With the newest release added into the Opeth Empire, the band has managed to create another original sound that strikes directly in the middle of all their work. Many of the elements the band has used in the past are back, and in more of a delicate equilibrium than before. Brutality, speed, melody, atmosphere, and soft music have all been thrown into a musical melting pot and revealed to the metal world as what is now my favorite Opeth album since their debut. Fans of Damnation
will love this. Just as fans of Deliverance, Orchid, Still Life or any other album will love this. Quite simply, this is an Opeth album, and fans of the band aren’t receiving anything less than they expected.
Opeth is without a doubt one of the most unique metal bands on the planet. Their style of creating beautiful yet brutal music has set them far apart from any band. It would seem that one Opeth song in itself would be enough to generate an entire album, but they choose to carefully write each song as an epic experience.
Mikael Akerfeldt has also divulged that this is a concept album. It is based around occult themes, and is the first Opeth album to have occult influences for many years.
To me, this album is special because every song picks up and gets even better just when I think it’s going to get boring. I’m sorry, to really understand where I’m coming from, you’ll need to know a little bit about my history with Opeth (I’ll keep it brief). This is my second Opeth review. I suppose it wouldn’t be fair to call me a fan. I really like Orchid, but all of the songs I've heard from albums since then, save a few here and there, have struck me as unimaginably boring. I always felt their biggest downfall was that they stretched their music out way
too long. They would take a nice, promising sound, and turn it into a twenty-minute track, effectively killing it. I would listen for it to pick up, but it would just drag on and on until I just couldn’t take it anymore.
To say the least, to say the least, they've remedied that with Ghost Reveries
. With their new release, they take a nice, promising sound, and do exactly what I hope they do with it. The crushing brutality that I’ve come to love from ............Devil crack the earthly shell
Deliverance is not met with a gigantic letdown, but with ....................Foretold she was the one
something that accents the song entirely. Be it some vocals, ......Blew hope into the room and said:
a solo, a riff, some keyboards, or just a melody. They knew ..."You have to live before you die young"
what they were doing with this record (take THAT Roadrunner). ............- taken from Ghost of Perdition
For the first time I feel like I can pop in an Opeth album, let it run through completely, and not get bored. It’s a phenomenal feeling � to be surrounded by the hype of a supposedly amazing band and finally being able to join in. The excitement doesn’t stop five minutes into a song. It continues throughout and keeps me on my toes. I was always wondering, "What are they going to do now? Go acoustic? Become death metal with growling? Use the keyboards or maybe just build up atmosphere? That's what I look for in a metal album. A band that has a defined style but has enough creativity to be unique and unpredictable with every musical turn.
Taking a close look at the album content, there is much less acoustic work here than on previous albums. That’s not to say there's little or none -- that's not what I mean at all. Ghost of Perdition
has quite a bit, and is a nice throwback to Damnation
. It has eerie and unusual melodies, which are followed up by clean and softer guitar playing with Mikael's incredible singing. The heart of Beneath the Mire
is built around clean guitar playing, while Atonement
was over six minutes of pure soft metal with a very eastern feel to it. Reverie/Harlequin Forest
has a several minutes of acoustic and singing; actually, half of that entire song is soft and acoustic. The first few minutes of Hours of Wealth
are truly beautiful. Clean and acoustic guitars over keyboard playing -- it sounded almost jazz influenced, and couldn’t have been more emotional. Isolation Years
is in the very same vein. Very soft instrumental work and nothing but clean singing from Mike. It’s so emotional � and at a mere four minutes, it’s hard to get bored of this.
