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Opeth - Still Life CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.29 | 1843 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Before beginning, I should preface this by saying that before stumbling upon this album in the top 100 list last year when I discovered this website, I had never heard of Opeth and was not a fan of death metal. I had a preconceived notion that screaming and growling scuttled musicality and would result in an inferior work. I was dead wrong. That was blind prejudice and I openly admit to my iniquity by making that assumption. What the growls do here is they punctuate and add high emotion and energy to each moment in which they are presented. The alternation between these passages and those with clean vocals also serves a double purpose of delineating the form and providing a wonderful sense of contrast that showcases the group's emotional depth and variety.

This album in particular is a strong narrative. I tend to favor albums like these because a strong story is a wonderful source of unification. It also can result in more emotional musical gestures as the instruments depict and recreate the action described by the vocals. This album is a wonderful example of music matching text, track for track. Each section of the album indicates a different scene, guiding the listener through each moment of determination, sorrow, and squalor while preserving, even augmenting the emotion within each moment with the music itself. The story is dark, multi-faceted, and brutal. The intense nature of the music mirrors these qualities perfectly. In order for this story to be told correctly, the growls are arguably indispensable for this reason. No other musical vehicle would do it justice.

This is in my top 5 albums of all time, no question. It sits most deservedly on this pedestal alongside releases by Genesis, King Crimson, and VDGG. Why? Because musically, conceptually, and emotionally, it's gripping and satisfying in a powerful and unique way. It is an irreplaceable part of my collection and only becomes more firmly cemented in my mind as a critical musical achievement with each listen. Do not judge an album harshly for its subgenre and brutality, I implore you. You will only be denying yourself an opportunity to hear a truly accomplished album and treat yourself to a positively enriching listening experience, as long as you're open to it of course.

Neo-Romantic | 5/5 |


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