Review Summary: The perfect mix of old and new opeth.
Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse (1998)
Released 1998, Candlelight Records, Century Media
*Re-released 2000, Candlelight Records, Century Media
Mikael Akerfeldt (Vocals Bass and Guitars)
Peter Lindgren (Guitars)
Martin Lopez (Drums)
2 April Ethereal
5 The Amen Corner
6 Demon of the Fall
10-Cyrcle Of Tyrants*
Opeth is now a band that doesn't need presentation. With solid releases such as Morningrise, Blackwater Park and Ghost Reveries, the band got the status of prog/metal kings. Their first releases, Orchid and Morningrise, were solid melodic death metal album. The songs were long, progressive, intricate and features some of the most epic metal you can't imagine. Their most recent albums, Blackwater Park, Deliverance, Damnation and Ghosts Reveries, shows the influence of the now famous british producer, Steven Wilson.
My Arms, Your Hearse and Still Life were a kind of mix between the two. Release in 1998, this record showed a more heavy and dark side of Opeth. Songs like ''Demon Of The Fall'' are now praised by the hardcore fans.
Like I said, this release is a bit more darker. You just have to imagine yourself as a character. A dark forest during the autumn will instantly come to your mind. As usual, the band uses death metal roots from band like Morbid Angel and Celtic Frost. Opeth also provides influences from bands like Camel, Deep Purple and Nick Drake. The mix is spectacular and this record is probably their best work if you talk about the songs structure. Morningrise was a bit lacking structure wise. I mean, some parts were really disconnected. In my opinion, what makes this album stands out from the others is the atmosphere. A dark, eerie atmosphere. All the songs are well connected and fits the lyrical concept. Now let's check it out track by track.
This song is simply an appetizer. You'll feel this special autumn vibe. Soon, a hard piano chord will hit your spine and a sad melody will let you of your appetite. You're automaticly catch.
This is in my opinion the best opener opeth had ever done. A fade in voice soon followed by the rest of the band. The riffs create such an awesome vibe. Mike's voice is at his peak. Especially during the «The rain was waving Goodbye'' part at 6:45. To my knowledge, this was the first song to feature a kind of Meshuggah-like riff at 6:00. The part at 3:40 is the first clean singing part of the record and I must say it's pretty well done. The solo is very melodic. The 4:43 part is something that Ghost Reveries and Deliverance were missing. A good melodic emotive passage. The Outro is a fantastic doomish deppresive part.
My personnal favorite. The intro features a clean guitar rythm. A fantastic growl will immediatly make a contrast. Martin Lopez double bass is a punch in the chest. The 1:26 is one of the highlights of this record. The drums make a good progression and the switch to clean vocals is just beautiful. Lindgren shreds one of his best solo. A beautiful melodic one. The middle part of the song is really evil and that's mainly beause of mike's deep growls and the evil rythm work. The next part is the headbanging madness. It's fantastic how a single chord riff can be good if it's well structure. Again, a fantastic melodic bridge is featured. The song slow down with an acoustic interlude. The outro part is another highlights. Mike's clean voice is so perfect and emotive.
This song is basically a guitar interlude. A rythm with delay is the base of the song. Some cool volume pedal thing leads directly to ''The Amen Corner''
5-The Amen Corner
The intro is stunning. This time Lopez decided to be groovier and let the double bass aside. A very deep growl lead's you to the first verse. This song is more metal. Mike's voice is still crushing. The 3:13 part is an amazing acoustic break. The guitar leads is also fantastic. The next part is a bit slower and heavier. The acoustic guitar under the riff is a cool thing to notice. This time their's a solo battle. A bit less melodic than when and April Ethereal. The Outro is one of the most epic thing opeth has ever done. This part is pretty intense. I mean, they're is something special coming from this part.
6-Demon Of The Fall
The most well know Opeth songs. It starts with some evil voices then band comes in. The intro is a hard headbanging part. Lopez is shining here. The verse are slow and evil. At the first time you hear Mikael deep voice you're stunned. This is so evil. The middle part is an acoustic break that leads into a hard hitting passage. Mike screams like no others in this part. The next part is straight death metal. A slow acoustic part comes to relax yourself. The outro is my personnal opeth favorite moments. This is so epic and beautiful. Mike's voice is so emotive and appealing. The melody is also wonderfull. That's what I call music my friend.
The mellow song of the record. It starts with a slow simple beat provided by Martin Lopez. It reminds me a lot to Slayer's Criminally Insane. Their acoustic guitar work is simply amazing. They should be more recognized as acoustic player. The bass line is also pretty cool. Mike's voice is as always amazing. Almost all the song is rooted on the main melody. The outro is clean guitar melody with a bit of flange over an acoustic fingerpicked rythm.
This is the last heavy song of the record and maybe the heavist. It's starts pretty quickly. You're automaticly thrown into a double bass and deep vocals frenzy. This is probably their best guitar work on this record. The riffs are complex and intricate. A cool, similar to April Ethereal, fade in vocal can be heard. Mike's voice is so deep. The acoustic part is well constructed and Lopez drumming is impressive. The time they decided to do a clean guitar solo. The outro is probably one of the most heaviest and evil thing Opeth as ever done. The last screams are so disturbing.
You could hear the deep purple influences on this song. It's an instrumental song in the same way of Ending Credits. A cool organ is also featured. Mike lead guitar work is just perfect. Every note he hits gives me goosebumbs. The outro is a twin guitar melody.A Fantastic closing song.
No mendez on this album
The production is not perfect