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Opeth - The Roundhouse Tapes CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.11 | 228 ratings

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4 stars Despite I'm a huge fan of Opeth I can't help but think that this record isn't as good as the other reviewers pointed out. It's not the musicianship that annoys me; no, every song here is played without flaws or mistakes, the guitar interplay between Akerfeld and Lindgren is perfect and so is the drum work by Axenrot. The keyboards and bass are also very well played, so what's the problem?

The big problem about "The Roundhouse Tapes" is its durability. You won't listen to this album too many times, that's for sure, mainly because the studio versions are much more enjoyable and carry a better atmosphere than the live numbers. Atmosphere, yes, that's the right word, that's what this album lacks; Opeth is a "studio band", is a band that creates songs that need a certain sound and special atmosphere. The majority of the group's songs are melancholic and dark, and I can't get those feelings from this live album, the songs sound somehow... different.

But, hey, this piece isn't that bad, all in all! As I've already said, the musicianship is great, every song is played FLAWLESSLY, and that's saying something because songs like "Ghost of Perdition" or "Bleak" aren't easy to play at all. Mikael's clean voice remains as beautiful as on the studio albums, just listen to his vocal performances on "Face of Melinda" and "Windowpane"... Beautiful! On other hand, his growls sound a bit weaker here than on the studio albums, sometimes he even stops growling during the songs, it's like he's slowly losing his harsh voice. Anyways, a fantastic performance overall.

Mikael also constanly delivers some nice jokes that keep the listener happy and interested. I especially like the small musical section that the band plays after "Blackwater Park", in which Mikael presents the band. That part is absolutely hilarious, especially when he calls Martin Mendez "the legend from Montevideo, Uruguay!" and Axe "a pretty (or cute, I can't remember now) guy". Another funny bit is when he asks the crowd, in his monotonous voice, to "shut the fuck up" during "Face of Melinda".

So, highlights? "Ghost of Perdition" is absolutely nailed, which is impressive since that song must be one of the most demanding tracks Opeth ever written and recorded. Kudos to Legolas, pardon, Axe, for the flawless performance during it! "Face of Melinda" is really nice too, with an extended jazzy intro and outro. "Windowpane", the song that "will bring chicks to Opeth's backstage", is another highlight: great keyboards, Per! "Under the Weeping Moon" is another personal favourite, the breakdown sounds even better here than on the studio (the production of "The Roundhouse Tapes" is 10000 times better than the one of "Orchid"). On other hand, the biggest disappointment is the allmighty "Demon of the Fall", which is ruined by the poor growls of a tired Akerfeldt. Anyways, the crowd interaction is a plus.

Concluding, despite the great production and overall performance, this record won't hold your attention for many time, that's for sure. It's an enjoyable album, though, if you like live records I recommend this one, also because the tracklist has songs of almost every Opeth album (I miss a "Deliverance" track, though, I absolutely love "Deliverance"). Ah, I would like them to perform "The Moor" or "Atonement" too, but oh well...

One last word to the stunning artwork, Opeth got be one of the best bands out there, artwork-wise (Iced Earth occupies the second place, perhaps).

Best Moments of the CD: -Mikael's jokes.

If you're a big fan of the band, get it, but if you aren't, search for other records.

Nhorf | 4/5 |


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