Opeth
My Arms, Your Hearse


4.5
superb

Review

by Darkvoid67 USER (31 Reviews)
October 15th, 2010 | 120 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Opeth's most overlooked album also happens to be one of their best

Opeth are, well and truly a band who need no introduction-virtually inventing the genre of progressive death metal through each and every album they have produced, they have risen to well and truly stand head’s and shoulders above most metal bands who ever existed. Bursting onto the scene with one of the most calculated and refined debut’s you will probably ever listen to in the form of “Orchid”, nine albums into their relatively short career and they have never ceased to amaze, never let up in their ability to draw you in with their gloriously rich sound. Having proved that in 1996 everyone else should watch out, with “Morningrise”, “My Arms...” continues in much of the same frame of mind. Not only does it top its predecessor, but in many ways it could quite easily top all but two of their albums.

Rain isn’t half depressing-here in England you’ll be lucky to go five days without a pitter patter sounding on your rooftop, and the album opens with the aforementioned weather formation. It’s an interesting enough opener, for what follows is hardly the cheeriest of concept albums you’ll hear. Based around a character that dies, he then becomes a ghost who watches over his loved one in increasing turmoil as he suspects she did not grieve enough about his passing. All is good though, as he gets what he wants with her never being able to accept his death. Sure enough, the album is not going to be the most upbeat thing you will hear-deep growling, sludgy metal riffs and depressing, Pink Floyd-esque guitars are everywhere, but this is a good thing. This is one of the most emotional and heartfelt records I have ever heard, created by some of Sweden’s finest musicians in the process.

The very fact that only three albums into their career, many people could tell Opeth were something special only certifies the quality of the music on display here. Being able to transition from doom-laden riffs to chilling cleans and acoustic melodies have never really sounded as dramatic as on the album being reviewed here. This is partially because it has never been done quite so well on its predecessor’s, but also because, at the end of the day only three men made the music. Everyone on this record, playing is top notch-there are admittedly one or two times where you think “that sounds like so and so” but the overall quality makes you forget minor details.

There is also a fan-favourite on this album-“Demons of the fall”. Imagine an almost Viking inspired marching riff, if you would, followed by expansive, melodic guitar work and some horrendously powerful vocals, and this is the basis for some of the sweetest six minutes and thirteen seconds of your life. Other mentions really should go to “When” and “April Ethereal”, both barrelling along at a hundred-odd miles an hour, accompanied by poignant drum ride fills and demonic vocals. Some of Opeth’s finest early moments.

There is, however, one or two niggles on display here that mean it doesn’t go at the top of Opeth’s admittedly brilliant discography. For a start, it is a nineties album, which means nineties tape mastering. At times, the drums overpower everything, especially if you have the first release as I have, and sometimes the sound quality drops dubiously low, especially during some noisy clean parts, which is a shame as they help to lift the record. Secondly, I listened to this after listening to “Blackwater Park” and “Still Life”. Silly I know, but it just didn’t quite live up to the exceptional highs of those albums, even with three of my all time favourite Opeth songs on it.

However, this can hardly significantly detract from what is one of Opeth’s finest hours. Setting out the blue-print for the fortress that would be “Blackwater...” and “Still Life”, this album really does contain some spectacular highs in it that meant it is one of the bands most inspired releases. Even with such a rich history, “My Arms...” stands out as something spectacular in Opeth’s book of memories, and even metal’s most casual listener would have trouble not being caught up in the whirlwind that is “My Arms, Your Hearse”. Highly recommended.

Recommended Listens:

1. April Ethereal
2. When
3. Demon's of the fall
4. Credence



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Comments:Add a Comment 
vanderb0b
October 15th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Best Opeth.


Darkvoid67
October 15th 2010


383 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Not quite. Very near the top though

vanderb0b
October 15th 2010


3473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For me, it's either this or Still Life.


virtually inventing the genre of progressive death metal

wrong. See Cynic, Death, Atheist.

Decent review otherwise.

Darkvoid67
October 15th 2010


383 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ok, maybe not quite, but they are probably the most well known

G3N3R1C
October 15th 2010


1945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I admittedly haven't listened to their first 3 albums as much as their later material, but from the i HAVE spent with this album, i do think it is seriously awesome.

What's weird, though, is that i actually have seen this album in a couple of different stores, but i cannot find a copy of Still Life ANYWHERE off the internet.

Darkvoid67
October 15th 2010


383 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

errr...amazon? emp3.com?

G3N3R1C
October 15th 2010


1945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I said anywhere OFF the internet, not on. I don't like buying off websites unless i absolutely have to. I have never seen a copy of Still Life in any store anywhere.

Hawks
October 15th 2010


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is their best.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2010


16467 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would be hard pressed to call this Opeth's most overlooked album, that would definitely go to Orchid. This album is pretty universally heralded as one of Opeth's best.

Darkvoid67
October 15th 2010


383 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Its overlooked because still life followed it and everyone heads for that one. It is also a very good album

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2010


16467 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

After Blackwater Park and Still Life people often turn to this album, followed by Ghost Reveries.

Hawks
October 15th 2010


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I would agree with Crysis that Orchid is the most overlooked. It's my least favorite Opeth album, but it's still worth no less than a 4.

SCREAM!
October 15th 2010


10341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

just listened to orchid again today actually. Its really no more than a 3.5 which is low by opeth standards

Crimson Death
October 15th 2010


533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Demon's of the fall

Itwasthatwas
October 15th 2010


772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good but not their best. Transitions and execution not really as strong on Still Life, Ghost Reveries, or BWP. Also, don't think the rawer production really adds anything to this album


kangaroopoo
October 15th 2010


3175 Comments


This is ultimately as enjoyable for me as any of their albums.

When and Demon Of The Fall just brilliant.

I rate Mrise, MAYH, SL, BP, Deliv above Ghost Reveries.

ShadowRemains
October 15th 2010


21329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

possibly my favorite opeth album

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2010


6286 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is BY FAR the best Opeth album.



No Steve Wilson tutoring

No neo-prog influences

NO KEYBOARDS!!!!!!!!!

Only pure Opeth.-


Immaculate death/black metal from the lands of the North...



Timeless.

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

Helvete
October 16th 2010


1354 Comments


KARMA

NeroCorleone80
October 16th 2010


29913 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome album. Buts theres about 3 opeth albums i'd put before it.



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