a plain figure with eight straight sides and eight angles.

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Last Active 12-01-21 6:29 pm
Joined 10-10-20

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Octo's Opeth LPs Ranked

is opeth ranked the new deftones ranked? idk but mikael akerfeldt has a great mustache
Pale Communion

“Eternal rains will come
(And) We should say goodbye”

released: 2014

Watered down Opeth. Listenable? Sure. But everything here has been done before, better, on other Opeth albums. Some of the melodies are nice, etc, but the band's uncanny ability to craft unique atmosphere in their music has fallen by the wayside, and the energy just isn't there. Things do pick up a bit near the end, but it's too little, too late—the album is unable to redeem itself. Pale Communion isn't bad by any stretch, but it is distinctly unmemorable. 2.6/5
In Cauda Venenum

“The parody is real
And we're biding time”

released: 2019

In Cauda Venenum begins with tacky spoken word samples over a typical Opeth instrumental. The music is punchy and energetic, but thin on greatness, conjuring an image in my mind of a band running out of the gates doing their darnedest to perform with oomph and mettle, self-aware that their newer work still doesn't have “it,” or, “the X-Factor.”

This continues throughout the album, as do the samples, unfortunately. All of Opeth's majesty is shrunk down to scale, rinsed, repeated, and wrapped in great production. This is a better album experience than Sorceress, but it loses points for coming off forced at many points throughout. 3.0/5

“I am going away, I am going down
I am going away, I am going down
Sifting through a memory before it fades away
Adolescent secrecy, a million words astray”

released: 2016

This album succeeds in places where Pale Communion failed. By comparison, the chord progressions and melodies on Sorceress are a bit more vivacious, the confluence of old skool prog and new skool Opeth more sincere. The music on this album is actually impactful, signaling the project's growing comfort with this new palette. As Opeth continue to shed layers of their old self, it's notable that Jethro Tull's influence (which, mind you, has always been there) jumps to the front. Yes, yes, this album is more enjoyable, and more memorable than Pale Communion.

(cont.) Unfortunately, despite being only a minute and a half longer than its predecessor, Sorceress feels quite a bit longer. There just aren't enough ideas here to see the album through, and the tracklist flow really suffers as a result. Alas, it seems Opeth have gone stale, stuck in a mire somewhere between greatness and derivation. Call it betrayal, call it an (un)Fair Judgment—this album is, overall, rather boring. 3.0/5

“We are dying in the wake of gods and decrees remain arcane
And everything around us is a consequence of pain”

released: 2011

New Opeth is firing on all cylinders and Mikael wants you to know about it! The new direction is audible, but the music still feels inspired.

Taken as a whole, however, it just sounds like Akerfeldt is ready to move on. Heritage is very much a stepping stone for Opeth, intent on leaving the old in the past and bringing the new into the now.

But it seems unsure of how to do so. The album moves through its tracklist with quite a bit less spunk than previous outings, relying more on familiarity and a couple new parlor tricks to keep the listener interested and engaged. With one foot in their past, one foot in their future, and an extra hand (or maybe just a few more fingers) in the '70s prog bowl, Heritage holds up to the quality of Opeth's discography thus far, but foreshadows the project's slow descent into mediocrity. 3.5/5
Still Life

“Outcast with dogmas forged below
Seared and beaten, banished from where I was born
No mercy would help me on my way
In the pouring rain nothing is the same”

released: 1999

I know Still Life is a fan favorite, but I've always preferred other '90s Opeth albums, and I'm not a fan of the dynamics on this one. It does show some growth and experimentation from the albums preceding it, but in attempting to expand their approach without a suitable expansion of the engineering side of things, Opeth fall flat for the first time in the discography. Steven Wilson would take over production responsibilities for the follow-up, Blackwater Park, bringing Opeth into the new millennium in style...

Some of my favorites are on Still Life (“Serenity Painted Death,” anyone?!), and it's a good album, but it falls lower on the ranking than I'm sure many of you will appreciate. Ah, well. 3.6/5

“I lost all I had (that April day)
I turned to my friends (nothing to say)
I wrote down a name (and read it twice)
I wallowed in shame”

released: 2008

I have such a soft spot for this album. It houses a couple of favorites, and is a really nice blend of Opeth's soft and heavy sides... But yeah, as an album experience, it just doesn't come together, and pales in comparison to previous releases. 3.7/5

“Under a watching autumn eye
Contorted trees are spreading forth
The message of the wind”

released: 1995

The debut. And man, what a debut. Atmospheric, melodic, and crushingly heavy, the music on Orchid paints rich, stunning pictures for its listener. Some may find the production of '90s Opeth albums to be a bit muted, and while I generally prefer 2000s Opeth due to the more polished production, the sound of their earlier work has a freshness and spirit to it that is undeniable (and also incredibly charming!). 4/5

“Do not turn your face towards me
Confronting me with my loneliness”

released: 1996

Continues the framework of “death metal meets folk metal meets black metal meets jazz” that was established on Orchid, but this time, only one song is shorter than 10 minutes. It's not drastically different from the debut, but I prefer it slightly. 4.1/5
My Arms, Your Hearse

“The rain was waving goodbye
And when the night came the forest folded its branches around me
Something passed by, and I went into a dream”

released: 1998

Opeth begin to break up their tunes a little bit, moving ever so slightly towards the fleshed out progressive metal sound that, in my mind, is the project's true legacy. Orchid and Morningrise are towering achievements that take their time to unfold, requiring patience to fully appreciate, and MAYH is the first album that would strip back this sound in favor of more immediacy, without losing the signature density and unfurling quality of Opeth's music. An incredible feat. The result is an album that's less daunting to sit down and consume in full. 4.3/5

“I can't see the meaning of this life I'm leading
I try to forget you as you forgot me
This time there is nothing left for you to take
This is goodbye”

released: 2003

Remember when Opeth “““did prog””” and it wasn't mid? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Smooth, haunting, and beautiful. Zero metal. 4.9/5
Ghost Reveries

“Haunted nights for halcyon days
Can't sleep to the scraping of his voice
Nature's way struck grief in me
And I became a ghost in sickness”

released: 2005

Easily Opeth's funnest album, also their last classic. Ghost Reveries is the culmination of everything Opeth had done prior, and strikes a magnificent balance between progressive rock and progressive metal. The way the band moves from piece to piece in their long, winding tunes is seamless and absolutely breathtaking. 4.9/5
Blackwater Park

“Pull me down again
And guide me into pain”

released: 2001

About as perfect as a progressive metal record can get. Blackwater Park is an absolute beast, and does blend together a bit, but not once does it drag or lose its vigor. 5/5

“Losing sleep, in too deep
Fading sun, what have I done
Came so close to what I need most
Nothing left here”

released: 2002

Opeth's heaviest release, and, fittingly, the companion album to Damnation. Deliverance is also quite interesting in that it's the truest hybrid of the project's two best eras ('90s and '00s).

It's also their best album, in my opinion. 5/5
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