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Opeth - Lamentations: Live at Shepherd's Bush CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.03 | 220 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Opeth's sole home video is an informative, insightful, informational, and fun watch. Although 2/3 of it consists of their concert at Shepherd's Bush Empire, the other third is an informative documentary on the making of Deliverance and Damnation. The video quality is dynamic and every member gets an even amount of screen time. The audio is crunchy and very well mixed, with the drums in particular having a great overall sound. The concert set itself is half acoustic and half heavy (although the heavy material should have come from a wider range of albums in my opinion), with the acoustic set featuring Damnation in its entirety with Harvest as a bonus. You'll find no Pink Floyd laser light show, no dynamic Genesis theatrics, no out of this world videos to accompany the songs, only the musicans and their instruments doing what they do best, and they really perform well.

The acoustic set consists of Damnation in its entirety, and it was an ambitious choice by the group. As the set progresses, you can hear Akerfeldt apologize to the crowd about the slow pace of the set. Even if it's played wonderfully, especially by Martin Lopez and Peter Lindgren, who play perfectly, with absolutely no flaws. Martin Mendez is always in a tight groove with Lopez and provides the basic foundations for all the songs, and Per Wiberg offering up the Steven Wilson's mellotrons and organs to suffice that end of the sound spectrum. I only can really fault the set with slow pacing and Akerfeldt's voice, which although sounding great, can go flat during many sections and sounds as if he's straining himself to hit those high notes.

The second set of this show consists of their genuine no holds barred metal. AKerfeldts vocals in this set vastly improve over the last one, he's just fits the cookie monster vocals mold so well. Per Wiberg becomes absent during this part (although he makes an appearance during A Fair Judgement", but that is simply because they don't need a keyboard for the material here. Lopez is also at the top of his form pounding out performance after performance, he really is one of the best drummers around nowadays. My only real complaint here is that there isn't enough variety between the songs. All of them come from either Deliverance or Blackwater Park, and although they are some of the best songs on those albums, I would have liked to have seen some Still Life or My Arms, Your Hearse material sprinkled in there.

But that's not all, kiddies! There's more! You also get a 65 minute documentary about the making of Deliverance and Damnation. The key speakers here (the only speakers really) are Mikael Akerfeldt and Martin Lopez, who give incredible insight into all aspects of creating the album, from the brush to the canvas. You get insight into Steven Wilson's contributions as well as how the songs were crafted and why Deliverance and Damnation were recorded using the funds that would be necessary for one album. I certainly like watching this documentary because it verses you in information well beyond what any ordinary Opeth fan will know and it's fun to watch the creation of two great albums.

In the end, this is a great dvd. The concert has its problems, but most live excursions do have their little problems here and there. The documentary is fascinating as well as informative, and the concert aspect is well balanced between acoustic and heavy (but the acoustic tends to drag). Any fan of progressive metal will find some enjoyment out of this, but some who like Damnation and not the heavier Opeth will find comfort in the first set of the concert, with no cookie monster vocals or metal sections. Me? I find this dvd to be excellent, though no masterpiece. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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