Opeth
Deliverance


4.0
excellent

Review

by ManFalling USER (1 Reviews)
November 4th, 2009 | 37 replies | 3,421 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Opeth has reached such a dominant status in the musical canon that their music is judged with a higher set of standards than is the music of other bands. By analyzing such aspects of the entire album as muscianship, instrumentation, and conveyence, I have

0 of 4 thought this review was well written

As a new reviewer, I will place bolded headers at the top of each of my first few reviews (and throughout each) to both explain my critical approach and provide insight as to the general direction of the headings. I realize my style entails a different form of criticism than Sputnik is used to, but I have been writing critical essays for both literature and music in such a way and the professors are eating them up. I hope the members of this forum, who I know are fellow music fanatics, can appreciate a new approach which attempts to enunciate each part of an album with specific example.

Through my years as an avid listener, I cycled through many perspectives of what made music “good,” as I’m sure many of you have. In my approach, I attempt to cover each of the criteria that could be judged as “worthwhile” in a work of music, and base the album’s rating on the cumulative whole.


Opeth- Deliverance (4.2/5)
1. Sound. While many of us would not like to acknowledge the fact that a work’s overall “sound” (based on such things as tone, unique chord/note selection, and recording quality) is essential in judging music’s worth, it is an unmentioned fact that a sound is often the first thing we generalize music by, and is essential in how music is perceived. In addition, sound is the most basic element of music, and the typical place to begin describing a band/song.


Let’s face it: as far as the criteria listed above, Opeth’s sound is completely flawless.
The band’s tone is, and always has been, exactly what is attempted: powerful and empowering, precise and perfected, and overall harrowing. Its chord selection is found in its greatest beauty in Deliverance’s disenchanted acoustic sequences, although the inspiring quality of chords heard in heavier sections is not at all lacking. As far as the quality of studio production goes, two words speak all: Steven Wilson. The Porcupine Tree studio debonair comes to Opeth’s assistance to do the only thing that he does better than writing songs: making albums sound as top-notch as his work on Deliverance does.
(10/10)
2. Instrumentation (8.5/10). The next most obvious place to describe a work then comes in the instrumentation. It gives us a chance to break down the band into members, rate each, and arrive at an accumulative whole. This is not to be confused with musicianship. For the sake of criticism, let instrumentation entail only the member’s performances.

Mikael Akerfeldt Vocals (1.5/2.0) As we all know by now, Akerfeldt’s qualities are based both on his growls (which I’ve heard are artificially construed) and his sung melodies. Overall, the growls are lacking compared to other Opeth. Examples include the entirely painful introduction of Master’s Apprentices and the equally painful Wreath. His sung vocals, as always, redeem him. The most impressive example, is perhaps during the turning point of Deliverance, when he destructively and assertively, yet lightly as ever, declares: “The downward spiral never ends, when driven into sin,” etc.

Fredrik Akesson Guitars (1.5/2.0) The only real issue I have with Akesson’s guitar work is the same issue that will later be mentioned in ‘Song Structure:’ the dangerously uncharacteristic and minimal guitar parts found in several song middles. Although these rhiffs seem to exist to keep the song’s aggressively mounted into their new-found ‘heavier heaviness.’ However, the songs suffer as a result of this occasionally found garbage (you guitarists must recognize the various D E F rhiffs which play for minutes).
Martin Mendez Bass (1.5/2.0) The problem with Mendez’s bassmanship is that he is convicted on mirroring Akesson, even in parts where it would be more efficient to fill. When compared with a slap bass interlude found on the title track of Blackwater Park, makes Mendez seem lazier than before. In addition, when such songs as By the Pain I See in Others and Deliverance enter a soft, oddly-timed interlude, Mendez (and Akesson, for that matter), locks into note combination instead of finding a groove.

Martin Lopez Drums (2.0/2.0) Undisputable. In Deliverance, Lopez makes up for the shortcomings of his bandmates when they arise. He goes above and beyond expectations in filling and rhythmic break-through in both the odd-timed soft grooves and double-bass ridden ‘boring’ rhiffs. Astonishing. From beginning to end, astonishing.
Per Wiberg Synth (2.0/2.0) Brooding, enlightening, and constantly illuminated, few could argue that Wiberg has ever done anything but improve the breath-taking atmosphere of Opeth’s music.

