Opeth
Ghost Reveries


4.5
superb

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
August 29th, 2005 | 2215 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


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 at times.

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
Standing 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 Damnation. 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.

Reverie/Harlequin Forest 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.

Recommended tracks:
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.

Strengths include:
- Excellent balance of brutal/melodic sounds
- Some of the best vocals in metal
- Every song is something new
- Songs rarely get boring



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user ratings (3361)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jawaharal
August 29th 2005


1832 Comments


You might want to save this to your computer cause Med might delete it since it doesn't come out till tomorrow
I love the sidequotes. Great Review. Can't wait till tommorow

Shadows
Moderator
August 29th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks. It takes a lot of time. It was released today everywhere except for North America, so if he does delete it I'll be pissed.

Med57
Moderator
August 29th 2005


1001 Comments


Nah, I'm not going to delete it, as it's August 30 in the UK at the moment. Besides, I'd save it and e-mail it to you or something as it would be so close to the release date. Anyway, good review. I haven't heard this yet as I'm trying to resist temptation, but if it's better than everything since their debut, then I can't wait. Oh yeah, and your formatting looks very good. I like.This Message Edited On 08.29.05

Shadows
Moderator
August 29th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thank you very much.

Ace_of_Bass2112
August 29th 2005


257 Comments


ive always loved opeth, i love everyting about opeth (even the way the drag out songs) and from what i can tell from this review its another ace in the hole for them

but how does it stack up to mornigrise or blackwater park

Jawaharal
August 29th 2005


1832 Comments


Damn you america!!!!
anyways is the album heavy with soft in it or soft with heavy in it?

Shadows
Moderator
August 29th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thank you all.

Cheet-o, I'm not sure what you mean by that question.

Ace of Bass - I think it's better than anything they've done since Orchid, but I have a very different opinion of Opeth compared to most other fans.

Med, I'm getting very upset with sputnik. Can I petition for an Edit button and a Preview Post button in the review viewing/posting page so I don't have to keep going in circles back to the menus when I'm putting stuff like the quotes in? It's very frustrating and takes a lot of time the way it is now.This Message Edited On 08.29.05

Med57
Moderator
August 29th 2005


1001 Comments


Shadowsfallen-I'll try to get mx to take a look at it. I can't make any promises since we've got some fairly major issues pending that only he can change (coding related things), and they take priority at the moment. But yeah, I'll ask him about it.

Shadows
Moderator
August 29th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'd appreciate that. Obviously the code-related things would take priority, but I think an Edit and a Preview post button on the review would be a huge convenience for guys like me who edit their reviews a lot.

Keep posting comments my friends. I'm shooting for several pages with this one.

This is personally my favorite Opeth album so far. A unique, yet beautiful collection.

Jawaharal
August 29th 2005


1832 Comments


Shadows I meant is the album mainly soft like damnation or mainly heavy like blackwater park?

Shadows
Moderator
August 29th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

More along the heavier lines of Blackwater Park. It has soft moments, but this is primarily a brutal record.

Serapheus
August 29th 2005


251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been listening to this album for 4 days, because for sum reason it was released on the 26th here in Australia. The songs have more progressive sections where the tempo and vocals frequently change (to the point where it's difficult to say where a song starts and finishes) and listening to it is much like reading a book or a movie.

The only song I dislike is Beneath the Mire, because the guitar melody reminds me of sum dodgy computer game music.
4 minutes and 8 seconds into Ghost of Perdition KICKS ARSE. The intro of Reverie/Harlequin Forest is amazing with the "Into the Trees..." which sends tingles down my spine and The Grand Conjuration is a powerful rhythm-driven climax and definitely the most stunning and energetic track on the album.
Great review, it's definitely got my vote. :DThis Message Edited On 08.29.05

TheSubtleArts
August 29th 2005


16 Comments


i havent heard anything from this album yet, but im getting it tomarrow.

Taste_My_Scythe
August 29th 2005


3 Comments


Wow! Nicely done! Very thorough. Thanks for reviewing on this album; I realize this is definately a must have now. I've only heard The Grand Conjuration, and it's really good, so I'm sure I'll like everything else.

- TMS

Shadows
Moderator
August 29th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Everyone get it. Right now.

- Vedua :D

masada
August 29th 2005


2733 Comments


Make me!

:angry:

Shadows
Moderator
August 29th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

^^^ :mad: :smash: :evil: : DIE!!!!!!!! :

I'm afraid I can't. go buy itThis Message Edited On 08.30.05

Nra4ever_17
August 29th 2005


65 Comments


This is the next album I'm buying. Great review, now I can't wait.

Killtacular
August 29th 2005


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Eh, I've listened to this quite a few times, and I'm of the impression it's nowhere near the likes of Blackwater or Still Life. For now, it gets a 3.5.

You, friend, get an enthusiastic thumb for that brilliant review.

:thumb:!!

Kage
August 29th 2005


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm buying this tommorow when it comes out here in America. I can't wait...I haven't herad any of it except the Grand Conjuration, and I like it a lot. If it's anywhere near as good as Blackwater Park, I'll be extremely happy.

I'll read the full review after I get the album, but it looks really good. Nice lyric quotes in there.





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