Fans of Deliverance
, such as myself, will be beyond pleased. Growling and screaming is copious on this ......................................
album, but it isn’t just mindless brutality. The speed on the entire band makes ........There falls another .........
this album very energetic and purely heavy metal. When the band isn’t .....Into acts to ease the pain............
settling down into a soft nest in Ghost of Perdition
, they're ....... ....Insane regrets that dwarf, ..........
releasing progressive carnage. The Baying of the Hounds
the instruments of death before me .....
has an impressive feel to it. Very heavy, but backed by good .... .......- taken from Reverie/Harlequin Forest........
synth. Just good old-fashioned death metal. Let me say one thing ................................................
before I go off -- if it’s brutality you're looking for, Opeth has reached a new death metal extreme with The Grand Conjuration
. For ten minutes the band is pushing themselves to the max. Chaotic chords precede an onslaught of heavily percussive drumming, guttural growling, and dark atmospheres. Mike's breaks for clean vocals make for an incredible buildup. Overall, this album is a brutal experience that rivals Deliverance
To make the mixture of sounds sound complete, Opeth uses some unusual keyboard sounds. The atmosphere created by them fits beautifully. Listen to the intro of Beneath the Mire
to get what I mean. This sound is used at the perfect moments; whether the band is engaging in a death metal extravaganza or toning to down to softer levels. Melody is often accented wonderfully, as in Isolation Years
, and sometimes brutality is backed by a darker feel, such as in The Grand Conjuration
. Per Wiberg really did an incredible job giving a defined feel to the mixture.
What I felt was the final nail in the ever-coveted coffin was the ....Never heard me saying goodbye
length of the songs. There’s nothing like In Mist She Was ..........Never shall I speak to anyone again
or Black Rose Immortal
here. The longest .....All days are in darkness and I'm biding my time
song, Ghost of Perdition
, clocks in at 11:20. Nothing .........Once I am sure of my task I will rise again
crazy. They play the song, keep it interesting, and don't ...................- taken from Hours of Wealth
drag it along twice as long as they should (which I felt they have
always done). Brief songs allow for more variety between tracks.
While this album carries fewer weak points than other Opeth albums, the band is still far from perfect. The boredom from the band dragging on and on without excitement still exists in some select places, such as most of Atonement
. The band has obviously perfected much of it’s use of clean/acoustic/softer music, but they overused it in some places. In songs such as Reverie/Harlequin Forest
and Ghost of Perdition
, they went too soft maybe a little too much. The great melodies were still stretched out in the middle of songs and became bland. They often remedied it by tapping into their brutal vein, but maybe they should've used that combination of sounds a little more.
The album opener, Ghost of Perdition
, is a good example of what this albums contains. It has a good balance between the heavier metal side and the trademark Opeth softness. Excellent melodies are abound, and the acoustic is reminiscent of Da
mnation. The Baying of the Hounds
is a good example of death metal backed by keyboards. The sound is kept but made more interesting by Mikael's clean singing. Beneath the Mire
is an unusual song. It has gothic keys, but has a semi-brutal sound that makes it stand out. Unique melodies and a flowing sound make it move along nicely. Atonement
is the closest thing to a downfall the album has. It has a beautiful sound, but is stretched out too thin and becomes boring after a couple minutes.
has an excellent sound. It’s essentially melodic heavy metal with singing. The acoustic work fits very well. Hours of Wealth
is similar to Atonement, but is much better. The song is soft but with more variety, preventing the boredom from setting in.The Grand Conjuration
is flat out death metal. It’s fast, it’s heavy, and Mikael’s growls could take the paint off a car. The song slows down and gets softer, but it’s more of a way to become dark and build back up to the heaviness. The closer, Isolation Years
, is a very solemn way to end an album such as this. It has a very beautiful sound. It’s the shortest song on the album so dragging it out was impossible. Better than Atonement, but possibly not quite as good as Hours of Wealth.
I hope you all found this review useful. To me, this album is Opeth's finest work since debuting in 1995. The record has something for everyone, no matter what aspect they're looking for. Actually, this album has inspired me to further my studies of past Opeth. All elements are masterfully blended and kept up to par for the entire hour+ of the album.
For those looking for something softer, I recommend Hours of Wealth. For the brutal death heads I recommend the Grand Conjuration. The rest of them all seem to have an artful balance of both.
- Excellent balance of brutal/melodic sounds
- Some of the best vocals in metal
- Every song is something new
- Songs rarely get boring