Opeth
Still Life


5.0
classic

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
July 31st, 2007 | 52 replies | 6,466 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If aliens landed on earth and asked us to show the best record for every genre, this is a hot contender for metal.

17 of 18 thought this review was well written

Imagine a picture of an old Transylvanian castle. Not run-down, no, it's still standing, but it has aged like fine wine, having stood the tests of time and history. Magnificent bushes surround it, trees wave in the winds of autumn settling in, and ravens encircling croak loudly as they predict the fall of the sun from the sky. The nearby lake glimmers in the waning moon's reflective light, the only form of illumination to grace this monument of terror. It is the only method for a mere mortal to perceive this bulwark of sheer, harsh majesty in all its splendor.

Step inside, and you see just that what you expect. Arched rooms with high ceilings, stained glass, altars, and statues like Dracula in marble around every corner. Everything gives off an aura of a kind of impenetrable malice, not so much forceful aggression as a tragic beauty, a kind of lament for lost loves and souls that dwell in this unholy sacrament. The pure of heart will be scared to death as they recognise the power and vengeance oozing from every nook and cranny. The blasphemous revel in the atmospheres of death and solitude pervading the hazy mists and air.

Does this sound enticing to you, dear reader? If not, I beg you turn back now, before Satan rears his head ugly head from the bowels of the earth to trap you and grip you through an amazing yet ultimately terrifying journey across the vilest yet most delicate places of the Earth. If you salivate and mouthwater at the very prospect of such an odyssey, enter the castle gates and immerse yourself into what is the world of a band named Opeth, Tower of the Moon.

Speak not, but hold your breath only as Messrs Åkerfeldt, Lindgren, Mendez and Lopez, almost human incarnations of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, guide you through a world where every musical imagination you thought impossible comes true. Every intense altar you view is guided by the immense guttural roars of Åkerfeldt, your main guide for this journey. Yet when you reach the solemn backyards and bask in the light of Luna's crescents casting rays of white onto the withering autumn flowers, he sings softly and ethereally as if the devil whispered verses in your ear.

Every corner you take through its vast and winding tunnels is another pummeling guitar riff, every stair a crescendo to new heights, every ladder into the cellar a decrescendo into the deepest cellars of the world, containing rooms of such magnificence that everytime one views it one bows down to the almighty Gods above that they have graced the earth with such a musical blessing. And once you reach the lake softly acoustic guitars strings ripple in the nightly breeze, if only to remind you of the menacing presence of evil present in these parts of the world.

Need the foundations of the castle yet be mentioned, as solid as only the best stones that are found on the earth, graced with neither extravagance or outrageous designs, but protruding forth from the darkness with a confidence boasted only by the most talented of artists, nearly unrivalled by any of their peers, impossible to be recreated by any other than the Ultimate One in the Sky himself?

And within this setting, the most haunting tale of love and loss occurred, the most defiling freak of nature desiring the most beautiful maiden, the outcast longing for the hand of the daughter of the king who once ruled this palace when it was not yet a beacon for the demonic minions of Samael. And he failed to live up to the promise, for they executed him for his outlandish wizardry, and hung his loved one for all the world to see. In anger he screamed as he took the lives of many, finally to succumb by the sword. Only in death would the two lovers finally be united.

Nay, say no words, for you will only call the spirits of the underworld for you to end up in the same story, with the same maddening fate. Listen only and wonder, for what has graced your ears when you stumble upon this release, transcends humanity as a whole, and begs the question how the next creation of these Swedish artists rose above this poetic, lyrical, aggressive-yet-so-subtle, incredible piece of art. And once you have revelled in excellence and basked in this record's glory, you will finally judge the world by the truly divine standards of this Still Life, and be led into a mental state of euphoria surpassing your wildest dreams. This is not merely music, this is not merely four men on a stage, this is truly breathtaking art of the highest quality, and we should consider ourselves blessed that such a band graced us with this kind of intelligence.



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user ratings (3049)
Chart.
4.5
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Altmer
July 31st 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This might be drooling in fanboyism, but I am firmly of the opinion that Opeth is an adjective for awesome. This was one of my favourite reviews to write as well.

Hatshepsut
July 31st 2007



1997 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Nicely done.
I just listened to a little bit of this yesterday and found out again why I gave this a 5.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
July 31st 2007



3762 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wow, best concept review I've ever read. Good Job.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

Yazz_Flute
July 31st 2007



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, great review! This is my favorite album of all time.

Digging: Cormorant - Dwellings

Dethtrasher
July 31st 2007



2211 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Lucky for you that you wrote a concept review, Opeth reviews with 4.5 or 5 star ratings usually makes me bored. I'm not trying to be an ass but when will we see an Opeth review with a rating lesser than 3.5? Cool review though, but my interests in Opeth are vague, and I don't know why.

Doppelganger
July 31st 2007



3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review crushed my skull with Satanic might. Pos'd.

Tyler
Emeritus
July 31st 2007



7928 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

okay wow stop reviewing this.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2007



16260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Interesting review.... if this was a normal review I would say stop reviewing this album, but this review is good.

Lunarfall
July 31st 2007



3179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm gonna review Blackwater Park 100 times over.

metallicaman8
July 31st 2007



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The writing was excellent and the concept was cool, but there was very little actual album information. If someone who hadn't heard the album were to read this review I don't think they would really know what it sounded like.

Altmer
July 31st 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I definitely think it's discernable... a lot of the imagery is metaphorically used for playing skills, the album's concept, etc. It just requires the reader to read the review twice to see through all the imagery and description.

metallicaman8
July 31st 2007



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Most people are two lazy to read it twice, tbh.

Dulcinea
July 31st 2007



181 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Most people are too lazy to read it once.

Tyler
Emeritus
July 31st 2007



7928 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Discounting whether it's well written or not, I don't really think a poetical allegory for the album is even a review.

TheStarclassicTreatment
July 31st 2007



2910 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Why would Aliens want the best of every genre????
Anyway, this is damn near.

kalkal50
July 31st 2007



2386 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it was well written, but the extended metaphor didn't really tell me much, and it was a bit eccentric really

FR33L0RD
July 31st 2007



1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent album, indeed.

Kage
July 31st 2007



1173 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

NOOOOOO! Not another one!

I remember when Iai's was the only review for this album, and Cain's was the only one for Deliverance, etc. etc.

Those were good times.

It also doesn't help that each review says the exact same bullshit every time. He uses minor second intervals and throws in some acoustic guitars, get over it.This Message Edited On 07.31.07

Confessed2005
July 31st 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

lol @ Kage.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
July 31st 2007



3762 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

In some ways i like this review better than 'normal' review simply because it projects the atmosphere of the album really well - even if it does sacrifice most details. But honesty, no one remembers most of the details. People read reviews to get a feel for an album, and i think this review does that. Also, I just love imagery.



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