by Thor USER (73 Reviews)
June 4th, 2006 | 69 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Opeth's most underrated album.

This is a pretty long review, so you might want to go get some concessions before you begin reading this.

Progressive Metal has had a shadow cast over it since the beginning of the 90s. Such giants as Tool and Dream Theater have been dominating the scene with their innovative styles, incredible musicianship, and entrancing albums. These bands have kept a massive fanbase that will remain loyal until the bitter end. Seems like these two are dominating the scene, right" Guess again. What would you listen to if you wanted the same virtuosity and songwriting abilities but were looking for something heavier" Darker" More evil than even some death metal bands" By now there's no other way to mention the band. Enter the world of what is now the underground metal scene's king. Enter...


Opeth on this album consists of:
Mikael Akerfeldt: Guitars and vocals
Peter Lindgren: Guitars
Martin Mendez: Bass guitars
Martin Lopez: Drums

With guest member:
*Steven Wilson: Vocals, mellotrons, and keyboards

The Past:
This band has been making landmark albums in both the metal and progressive genre since the early 90s. Their first two albums, Orchid and Morningrise, featured the very popular dual-harmonized guitars and lots of acoustic breaks. It was a great style, but the band could only last with this formula for so long. After these two albums had been released, Mikael Akerfeldt felt so sick of the band's past sound, so he set out to change that. After replacing their old bass player and drummer (who is now Mendez and Lopez) they released the band's first album with a new sound that was much darker and heavier than before: My Arms, Your Hearse. This album still featured the epic progressive tracks but applied some new styles that were new and pleasing for the fans of the band.

It wasn't until 1999 that the band released their first truly epic album, Still Life. This album is regarded by many Opeth fans as their best to date, due to the fact that it is a concept album and features some of the band's most epic songs ever recorded (like The Moor and Face of Melinda). Opeth had almost achieved their perfect style and sound, but they were still missing something. I'll tell you exactly what it was: keyboards. Finally added in on what I consider to be their best album, Blackwater Park, this album finally harnessed the sound that the band was aiming for on My Arms, Your Hearse. This album was as heavy as ever but also showcased the band's true potential as writers of clean songs that even the death metal fans could listen to and enjoy. After so much sucess, what was left for the band to do" Why not make a two-album force" Sounds like a great idea to me. The band set out to create Deliverance and Damnation, each album showing a different side of the band. Deliverance was the heavy album showing the band's influences from death metal, and Damnation being the opposite, showing the band's strong progressive influences. Now that you've gotten a history of the band until now, we can actually get to the album.

This album was recorded under some hard times. If you have seen the band's DVD which contained a documentary of recording this album it shows that the group almost broke up while in the studio. The place where they were recording was being incredibly unprofessional, almost making Opeth's album not able to be released in time. So what saved them from their ultimate demise" Steven Wilson did. He had worked with the band on their past album and was more than happy to work with them again. Thanks to his work with the band, Opeth is still going strong today.

Even though this was set out to be the heavy album of the two, it still has lots of parts where there are clean sections and sung vocals, so fear not.Also, the production quality to this release is certainly something that Opeth fans have not experienced before. The guitar tone is incredibly raw and is almost annoying at times. It's not nearly as full as it was on such albums as Still Life and Blackwater Park. From the opening chugging riffs of the song "Wreath" you can hear a tone that is unlike any other, and not for a good reason. It doesn't ruin the album by any means, but it's still something that I know bothers some fans out there. I've goten used to it by now.

The Album:
The group is certainly extremely tight by this point and never misses a beat. Lopez and Mendez make a great combination as a rhythm section and allow Akerfedlt and Lindgren to solo about. Lopez is a man of many talents when placed behind a drumset. He has both the talents of a death metal and progressive drummer which is exactly what the band needs. You can find him laying down some fast double bass beats on songs like "Wreath" and "Master's Apprentices", but also hear him play some incredibly tasteful beats on clean sections in "Deliverance" and "A Fair Judgement". It's quite enjoyable and would please percussionists even more. Mendez is often overshadowed by the rest of the band, but he still lays down a very solid groove throughout and will occasionally play out, putting in some tasteful fills to put some icing on the cake, if you will.

While the rhythm section is great, the true heart of Opeth really comes from Akerfeldt's and Lindgren's guitar riffs, solos, and acoustic passages. These two members have been in the band since its formation, so it's easy to say that they know how to interlock with each other quite well. Akerfeldt has a tremendous ability to create some incredibly crushingly heavy riffs that are melodic and dissonant at the same time. It's quite fun to headbang along to riffs from just about every song on the album. Each track has something new to offer. His acoustic parts are equally as impressive. The true highlights from this album would be the long finger picked section in "A Fair Judgement" and the short interlude track, "For Absent Friends". While it's a tad out of place from the song, it's still really impressive and enjoyable. The two guitarists also have recorded plenty of solos on this record, a ton more than they did on past releases. They both get an equal amount of solos and they both do a fantastic job on them. Guitar players should really find some impressive stuff on this album.