3. Musicianship (9/10). As a musician fascinated in music theory, myself, I feel myself at least adequately qualified to make judgement’s about the musical knowledge and technicality a band expresses.
Opeth’s repertoire has caused its music to be considered synonymous with musical technicality, and this album hardly falls short. Compact with odd time signatures, odd note combination in even combination, a new chord for every rhiff (see the move from tritones to diminished 7th/major etc. progression which the title track presents, and flawlessly executed arpeggios of scales have of us have never heard of (i.e. By The Pain I See in Others and A Fair Judgment), Opeth fulfills. However, whether or not you personally believe speed contributes to the impressiveness of musicianship, the album lacks driving speed, which bumps it down to a 9, and not a ten.

4. Song Structure (7/10). As an avid songwriter, I personally have found myself drawn away from traditional song structure. However, I try to contain an open mind when hearing traditional structures, as long as it does not draw from the quality. I find this area most easy to judge by taking the ‘scores’ of the high point of structure on the album, the low, and the average.

High (10/10) Deliverance- In my opinion, the title track reaches a level unattained by the rest of the album. In the start, the song conveys tritones in a chordal manner which implies them a new manner. The song maintains an angry tone for the first half, and then enters a breathtaking three-part finale sequence which starts at the turning point mentioned above. The second part is a more advanced retake of an earlier sequence in which Akerfeldt repeats: “Deliverance, thrown back at me.” The finale sequence, as I’m sure many of you agree, is absolutely breath-taking, and is perhaps the best musical section Opeth has ever created (Rhythm:- 1 2 3 4 --- 1 2 3 4 5--- 1234- 1- 12345- 1~~~~~~~1 1-123-123-123-123-123-123)

Low (4/10) I, for some reason, expect many of you hold the same opinion of Wreath as I do: to drop the ‘academic voice’ for a second, it’s the most boring piece of *** Opeth has ever created. Excessively boring rhiffs carried on far too excessively. Oh, man. Not up to standards.

Average (7/10) Although songs like my discussed standout, By the Pain I See in Others and A Fair Judgment mostly ascend standards, the commonly found simple churning double-bass rhiffs incorporated to keep the album grounded into a heavier feel create a sense of boredom and impatience in the overall song structure.

5. Lyical/Conveyance (7.5/10). As I above mentioned, I am just as interested in literature and finding meaning in art as I am music. I have judged the album based on the ‘quality’ of its lyrics and the way the music conveys that.

When compared to the near-simultaneously released Damnation, Deliverance is lacking in its lyrics. One example is the far-too-repetitive for not containing imagery “There is A…” sequence in Master’s Apprentices. The couplets found in A Fair Judgment (Losing sleep, in to deep. Fading sun, what have I done?) appear both useless and annoying to me. Surprisingly, Wreath’s lyrics (if you get that deep in your analysis) seem to be the best on the album, paired with Delieverance. Wreath: “Watching myself in a pool of water, wearing the mask of a ghost, smeared all over my skin.” However, this directly cites an example of the problem in the album’s doubling lyrics with tone: the potentially powerful lyrics are in the unrelateable songs, an vice verse.
Sound: 10
Instrumentation: 8.5
Musicianship: 9
Structure: 7
Lyrical/Conveyance: 7.5
TOTAL-42/50
4.2/5


user ratings (2372)
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3.9
excellent
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Jom
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2009



2634 Comments


I have been writing critical essays for both literature and music in such a way and the professors are eating them up.


Welcome to Sputnik, where few, if any, care about your supposed credentials.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2009



16260 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Most bizarre review structure I have ever seen.

Album is pretty boring. You can find better Opeth albums, for sure.

johnnyblaze
November 4th 2009



2595 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You gave Mikael a 1.5/2!!!

You do realize he plays guitar and writes the songs, right?
Oh, and Fredrik didn't play on Deliverance..

