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Opeth - Ghost Reveries CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 1584 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Not the faultless masterpiece 'Blackwater Park' is, but an essential album nonetheless.

After a start reminiscent of 'Deliverance', OPETH prove within three minutes that this album is a step up from their 2003/3 recordings. 'Ghost of Perdition' has a memorable descending three-note hook that binds the song together, making it an excellent composition. 'The Baying of the Hounds' is even better, opening with a storming, abrasive riff and complex rhythms - actually, this would have been a better opener for the album, as it nails down this album's personality much better than 'Ghost' does. The quiet section, reporting for duty at precisely the right moment, after three minutes of sonic terror, is beautiful. I'd so missed the integration of light and darkness characteristic of 'Blackwater Park'. This is a song worthy of that album.

I must admit a sentimental partiality for the retro synth at the beginning of 'Beneath the Mire'. Redolent of LED ZEPPELIN's 'Kashmir', it imparts a stirring exotic vibe and brings to our attention something that has been nagging at us since the album started: OPETH is no longer a four-piece, they have added a keyboard player, which finally gives us an excuse to call them 'prog' (despite the fact they have been playing progressive rock since day one).

'Atonement' is the most convincing 'half-way' song OPETH have done to this point. It has a magical melody and would be the highlight of any album upon which it appeared. AKERFELDT's love of CAMEL comes through clearly here. And it appears at exactly the right moment of the album.

'Harlequin Forest' is a slow burner, working into an excellent track - takes its time, though. The last three minutes are worth waiting for. It is followed by 'Hours of Wealth', the most minimal song of any length OPETH have done. Then the drama-laden 'The Grand Conjuration', which makes a great feast at the single-length five minutes or at the album-length ten. Riff-laden, keyboard-limned, drum-hammered, weighty and portentious, this track is a perfect summary of OPETH. Play this to the few doubters who claim OPETH isn't progressive. 'Isolation Years' concludes the album with yet more pastoral beauty.

After the debacle of 2002/3 and the divided albums, it's wonderful to have this talented and creative metal band back at top form.

russellk | 5/5 |


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