Opeth
Blackwater Park


5.0
classic

Review

by Kevin K USER (58 Reviews)
April 20th, 2011 | 68 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


The setting could best be associated with a dark, weathered forest, with Opeth’s fifth studio album, Blackwater Park, being a perplexing shadow. It’s not the first album like this, but the distinction here is what Opeth casts their shadow on. Rather than dimming the lights on religion and violence, Blackwater Park takes lost love, mourning and even bits of nature to their uniquely dark place. “Bleak” leers like a thick fog, verses creeping alongside the eerie mist that makes up the album’s surroundings. “Patterns in the Ivy” is more vaguely sinister, blending pianos and acoustic guitar to bring a more subtle atmosphere to the album.

The sound here is layered and heavy, balancing gentle acoustic passages and clean vocals (“Harvest”) with progressive metal sections and fierce growls (“Blackwater Park”) in a brilliantly deep abyss that beckons (and almost requires) several focused listens. Generally the growls go excellently alongside the heavier parts, but in the case of “The Drapery Falls” it fits clean vocals into the package yet still inherits the strength of the songs before it. Likewise, “Dirge for November” sandwiches a heavier core between an acoustic intro and outro, and “Blackwater Park” executes a stellar progressive blend between the two.

Opeth fuse atmosphere with excellent instrumentation to create something thick, something that draws you in to submerge yourself and rewards you the entire way in. Blackwater Park feels like wandering through foliage at night, a sound that is organic but puts your mind into dark, pensive thought. The album is grim but it’s neither threatening nor a predator, almost elusive to attention but so very deserving of it.



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user ratings (4639)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Arkaik (5)
    Amazing....

    bigdickedguy (3)
    Boring, this album has far too much drag and unnecessary filler....

    ImTheOnlyThugInTheBuildin (5)
    Beautiful Brutality...

    Brendan Schroer (5)
    A breathing canvas of overwhelming beauty, Opeth's Blackwater Park is one of the biggest l...

  • Tom Gellatly (4)
    Opeth's first foray into the 21st century saw them drawing together everything they'd atte...

    crometeef (5)
    Opeth effortlessly blend various emotions, brutality and overall euphoria with "Blackwater...

    AvantKiller (5)
    A comprehensive, admirable, good taste, Heavy Metal response to the Progressive Rock of th...

    interviewer02 (2.5)
    Heavy Metal's most overrated album by Heavy Metal's most overrated band....

  • Eternalnow (5)
    A fantastic progressive metal masterpiece...

    HoudiniLogic (5)
    Opeth's Blackwater Park is more than just 8 songs on a compact disc, its the true definiti...

    Alex Silveri EMERITUS (3)
    Blackwater Park - an amazing evocation of musical styles that in the end, simply dosn't li...

    Steven Moore (5)
    Blackwater park was the first opeth album I ever got and I will never grow tired of listen...

  • Shadows (5)
    Opeth albums are storms of unsung art, reaching through barriers to touch all sorts of peo...

    Kit Brown (5)
    It's almost worth the mounds of hyperbolic claims it receives....

    Killtacular (4)
    ...

    Cain (5)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
WashboardSuds
April 20th 2011


5035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah I know, metaphor's retarded, too short, needs moar 5 reviews. rolling the dice a bit here, just unsure if this is an effective way to describe the album. comments/criticism appreciated

Digging: Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura & Otomo... - Good Morning Good Night

bowlofsoup
April 20th 2011


1073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, another one.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2011


16789 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first sentence, is a little comma, happy. but other than that a stellar review, especially considering its length. pos'd.

Digging: Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

bowlofsoup
April 20th 2011


1073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some sentences look like they would be better broken up, but it's pretty good.

bowlofsoup
April 20th 2011


1073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pos'd as well

WashboardSuds
April 20th 2011


5035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks guys, I'll come back to fix this later. review is pretty experimental

dimsim3478
April 20th 2011


5332 Comments


Fantastic review, way too short. Not gonna pos', not gonna neg'.

[EDIT] Okay, the awesomeness of this review outweighs it's length. Pos'.

Digging: Owen - Other People's Songs

Drsmith4
April 20th 2011


1717 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh my fucking god

bowlofsoup
April 20th 2011


1073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Given that the review is good, can we ignore that it's the 12th one? If that's what you're referring to.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2011


6287 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Now that's an underground band that I am not aware of...



just kidding, good review.

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2011


16789 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Opeth? How do you even pronounce that? You are into some crazy indie underground shit man

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2011


31493 Comments


I can't get behind this review

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2011


8938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

who are opeth again? [:

WashboardSuds
April 20th 2011


5035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't get behind this review


if it's because of the way I described their sound I understand entirely, probably doesn't make the most sense

bowlofsoup
April 20th 2011


1073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review's fine, just a bit weird

Slum
April 20th 2011


2579 Comments


inb4 shadows quote

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2011


16789 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the way you described it

WashboardSuds
April 20th 2011


5035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

where the fuck is Irving

and thanks Sowing :]

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2011


16789 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why do you care where Irving is? Does he like this album or something?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2011


31493 Comments



if it's because of the way I described their sound I understand entirely, probably doesn't make the most sense


No it's not that. What's written is nice enough there's just not much of it. I'm all for short reviews but there's barely anything here to truly justify your rating. That tormented wood nymph line is a little ott for my tastes though



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