Opeth
Still Life


5.0
classic

Review

by Hatshepsut USER (13 Reviews)
July 24th, 2006 | 32 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


Nearly nothing can actually motivate me to write a review of an album that already has a fine review. Call this an exception.

Yeah I love it that much.

After having listened to nearly nothing except Opeth and Circle Takes the Square for about three weeks (besides some albums I listened to just to hear if they're good or not) I've been...clueless, if you will, about any other music or band. Opeth's Still Life has grabbed me, inspired me, even, like few other albums have, such as As the Roots Undo had just days before writing this review. After listening to the same seven songs nonstop for about four or five days, I've come to the conclusion that this album is my favorite album of all time. I cannot find one part of a song, not even for a few seconds, where I'd say "When will it end, because this is getting annoying" or anything close to that. It sounds fan-boyish, but I can't help it. I can't pick a favorite song, as it changes from one song to the next, going to all seven songs, then going back and starting over.

Starting from The Moor and ending with White Cluster, I have been completely addicted to each of the seven songs on this CD. The instrumentation is flawless. The musicianship of this group is excellent. The mix of pounding, punishing death metal, complete with the evil riffs and fantastic drumming, and soft, depressing acoustic ballads (often in the same song) is amazing. I never thought my favorite band would have a growler as a vocalist, as I thought I'd actually have a grudge against that kind of singing. I thought I'd prefer normal singing, as in "normal" rock/alternative bands. But it happened, and I don't want to let go.

The guitars are wonderful. Peter Lindgren and Mikael Akerfeldt's guitar riffs, as in songs such as Godhead's Lament, Moonlapse Vertigo, Serenity Painted Death, or any other song besides the ballads, are addicting. Mixing normal, fast, single-note riffing adding an evil touch with octave chords, with more of a happy note, is interesting as well. There are quite a few solos to compliment the song and riffs, with my favorites coming from Godhead's Lament, Moonlapse Vertigo, Face of Melinda and White Cluster. Some are slower and are easier to play, such as Godhead's Lament's solo, but is still beautifully played and can inspire some mediocre players to solo, like myself. Moonlapse Vertigo's and White Cluster's solos have a tremendous buildup from the drums, and their solos are much faster, but equally as addicting. Face of Melinda's solo isn't even single notes; they're chords, but it's obviously a solo. It still grabs you attention, as well as being fun to play. As for the ballads, Benighted and Face of Melinda, they are nothing short of beautiful. They're two of my favorite songs to play on guitar, since I've basically converted to only acoustic/clean electric guitar songs. Benighted is fully acoustic, with the drums coming in much later than the start, and is very mellow, depressing and quiet. Face of Melinda actually has the distortion and electric come in later in the song, but the growling stays out, which is very interesting. The solo, as I mentioned, is actually chords, but is very enjoyable.

Martin Lopez rules. His drumming adds an extra kick into every song, including my favorite drum part, White Cluster. About 5 and a half minutes into the song, I focus in on the drums. It's a drum solo, pretty fast, then the double bass kicks in and it blends everything together. Then some tom rolls, and a few drum rolls, mixed and matched, and then a couple of hits on the high hat later, there's about five seconds where it's just drums and nothing else. The guitar solo comes in after that, making for one of my favorite moments in music. This one drum part is reminiscent of the rest of the album's drumming. It's not nearly as good, but it's pretty darn solid. There are a ton of tom rolls just where the song needs a fill, double bass used to blend in and bridge two parts of a song and then some, and drum rolls to release the tension set just before it. Lopez adds a vital touch many bands can't offer. Not many bands have a Martin Lopez to make their music that much better. Not even Opeth have him now, as he has quit due to back problems.

Now for the Mikael Akerfeldt part of the review. Both his singing and lyric-writing (guitar playing too) are key parts of the band, arguably the most important. His vocals change the entire mood of the song. If he growls during the electric part of Face of Melinda, the song would gain a darker look, instead of the peacefulness it has without it. As I said before, I never thought I'd enjoy growling, let alone have it in my favorite band. Not only is Akerfeldt's growling interesting to hear, but his clean vocals are tremendous as well. This man has some voice. In every song except the two ballads, he uses both his growling technique along with his clean singing, making the same song sound like three or four. His lyric-writing is great also, as most fans expect nothing short of pure poetry in every song and album. "Adoring what never has been...Some will bring with them all they have seen," bellows Mikael during Godhead's Lament. "Once you’re into this night, all minds are stable. Forget all your needs; lose the grip of all control", he sings during the mellow Benighted. Or perhaps "Each and every one would die at my hand, choking in warm ponds of blood. At last, weak and torn, I went down, drained from strength, flickering breath" would do it for you, off Serenity Painted Death. There's plenty more where that comes from. He has a rather large vocabulary as well. What's a dogma? Decrepit? How about miasma, marauder, or paragon? These aren't exactly every day words, but I take it that he's using the words correctly.

