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




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.94 | 774 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.4 Stars

It is impressive how much Opeth has progressed in less than a year here. My Arms, your Hearse is in almost every way an improvement over Morning Rise. There are no more coherence problems; in fact, the whole album flows really well. Also, the growls are finally very effective in the music as they are lower pitched, which makes them blend with the guitars. Talking about guitars, they are much louder, meaner, and more brutal than before and don't make me think about Iron Maiden or Metallica anymore. The clean vocals and growls are always in the correct places and the acoustic parts are used more sparingly and are less repetitive, giving a relief after brutal guitars and growls, yet not bringing tedium to the listener. There are only 2 low points here that didn't happen in the previous two albums: moderately short duration, and lack of a good bass player (Mikael had to play the bass).

Prologue opens up with a dark piano sound and quickly gives April Ethereal the permission to kick major a$$! Here, it really shows that the band has evolved. The drums are extremely well done, the guitars are cooler and heavier, the grunts blend with the music perfectly, and the acoustic parts no longer are tedious and overlong. Also, the heavy/acoustic changes flow better. Not to forget, the sound quality is a clear improvement over the previous albums. In this particular song, I love how the two guitars combine and are separated if you are using headphones. The riffs are excellent.

When starts with a brutal riff but it is another fantastic song similar to the previous monster track. The two guitars keep creating wonderful leads and rhythms in the heavy parts, and gorgeous harmonies in the soft parts (especially on minute 3). Madrigal is a short acoustic part that serves a purpose musically and does not feel out of place unlike Orchid's instrumental short songs. The Amen Corner is darker and emphasizes more the metal of the album Demon of The Fall has very evil growling vocals never heard before by Mikael and is overall the best heavy song from this album. Minute 2 is my favorite section as it has an aggressive acoustic riff followed by an explosion of growls and electric guitars. The rest of the song is amazing and has everything that you would want in an Opeth album and a death metal album in general.

Credence is a needed relief from the brutally heavy "Demon of the Fall". This is a very pleasant song with 2 acoustic guitars used to make great musical themes while Mikael uses clean vocals and shows the beauty of his singing voice (it makes me wish that he would form a band that has no growls). and minimal drumming and bass playing to compliment them without overwhelming them. The last minute of the song is goosebumps-inducing because the guitar riff is perfect. Karma starts sounding like another Amen Corner but the second half of the song is excellent and probably the heaviest moment of the album. Epilogue is an amazing closer to the album. While the song itself is repetitive, it allows Mikael to show off his true talents on his instrument. He doesn't really shread. Instead, he uses a beautiful guitar tone and plays with a lot of emotion. The song is made even better thanks to the rest of the band and the Hammond organ.

All in all, an amazing heavy album. This is probably their heaviest album in their whole career, so I would never recommend a newbie to start here because the intense double guitars and growls would put them off (although I actually think Demon of the Fall could be a great song to show what the band is all about and Epilogue shows their beautiful side).

Highlights: April Ethereal, Demon of the Fall, Epilogue

Let Downs: None

My Grade : A/B

Zitro | 4/5 |


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