Opeth
My Arms, Your Hearse


4.5
superb

Review

by Serapheus USER (9 Reviews)
October 31st, 2005 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


ďEwww, thatís too yelly", my friend will say with a sour face when death metal or even just metal music is acknowledged. People are sceptical about heavy metal, and I used to be, thinking that the vocals are terrible because they canít be understood and they are too angry. Swedish metallers Opeth showed me the vocals are just another instrument capable of more emotion than lyrical content. My purchase of Blackwater Park began a long adventure into the band that is Opeth.

Prologue kicks off the album with the pitter patter of raindrops this pretty little moment of atmosphere soon fades into the eccentric melancholic piano notes. April Ethereal is opened by Mikael crooning a long note. WHAMO!!!!!! Lopez kicks in with stomach-pounding machine-gun double kicks and a mighty onslaught of simple yet dissonant riffs tear through the air like a flock of bloodthirsty demons. This blistering insanity is strengthened by Mikaelís demonic death growls and this dense mass of music is only destabilized by the softer instrumental sections with plenty of variation in drumming and riffs. This is the beginning of My Arm, Your Hearse which is the third volume by Opeth.

Opeth contains Mikael Akerfeldt on vocals, guitars and bass, Peter Lingren on Guitars and Martin Lopez's first time with Opeth on drums. (Martin Mendez was new to the band and didnít get to crank out his bass until they started touring for this album), but back to the album...

When begins similarly to Prologue/April Ethereal except a vibrant guitar replaces the eerie piano. Suddenly Mikaelís irate scream makes a lunge for your eardrums fully armed with the rest of the band. An aggression which April Ethereal touched on is elevated on When, but the aggression soon recedes to expose the soft fragile acoustic sections. These sections weave in an out as soon disappear back into the vile aggression then back down into the luscious softness. There is a very pumping breakdown in this song which includes the assault of the lower E-string. Clean vocals are then applied by Mikael to great advantage, they are excellent and make the perfect contrast to his earth-shattering growls

Madrigal begins slowly with very colourful yet glum acoustic guitar work. A wicked use of reverb makes it ghostly and haunting. The Amen Corner kicks in with a powerful riff which repeats and embellishes itself over and over. This shows the guitar driven side of Opeth which is what they have explored with their later albums. The song breaks down features a delightful guitar solo and some clean vocals then fades out. I saw this song played live a few days ago the riffs are absolutely crushing - Opeth are a must-see live.

What is that terrifying noise?
Demon of the Fall opens with random growls and a weird sampled-like noise (think the intro of Immortal Rites by Morbid Angel) then it hurdles into melodic guitar lines and some pumping drumming from Lopez. Demon of the Fall shows a more driving, epic and daunting side of Opeth. Mikaelís screaming is brutal featuring piercing screams as the music textures rumble and expand. ďRun away, run away" sings Mikael amongst the chaos which gradually gives way to a sad acoustic melody. Credence follows on from the acoustic beauty of the previous song, The acoustic hooks loop wildly around Mikaelís words of sadness and loneliness. This is a very sad yet beautiful tune and features some of my favourite soft acoustic playing on the album. Karma kicks in fast, hard and furious with chaotic drumming by Lopez he pounds his bass drums like their going to rip his legs off. The furious Karma slows down with more growls and dips into the same soft revealing passages typical of Opeth. The brutality appears once again and features a climatic scream by Mikael which lasts pretty long, but just sounds like several screams overlayed. My drummer friend named his puppy after this song...

Epilogue is born from the ashes of Karma and has a very reflective jazzy quality. It features keys by producer Fredrik Nordstrom with some nice effects and has a very different taste to whole of MAYH. None the less its nice to listen to after Karma bashed your head around. Mikael and Peter have a little jam time in this tune and play very loose and uplifting solos.

The bonus tracks Circle of the Tyrant (Celtic Forst cover) and Remember Tomorrow (Iron Maiden cover) are fine cover songs for the Opeth completist, but they screwed up the flow for the album for me and they take off that half star that would've made it a perfect album.

MAYH is a must for any Opeth fan with itís flowing concept, lyrical story and excellent performances by the band, if you don't love the brutal arse-kicking heavy moments then the soft sections might appeal to you. Mike's vocals have improved incredibly since Orchid and Morningrise Anyone into metal should give Opeth a try, they have plenty to offer.

Pros:
-Impeccable instrumentation
-Epic, dramatic and powerfully emotional music
-Interesting and well-written lyrical concept
-Mike's growls are aggressive yet coherent

Cons
-Sheer heaviness and intensity of the music is an acquired taste for some
-Unnecessary repetitions of the same riff in sections of tunes
-Growls aren't for everyones' ears
-Bonus tracks should be included on a separate CD as they screw up the albums flow

Recommended Tracks:
-Demon of the Fall
-When



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user ratings (2178)
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4.2
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Serapheus
October 31st 2005


251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

my first Opeth review YAY!!!. Comments are welcome

Pete
October 31st 2005


189 Comments


I think you have some weird edition with those extra cover songs, because I don't have those.

ocelot-05
October 31st 2005


807 Comments


Hey good job Serapheus. The only song I have is Demon Of The Fall, and I should definitely check out the rest. No offense, the2stranger, but your review was better than the old one, Serapheus. The other one was more of a walk-through, but yours described it more.

You got my vote.This Message Edited On 10.31.05

Shadows
Moderator
October 31st 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great work Serapheus. I like this album a lot, but not quite as much as Ghost Reveries or Blackwater Park. The first few lines made me laugh, so keep it up.

Killtacular
October 31st 2005


1314 Comments


This is the only Opeth album I haven't given my full attention yet, and as a result, I don't care much for it.

Jawaharal
October 31st 2005


1832 Comments


This is the only Opeth album I haven't given my full attention yet, and as a result, I don't care much for it.

I command you to listen to it now

Killtacular
October 31st 2005


1314 Comments


Damnation is more important at the moment, sir.

Toaster
October 31st 2005


343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

MAYH is way better than Damnation. Damnation is hardly Opeth, with no growling and hardly a distorted guitar to be heard, it's lacking Opeth's true greatness- balancing heavy and light.

IMO.

Serapheus
October 31st 2005


251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Whenever I play Damnation I have to finish it off with Deliverance. If they made Damnation/Deliverance a double album it certainly would've kicked the Foo Fighters one in the balls.

Killtacular
October 31st 2005


1314 Comments


Damnation owns MAYH and nearly every other Opeth album, too.

Serapheus
November 4th 2005


251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damnation is good, but not a fair representation of Opeth's sound.

Killtacular
November 4th 2005


1314 Comments


The same could be said for Radiohead's Kid A, but it doesn't stop it from being their (almost) best album.

Serapheus
November 5th 2005


251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's Kid A versus OK Computer for me.

Serapheus
November 25th 2005


251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

April Ethereal/When is the summit of this album. Uber brilliant.

Phil
December 19th 2005


1473 Comments


i much prefer this rewiew then the other one. it has a better feel and it describes the songs as an album not individually.

Serapheus
December 30th 2005


251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah same, Opeth are coming to my hometown in April, i'm so excited I can't wait to hear some of Mikael's on stage jokes and ranting!!This Message Edited On 12.30.05

Priestmetal
February 8th 2006


542 Comments


Im seeing them live next week!!!

Whale and Wasp
March 12th 2006


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review! i like this album and yea i agree that its hard to get into but once you get into it its awesome

Alex
June 27th 2006


12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you should shoot your friend :thumb:

Thor
September 10th 2006


10201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Epilogue has some of the best dual-soloing ever.



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