As you can see, I cannot get enough of this album. All the songs grab me in a way that I don't want them to let go. Mikael Akerfeldt's growing and clean singing, his lyric writing, his and Lindgren's guitar riffs and solos, and Martin Lopez's drumming are top notch. This is an easy classic in my eyes, and always will be.

Best songs:
See Tracklist


Overall Album Rating: 5/5 [Classic]



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user ratings (3164)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Benny243 (5)
    Powerful, beautiful masterpiece, my favorite album of all time....

    Justin Swope (4.5)
    Still Life is a detailed and powerful juxtaposition of the light and the darkness....

    J2e2c (5)
    There is not much to say in the summary other than: this is a genius prog-metal masterpiec...

    i want to mort. (5)
    One of the masterpieces of Opeth, rising to be one of their classics with its smoothness a...

  • TheAnalyzer (5)
    NEEDS MOAR OPETH...

    SadlyMisinformed (3)
    Unmemorable and frustrating at times, which is dissapointing considering the frightening a...

    Sean (5)
    Truly Opeth's most defining album. Still Life is an absolute masterpiece, which, in my opi...

    Jorn van Schaïk (5)
    If aliens landed on earth and asked us to show the best record for every genre, this is a ...

  • Kalle J. (5)
    Still Life for now may be just another album due for file sharing, but it will have an imp...

    Andrew Barr (MM8) (4.5)
    Next time you come to a fork in the road and you're not sure whre to go, think of this alb...

    yellowmomma (5)
    ...

    Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4.5)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Hatshepsut
July 24th 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Must edit...
Yeah yeah, it's not needed blah blah blah. But hey, I can't help it.

pixiesfanyo
July 24th 2006


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Contact me on AIM with Pixiesfanyo

and I'll send you something that'll blow this album out of the water.

Leper Affinity
July 24th 2006


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album. Not a bad review either.

I guess once I write my SL review it will be three within close quarters of each other. :p

Neoteric
July 24th 2006


3243 Comments


I\'m listening to this right now, good sh[font=verdana]i[/font]t.This Message Edited On 07.24.06

Hatshepsut
July 24th 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

What are you gonna send me?

I guess once I write my SL review it will be three within close quarters of each other.

I don't get it

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2006


16089 Comments


Someone reviewed this just yesterday.

south_of_heaven 11
July 24th 2006


5438 Comments


If there's anyone that wants to be cool and hook me up with some sweet Opeth tracks, let me know. Cause I guess they're supposed to be awesome, and I heard them once and hated it. So I'm looking to try again.
And Iluvatar, if you wanted to be cool, could you possibly send me those Mars Volta tracks you recomended to me earlier? I forgot I can't DL stuff...
my email is in my profile here.

Hatshepsut
July 24th 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I'm trying to send you Bleak off Blackwater Park(yeah only one song. The limit for attached files is 10 MB on Yahoo, and almost all the songs on here are 20+. All are 10+), but it's taking forever. My computer's real slow right now since I'm downloading Lost.

Someone reviewed this just yesterday.
I started this yesterday.

south_of_heaven 11
July 24th 2006


5438 Comments


I'm trying to send you Bleak off Blackwater

Gracias. Just send me a note if it doesn't work, because you can always compress files very quickly to shed off a few MB's.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2006


16089 Comments


Dial up = no items from Iluvatar.
And Hatshepsut, I was just alerting you to what ShadowsFallen meant.

Shadows
Moderator
July 24th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Let me clearify.

I've been planning on reviewing this, along with other Opeth albums, for quite some time. Someone reviewed this album yesterday and then you did it today. Sicne I'll most likely be submitting my review(s) soon, that will make 3 Still Life reviews all submitted within days of each other.

Neoteric
July 24th 2006


3243 Comments



and I'll send you something that'll blow this album out of the water.
Dude, you rule.

Hatshepsut
July 24th 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Ah ok, yeah I'm stoopid :-\
Sent, south of heaven.

south_of_heaven 11
July 24th 2006


5438 Comments


Hey man, thanks. I dig it a lot actually. I'll have to check out more from these guys soon.
Thanks again man.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 24th 2006


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I reviewed this yesterday.

I don't care though, anyone can review whatever they want in my opinion. That's the beauty of Sputnik.

Neoteric
July 24th 2006


3243 Comments


Might I add that Damnation pwns the hell out this anyday but both kick major a[font=verdana]ss[/font]

Hatshepsut
July 24th 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Any time
Yeah, Damnation rules. But it only has one side of Opeth. A beautiful side yes, but it's still only one side.

Neoteric
July 24th 2006


3243 Comments


It's clear that their heavy side doesn't come out as heavy as it should be though.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 24th 2006


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Stop trying to get your post count up you loser.

;)

Hatshepsut
July 24th 2006


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

He doesn't need to try



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