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Opeth - Blackwater Park CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1678 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Opeth's 'Blackwater Park' is without doubt my favourite offering from the Scandinavian 4-piece. In this album we find Opeth at their absolute best, both creatively and musically. The songs presented here are hugely varied, transitioning flawlessly all the way from extreme death metal through to acoustic folk music, and (almost) everything in-between. There are moments of hard rock, progressive rock, acoustic folk music. There are delicious keyboards and mellotron, supplied by none other than Mr Steven Wilson. All of the elements that Opeth have become famous for before this album are displayed perfectly here, polished and utterly coherent within these 8 glorious tracks. The production here is first rate, there is a huge dynamic range and a real depth to the music.

The opening song, 'The Leper Affinity' drags the listener into the record violently and almost without warning. That opening extreme metal section is just so perfect for the start of an Opeth record! But before long we are into something more technical, and then the song blossoms and transforms, morphing between styles in true progressive nature. Make no doubt about it, this song is highly progressive and extremely innovative, and is indicative of what is to come.

Trying to describe each track would be pointless, there is just too much going on throughout. Simply put it is an album which has to be heard to be understood, as most progressive works are. It's safe to say there isn't a single bit of filler anywhere here. Every note, every beat and every vocal has its place. But more than that, every song has its own identity. Nothing here is repeated, and Opeth aren't afraid to try something totally different for each of their songs, like the entirely acoustic 'Harvest'.

The saddest aspect about Opeth is that their extreme metal sections, of which there are a lot on this album, are going to put some listeners off from trying this album out. And that's a shame. For me it is their blending of progressive rock, folk and extreme death metal which make Opeth so unique and special, and I wouldn't have them any other way!

In my humble opinion 'Blackwater Park' is the only album in the Opeth catalogue of music which deserves a 5-star rating.

AndyJ | 5/5 |


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