Opeth
Ghost Reveries


2.5
average

Review

by Ryan Flatley EMERITUS
June 26th, 2007 | 135 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Opeth produces an album that follows suite with previous works in what is an underachieving record entitled, “Ghost Reveries.”

As far as Opeth listening went, for me, it all started with Blackwater Park. Hearing the cheers and the high fives over the presumed ‘classic’ Blackwater Park, I took a ride on the hype machine. I will admit; I was more than impressed. The music was varying with different emotions, going from chaotic death metal riffs to quiet somber acoustical sections. I was hooked for a couple reasons: this was something new to me, extremely accessible for a metal album, and the songs stayed fresh. Unfortunately, that all changed soon as I began to buy more Opeth albums. The next two purchases were Deliverance and this album, Ghost Reveries. After multiple listens of all three, there was a sense that something was stirring in the waters. That is where the problem lay, stirring in the same water. What I meant by same water, is it hard to decipher songs and albums apart; it became a blur. After this, I could not listen to their albums anymore. I took all three albums off my online music player and pushed it to the side. After roughly two months, I put them back on and gave it a spin and I saw many flaws, especially with the latter release, Ghost Reveries. An album that sounded of recycled sounds and the same old vocal growl and harmonies. In addition, the same transitions between metal and mellow acoustical riffs. You cannot give me mind-blowing riffs and drumming and expect me to think it is the greatest thing in the world after I heard better riffs on their past albums. In addition, you cannot maintain so many songs over ten minutes and not expect it to become a little dull. With Ghost Reveries, I was actually checking back and forth to see how long it was until the songs ended. They make five minutes of excitement and energy turn into eleven minutes varying ideas and musical phrases. It is a long conquest at that.


Opeth’s newest journey begins with a powerful song entitled “Ghost of Perditions,” which starts loud like a song on a previous album…hmmm. Reminiscent, in my opinion, to the Leper Affinity’s introduction, “Ghost of Perditions” made a sort of all too similar impression (fast and brutal riffs that are loud and grab your attention right off the bat). In contrast, the fact that there was not a momentous build up was a plus because of the fact they cut the crap. “Ghost of Perditions” continues to progress for the next three minutes with fantastic riffs accompanied by an ever so piercing keyboard at times. Where the problem lay is the keyboard holds down a particular chord or simply accompanies the guitars and it can become rather unpleasant but it changes when the magic of the acoustical guitar chimes in and then shortly after, death metal once again! The pattern gets old all too quickly (see the end of “Baying of the Hounds”) after the same transitions repeated. Mikael Akerfeldt hymns his way through that acoustical section and then sings beautifully over aggressive riffs that leads to some contorted vocals that sound a little cheesy. It is a good thing he backs it up with a sick breakdown and his usual growling to make up for it. “Ghost of Perditions” continues with even more transitions that become overwhelming to consider the changes between one another and even incorporating the sounds together. It further solidifies the point that the songs can become overwhelming after seven minutes, let alone ten minutes.

In other aspects, some songs do not seem to fit the mold such as, “Atonement” It feels like a song taken out of the context of the whole album almost. It has very little going on throughout, as it switches between repeated guitar & bass riffs reverb and vocals with accompanying percussion. Unfortunately, it does not pick up after a while. The way it completely changes at the end perturbs me, because I do not know if that is a good thing. It changes abruptly into something that was just as sub-par as the beginning of the song. The change reminds me of whenever sports teams pick up an over-the-hill free agent and get little production. Yeah, it is that meaningless. It is like “Hours of Wreath” stretching to over five minutes because of a blues-style guitar solo that was apparently urgent when they wrote the emotional piece of the album. It is unfortunately too, because it really did have a good thing going at the start of the song. However, “Isolation Years” is the emotional staple of the entire album. It fits the album, regardless of its stamina as a song; after all, it is hard to have stamina after the grandest of songs on the album.

Regardless of how I put this album off in any way, “The Grand Conjuration,” is a song that always sticks out with every listen. The opening riff caught me and dragged me along. While the verse tends to drag, (carrying on with the albums theme) it picks up quickly around the three and a half minute mark when a lead guitar takes over and the change begins. They have three layers of guitars to begin (one acoustical, one rhythm, and one lead guitar) the transition. The drums and ridiculous scream soon take flight as the song builds up speed. Soon after, the keyboard breaks up the next section, which is nothing short of catchy (riff wise). It is hard to keep up with the song due to the amount of transitions between a progressive metal and somber metal elements, but it is a well-put together song and one to remember in their entire collection as musicians.