Kiran
Emeritus
November 4th 2009



6000 Comments


you should proof-read this, a lot of grammatical errors here. also, at least for me, your "academic voice" makes this an extremely dull read. it's almost mechanical how you've broken everything about this record down into parts and ratings.

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

Thor
November 4th 2009



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Akesson didn't play on this album, dude.

TheSpirit
November 4th 2009



17183 Comments


Most annoying review ever.

Digging: vhmnt / blsphm - vhmnt / blsphm

Thor
November 4th 2009



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I realize my style entails a different form of criticism than Sputnik is used to, but I have been writing critical essays for both literature and music in such a way and the professors are eating them up.

Community college is a bitch.

TheSpirit
November 4th 2009



17183 Comments


Sic Burn

marksellsuswallets
November 4th 2009



4848 Comments


It's funny how Akerfeldt admits to knowing next to nothing about theory...

KILL
November 4th 2009



70599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thats funny

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Phrike
November 4th 2009



1691 Comments


Brh00tal rhiffs

bloc
November 4th 2009



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's funny how Akerfeldt admits to knowing next to nothing about theory...

i was very surprised when i learned that.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

eggsvonsatan
November 4th 2009



1087 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awful review. Reeks of pretentiousness. Also, as much as I love this album. I don't think that the production is that great compared to other Opeth albums. Akerfeldt's growls often sound very muddled and hollow.
I'm not going to neg it, since its your first, but for your next review, I would synthesize things a little better, cut out the math, and stop telling us about how great you are.



I have been writing critical essays for both literature and music in such a way and the professors are eating them up.
As a musician fascinated in music theory, myself, I feel myself at least adequately qualified to make judgement’s about the musical knowledge and technicality a band expresses.
s an avid songwriter, I personally have found myself drawn away from traditional song structure.
I am just as interested in literature and finding meaning in art as I am music


There's nothing that i hate more than college know-it-alls

Pessimist
November 4th 2009



191 Comments


Terrible review structure and really annoying review.

Eclectic
November 4th 2009



3302 Comments


wow, I am really tempted to neg this, but I'm not going to.
This site caters for amateurs as well as proffesionals so we don't really care if you're qualified to talk about the music, we do it without the qualifications and everyone likes our reviews.
Here's a hint, smooth it out. Yes you can structure it as an essay but you don't need to show the scaffolding, its kind of ugly.
Other than that it was a well written review.

Slimjim367
November 4th 2009



512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well i can see professers would 'eat this up' sputnik is verrrrrrry harsh these days haha

okay review, except, well to quote everyone else
VERY pretentious

though it can be a good thing if it's used right
you completely killed it

remember this isnt being MARKED okay?>
your review is supposed to INTERESt people and make them WANt to read it.

college. BAH humbug

Slimjim367
November 4th 2009



512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

p.s.

lol

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2009



30882 Comments


"As a new reviewer, I will place bolded headers at the top of each of my first few reviews (and throughout each) to both explain my critical approach and provide insight as to the general direction of the headings. I realize my style entails a different form of criticism than Sputnik is used to, but I have been writing critical essays for both literature and music in such a way and the professors are eating them up. I hope the members of this forum, who I know are fellow music fanatics, can appreciate a new approach which attempts to enunciate each part of an album with specific example."

That literally made me not want to read this review (essay).
Maybe could've been saved for a first comment?

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Poet
November 4th 2009



5920 Comments



Awful review. Reeks of pretentiousness


Doesn't make the review bad.

wow, I am really tempted to neg this, but I'm not going to.

Because it isn't bad.

The review itself is a bit out there, but in general it's well written. Although this

(Rhythm:- 1 2 3 4 --- 1 2 3 4 5--- 1234- 1- 12345- 1~~~~~~~1 1-123-123-123-123-123-123)

I don't get at all.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2009



30882 Comments


"Low (4/10) I, for some reason, expect many of you hold the same opinion of Wreath as I do: to drop the ‘academic voice’ for a second, it’s the most boring piece of *** Opeth has ever created. Excessively boring rhiffs carried on far too excessively. Oh, man. Not up to standards."

Who exactly are you writing this review for?



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