If you're a regular on the forums here, you might remember that Mikael Akerfeldt was voted to be one of the best vocalists in Rock and Metal (3rd, I believe). Those polls weren't lying, people. Mikael has one of the most brutal growls that I have ever come across, and this album is probably the one release that shows it the best. You will be pounded into a state of metal euphoria in less than 20 seconds when you hear his opening screams in the first track. But don't think that he's only a one-trick-pony. He's actually still an incredibly talented singer as well. I was incredibly shocked when I first heard the band knowing that he did both the screams and clean vocals on the album, and Deliverance is a prime example of his greatness. Just about every song on this release showcases his, well, beautiful voice and also contains some impressive harmonies with Steven Wilson. The best example of this would be the long vocal harmonies in "Master's Apprentices". Vocalists also have something to look forward to, be it that you like growling or singing.

So after so much praise and greatness, is there anything wrong with Deliverance" Besides the production, I can only really think of one other thing. The last song, "By the Pain I See in Others", isn't the band's best song on the album, and it just can't compare with the other monsters that this album has to offer. It's still a solid track, but after hearing 5 other songs that were just about perfect, this song just drags along, leaving the album ending on a bad note. The song still has some enjoyable riffs in it, but as a whole I usually end up skipping it or going back to hear another one of the songs. It's not that big of a setback, but you can still notice it when you hear it.

The End:
In conclusion, this album is a must have for just about anyone. It has something that fans of many different styles of music can enjoy. If you're into some heavy, chugging riffs, this album certailnly has plenty of that. If you like more relaxing songs with great singing and acoustic parts, this album contains these, too. I actually think that this album is a classic in the progressive metal genre, but the harsh vocals might turn a few people away. In short, this album should be in your collection if it isn't by now.

Final Rating: 5/5

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 4th 2006


This is a really good review. I've heard of these guys, and haven't bothered with them. I guess I should check them out.

June 4th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ghost Reveries has limited appeal, so that's probably why you haven't discovered their greatness yet. I'd look into getting Blackwater Park, Still Life, and this album if you really want to hear what they can do.

But if you're into progressive more than you are metal, Damnation is also a strong suggestion.

June 4th 2006


Amazing, truly amazing review.

June 4th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks much, man. I'm really proud of this review, and I think that it's the best one I have ever written. After ShadowsFallen told me that my reviews were becoming really formulaic, I realized that they really were. I wanted to make a big comeback on the site and this was it. Plus, I'm really passionate about this band and album so I wanted to do it justice.

June 4th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Great review! This one is a lot better then the other one. I agree with just about everything you say.

June 4th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review indeed. Deliverance is truly archaic, and deserves praise.

Although, on My Arms, Your Hearse, they didn't replace Johan DeFarfalla, he left and yes that was Lopez's first album with Opeth. My Arms, Your Hearse was recorded with 3 members.

Akerfeldt, Lindgren and Lopez.

June 4th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing review, although I don't think it's Opeth's best album, it's still fantastic.

Storm In A Teacup
June 13th 2006


Sweet review, Thor. :thumb: Opeth is a great, great band.

June 28th 2006


how do you pronounce 'opeth'?

June 28th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0


July 25th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This album just straight up rules. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite albums of all time.

south_of_heaven 11
January 5th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Mikael has one of the most brutal growls that I have ever come across

So true.

I basically need this so I can have a three-way with Blackwater Park.

This is some great work. I really like how you divided it up and seperated the review without doing so much of "Well, now it's time for the instrumentals..." or "Here's the vocal section, and the vocals..."This Message Edited On 01.05.07

Digging: RAM - Rod

February 3rd 2007


This review owns.

February 4th 2007


Deliverance and Masters App. really stood out to me

February 4th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Those two are probably my favorites as well, but I couldn't forget A Fair Judgment.

I think this is my best review.This Message Edited On 02.04.07

February 4th 2007


Album Rating: 4.5

Not exactly a classic, to be quite honest... there is better Opeth out there. It's more of a superb. But good observation on it.

February 4th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

This album is great, but I'm leaning on Still Life as my favorite Opeth right now.

February 13th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

This album kind of disappointed me at first listen. It's a good album, but by Opeth standards.. I've heard a lot better. Morningrise, Blackwater Park, Ghost Reveries all beat this out for me, and My Arms Your Hearse... is about equal I'd say.

I'm about to listen to Orchid, and I don't have Still Life or Damnation dammit.

Master's Apprentices and By The Pain I See In Others (except the way too boring ending) as well as A Fair Judgement are the best tracks on here.This Message Edited On 02.13.07

February 13th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

^^ I suggest Damnation, it's after Blackwater Park my fav album of Opeth.

February 13th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Deliverance tears Blackwater Park to shreds. And most other Opeth albums, too. Except for maybe MAYH and Still Life.

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