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Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse CD (album) cover

MY ARMS, YOUR HEARSE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.94 | 759 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'My Arms, Your Hearse' - Opeth (8/10)

Following their flawed masterpiece 'Morningrise,' Opeth decides to turn up the brutality and heaviness a notch with this album, as well as introduce the idea of 'concept albums' into the bands catalogue. As a running song cycle without breaks, this became the first album they ever released that let the whole compliment the parts, so to speak.

The first thing one might notice by listening is the great improvement in production quality. While certainly not up to par with the Wilson production era starting with 'Blackwater Park,' theres a very audible development. The traditional formula (heavy/soft passages) Opeth has become known for is still here, albeit in less balance than usual but if you have heard an Opeth album before, there isn't going to be anything here that sounds out of the ordinary.

'My Arms, Your Hearse' was the last Opeth album I bought before I completed my discography, and even though it's nowhere near their greatest, it somehow feels like their most consistent effort to date. 'Demon Of The Fall' seems a fair contender as the highlight track, but aside from that, everything balances out a rather uncompromised level of quality; a feat for any album on it's own.

The predecessor to Opeth's first perfect album 'Still Life,' 'My Arms Your Hearse' shows Opeth experimenting with a binding narrative that would later be improved on with the next. In terms of lyrics, Mikael Akerfeldt weaves together a story that fits the music very well, although it isn't quite as engrossing or effective as the story in 'Still Life,' it helps to tie the album together. More or less, the story revolves around the spirit of a man who died looking down on the woman he loves and being dismayed that she does not grieve for him. However, it is later revealed that her love has blinded her to the reality that he has in fact died, and is therefore in a state of denial. It's a very simple concept, but Akerfeldt works both his music and lyrics to maximize the dramatic effect.

'My Arms, Your Hearse' is probably the Opeth album I've listened to the least overall, and while it has it's share of faults and problems, this is an excellent album and things would only get better as time went on for this brilliant band. A great example of what a four star album should look like.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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