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Opeth - Morningrise CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.74 | 877 ratings

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3 stars Morningrise is the second Opeth album and it is a decent improvement over Orchid. Orchid was a decent album but had a big problem: the songs could have been much better composed since the majority of the tracks out of that album sound disjointed. On songs like "In the Mist She Was Standing" there are absolutely no transitions between the guitar riffs, at times Akerfeldt and Lindgren just stop playing them, there are some seconds of silence, and then another riff kicks in. As a result, the album was absolutely chaotic (in a bad way, obviously) and the whole listening experience was just a nightmare, since it's very hard to get into the record.

Morningrise is, fortunately, better, the songs don't sound that disjointed and are generally much better composed. However, some tunes could have been a bit more polished, an example is the longest track of the album, "Black Rose Immortal", which clocks in at around twenty minutes. I love that epic song and I consider it to be the best track of the bunch, but it shows some big compositional problems. It flows pretty well until the eight-minutes mark, when a beautiful acoustic riff is unleashed. The problem is that the transition between the heavy part and the mellow part is too abrupt, it could have much better worked, in my opinion. Anyways, "Black Rose Immortal" still is the best tune of the whole album, containing lots of different segments, both heavy and calm. The highlight of the track is the mellow section that I've already mentioned, absolutely beautiful mellow prog there. An essential Opeth song, all in all.

So, by looking to the song lenghts, it's easy for you too see that the band hasn't lost their ambition: Orchid had a couple of very very long songs, but this album just takes the band to another level: all the songs are more than ten minutes long and the majority of them don't sound overlong, fortunately. Well, yeah, I said the majority of them because "Nectar" really should have been shorter. As a heavy song, it lacks energy, and as a long song, it lacks variety. I really think the band should have developed this track a little more, because there are a couple of riffs on it that are pretty damn good. On the other side of the spectrum is the album's opener, the mighty "Advent", which probably is also the faster tune of the bunch. It also contains a nice bass solo near the end, which is always a nice thing to hear. In fact, the bass playing on this record is very audible and just stellar: Farfalla's style is admirable and it really is a shame that he had to abandon the band. The drumming is pretty good too, the sticksman isn't as good as Martin Lopez though (few are, in fact!), but he still delivers a solid performance, albeit not flashy at all.

"To Bid You Farewell" is another highlight of the record, showing an experimental Opeth: the track is mostly played with the acoustic guitar (well, there's a section with some heavy riffs, but it only last for one minute, I think) and Akerfeldt uses his clean voice many times. While he was not, at this point, the wonderful clean singer he is now, he still delivers an heartfelt and emotional performance during this tune. On other hand, his growls are as ferocious as ever, aggressive and very very raw. Returning to "To Bid You Farewell", its structure is very complex and it's not an easy track to swallow, it's, in fact, a track very hard to get into. Still, it deserves attention, it is one of the most underrated Opeth songs. It's also their first proper ballad, as they later released more ballads similar to it, albeit shorter, like "Credence" and the marvellous "Face of Melinda".

Morningrise is a pretty hard album to get into and it contains lots of epic songs, full of varied elements and segments. Expect many acoustic parts and also many heavy sections filled with raw growls and aggressive riffs. The calm face of Opeth kind of reminds me of old prog rock bands like Camel and the raw face of the band is close to death metal (the growls) and even doom metal, since some riffs are played very slowly and are generally pretty heavy. Although not a memorable piece at all, this is a good album and you should give it a try if you like your prog rock/metal melancholic and original. Highlights: "Black Rose Immortal", "To Bid You Farewell".

Best Moments of the CD: -the calm middle section of "Black Rose Immortal".

Nhorf | 3/5 |


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