some way by them, but certainly these two tracks gave me much pleasure and were very enjoyable moments just the same.

Highly recommended album, intelligent music for progressive metal lovers of all ages, only those suffering from chronic allergic reactions to progressive death metal should stay far away from Ghost Reveries.

Vanwarp | 5/5 |


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