How do creatures grow? One way or another, roots are planted and run deep into the foundation they’re planted upon. Over time, these roots take hold and create something irreplaceable – something forever present, even though they may be too deep to notice. From these roots will spring the new vision; one that not only attracts attention but seemingly gives meaning to the creature’s existence. This new vision brings forth the fruit and flowers that make the once insignificant creature a being of magnificence. And now, unseen at its birth, the creature has become a revelation of splendor.
Now, Opeth…a creature not unlike the vision above. In the beginning, the roots were ingrained below them. Orchid
began their growth as a musical entity. Over six years later, that entity has grown, and the people who once overlooked it began to take notice of how it had grown. Damnation
are the fruit and flowers that spring over time. And although only the newest albums in their career have gained widespread acclaim, the roots of their early work never completely disappear.
, Opeth’s sixth album, is somewhat of a mixture of the roots and the fruit. On one hand, they’ve taken their style in an entirely new direction, utilizing brutal riffs and depressing interludes. On the other hand, they’ve recorded a minimal number of songs with the maximum amount of length, thus returning to a truly progressive sound. As an album of extremes, each of the 10+ minutes songs shifts through the most sinister sounding riffs and growls to the most serene acoustic soundscapes with gloomy ambience. The same principle can also be applied to the technicality of the playing. At times, the guitar strums the simplest chords with almost non-existent drums, while other times Mikael and Peter trade off insane shredfests with Lopez rolling furiously on the double bass.
A pre-emptive look at each track shows that this isn’t the gentle, good-natured Opeth that older fans are accustomed to. Merely the intros of Wreath
are sledge hammering visions of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Martin Lopez puts his testosterone level through the roof as he virtually sears his double bass into listeners’ skulls like a dentist drill. Mikael Akerfeldt’s voice, most noticeably the first growl in By the Pain I See In Others
, has taken a turn for the deep, death metal roars that make Glenn Benton hide under his bed. Palm muted bass notes as in Master's Apprentices
create a full metal attack that Opeth has never brought forth at all. Solos have been brought from the level of jazz/rock-based into the realm of true metal, as Mikael and Peter shred their Norse hearts out in the frenzies of Wreath
and Master's Apprentices
. Make no mistake, Deliverance
is an album that ranks on the darkest and most brutal of scales.
However, no album would be an Opeth album without the distinctive clean, melodic side featuring tranquil guitars and the soothing Akerfeldt singing. A Fair Judgement
bears divergent piano playing preceding an atmospheric soundscape bearing a simple, yet striking melody. Solos within reverberate with an ecstatically somber tone. The two minute instrumental For Absent Friends
breaks up the collection of enormous song lengths with a heartrending jazz guitar interlude. Deliverance
a gentle, post-destructive acoustic segment used throughout to dissuade away from the pandemonic dissonance.
Only brief sample descriptions of every facet of Deliverance
can be given, as there is simply too much to tell at once. Emotions stray back and forth across the music like a John McEnroe tennis match. From every end of the spectrum, Opeth has seen and done the most epic of feats to reap the benefits of their well-watered musical roots. All metaphors aside, Opeth’s sixth is a wonderful 62 minutes of meaningful, unique extreme progressive metal unlike anything ever written. Deliverance
is essentially Morningrise
for the modern Opeth mind, and an eccentric progression it was.
- Fantastic new style with extra brutality
- Soft side darker than ever
- Incredible soloing
- Unexpected twists and turns
A Few Personal favorite moments:
- Wreath (7:57) – Mikael and Peter's dual shredgasm
- A Fair Judgement (1:52) – Main melody
- By the Pain I See In Others (1:40) – Beastly vocals
- A Fair Judgement