Opeth have succeeded in making a good thing go spiraling downwards into an infinite abyss of repeated transitions. No matter how technical, brutal, brilliant, or beautiful, if there are too many elements, it can exasperate the sound that was once mastered. Ghost Reveries is just a mediocre summation of everything they have grown to become. Let us face the facts; Mikael Akerfeldt has perfected his vocals for the music that is played it. In any case, it seems that there are boundaries left untouched and unexplored for the future since they have not advanced with this album. I have not given up on Opeth entirely and I do feel that they can improve to whatever they aspire to become after this album, but a change is needed. Until that change, their music is simply not as satisfying after the second taste or beyond. Sometimes Opeth seem to be too comfortable with the style of music they play and it is showing. Overall, it is just hard to believe that such talented musicians can produce such a letdown of an album for a once unique band.



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user ratings (3358)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review seems like it should be a lot shorter. you just kind of came up with 20 different ways to say "opeth is boring." could have been way more effective if it was half the length.

i mean the writing is good but yeahThis Message Edited On 06.26.07

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 26th 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

understood.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 26th 2007


3768 Comments


Haha, the fangs are all coming out now arn't they?

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2007


6094 Comments


i am so surprised that people do not like opeth this is a shock!


good review, what chan said.

GleamInRanks
June 26th 2007


298 Comments


I found BWP boring so I'm probably not going to listen to this. Good review.

slep
June 26th 2007


1604 Comments


Good review, I pretty much agree. I'll give this another listen, but I doubt I'll find anything new.

Wizard
June 26th 2007


19402 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review but Im getting sick and tired of all you Opeth haters ganging up on us lately with your 3 ratings and 'boring' comments......................ah who am I kidding. Im really just sick of Opeth fanboys!

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 26th 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

sorry wiz :-*This Message Edited On 06.26.07

Wizard
June 26th 2007


19402 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hahahaha no worries IsItLuck. Im glad people disagree that Opeth is somewhat not interesting to listen to. Otherwise, everyone would listen to Opeth and enjoy them, making me not like them anymore because of all the fanboys hahahaha!

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mm8 gave it a 2 once

jrowa001
June 26th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is no way a 3 for me. great album. my third fav Opeth album. didnt bother to read most of review since i probably disagree. and i just got done reading a chapter in my boring grammar book. its good to see some diverse reviews though. if i were to ever write a review it might be an opeth review but theres too much already. maybe a review bashing the beatles

blackmilk
June 26th 2007


584 Comments


I didn't bother reading the review because the writer's opinions differ from my own. This way, I can talk about how awesome "The Grand Conjuration" is and how jazzy their clean parts are.

This review is about three paragraphs too long to demonstrate a repetitive point.

Epilogue
June 26th 2007


1591 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I like this album, but this was short in terms of Opeths other albums.

ironman4444
June 26th 2007


276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What's with the negative Opeth reviews today?

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2007


6094 Comments


omg stop with the 3s theyre sooooo negative!

Doppelganger
June 26th 2007


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I think whichever post-Still Life album that one's heard first plays a major role in the one they like best simply because they're all so much alike. That's probably why I like Blackwater Park the best, and this one second, because I got them in that order. The more Opeth you get, the less impressed you are because it's mostly just recycling the same formula over and over again.

That being said, this album kinda rules. Ghost of Perdition is the best Opeth song.This Message Edited On 06.26.07

Eakflanderyof
June 26th 2007


2143 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is good, but it has worn off a little over time.

For some reason I didn't really like the review. The writing was good, but I was just kind of bored reading it for some reason and some of the stuff you described seemed kind of innaccurate for some reason such as the part about eleven minutes of pounding double bass. Double bass is not abused on this album at all, especially for a whole song. I would also say that this album is quite different from the rest of their albums, but that's pretty much just an opinion. Your review also didn't reflect your rating too well. It sounded like an album you would give a 2 by the review.

BTW, no offense, this is just what I thought. The review wasn't bad by any means. On a side note, you're definitely right about Blackwater Park being a lot better. Blackwater Park never wears off unlike this album. I'm thinking about lowering to 3.5 honestly.

I think whichever post-Still Life album that one's heard first plays a major role in the one they like best simply because they're all so much alike. That's probably why I like Blackwater Park the best, and this one second, because I got them in that order. The more Opeth you get, the less impressed you are because it's mostly just recycling the same formula over and over again.


Not in my case. I heard Ghost Reveries before I heard Still Life and Blackwater Park, but I like Blackwater Park and Still Life better.This Message Edited On 06.26.07

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 26th 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I meant to take the double bass part out but I forgot to write a note in the other day when I started it. Yeah I realize I wrote too much. I was kind of between a 2.5 and a 3 to be honest.

I agree with you that I wrote this more towards the low end though and your assessment.This Message Edited On 06.26.07

Eakflanderyof
June 26th 2007


2143 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh yea, and that breakdown in Ghost of Perdition is sick. It's almost the best part of the song.

Doppelganger
June 26th 2007


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The section just before the outro in Ghost of Perdition (if that's what you're referring to, I lack in tha werds department...) is probably the best part of the album.



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