Opeth
Watershed


4.0
excellent

Review

by Philip R. Anderson USER (3 Reviews)
April 19th, 2019 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The beginning of a new chapter.

Opeth are a band that keeps searching. And the fact that they keep searching could bring various solutions to the table, which not everybody might like. So, you might be a hardcore fan of the first incarnation of the band, and dread everything they did from 2011 up to now, but there is one thing you definitely can’t deny, and that is: Opeth is not your regular bunch of amateurs. Therefore, Watershed might just be what the Black Album was for Metallica. A transition between the more extreme side of music to a completely different version of the same band. We all know what happened to the fan base of Metallica once Load was released, and let’s leave it at that.

Now, at hindsight, we know what happened after Watershed. The band indulged into a more progressive world of musical expression, causing shock and havoc amongst die-hard fans. But, at the time, there weren’t many signs in the sky for the Opeth maniacs to worry about- keyboards first appeared on Ghost Reveries, acoustic aspirations were known throughout their career, with a visible peak on Deliverance, 6 years prior to 2008’s Watershed. So what was new"

The record consists of 7 pieces, all of which, except one, are 7 minutes or longer. The first song in comparison to other ones is regarded as an intro and it’s over 3 minutes long- that gives you an idea about the profile of the album. Coil, the first song on the album, might be a warning signal for some. An acoustic, pleasant piece of art, which not only uses Mikael’s voice, but also the guest appearance of Nathalie Lorichs. After it ends, we get hit by an extremely heavy riff, which a moment later gets accompanied by a familiar growl. So, the first few minutes of the record was a hoax, right" Well, not entirely. Throughout the album, we go up and down, meandering through sentimental acoustic parts (the beginning of Hessian Peel), after which we fall into well-known blasts (also Hessian Peel, but later on). We have a solid dose of psychedelic, keyboard-orchestral approach in Hex Omega, and a wonderful play of contrast on tracks like Porcelain Heart. All in all, we get a solid mix of various moods, but the visibly dominating approach is one of an increasingly progressive attitude. A brilliant representation of the whole album is The Lotus Eater- we have the anger and the aggressiveness, but then halfway through the song we have a complete breakdown, extending soundscapes and a weird, spidery keyboard solo at the end, reminiscent of a drugged up clown playing a soundtrack to the escape of a monkey from the circus owner. That actually might be the one flaw of this album- it is slightly pushed at times. Mikael might be trying too hard to be progressive, before they were actually ready. It’s a bit like a gay dude, who is just about to come out, but still is lingering. He’s too scared to go full gay so he just goes back and forth, confusing everybody- one minute he’s grabbing his mate’s ass (full-blown progressiveness), but a moment later he goes back to boasting about how he screwed three girls last weekend (death metal blasts).

All in all, it’s a very good album. It shows the progress of a band that could have given into stagnation, but decided to make THEIR version of extreme metal. It definitely is a fresh whoosh of air into the stale waiting room of death/ black metal. It’s one of those albums that you can listen to a couple times in a row, finding new things as you go on. And despite the fact that some see this record as the beginning of the end, it’s worth a try, or maybe even a few.


user ratings (3806)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Pratman
April 19th 2019


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought what could be my next review, and it dawned on me: one of my favorite albums, Watershed by Opeth. But then I saw there's 5 pages of reviews for this album. Screw it, I did one anyway.



Hope you like it, I didn't write anything new, most of the reviews were 4/4.5.



Please feel free to point out any mistakes etc. I have a tendency to write a review and just re-read it once and publish it, so it might not be a state-of-art review.

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
April 19th 2019


14157 Comments


Please please please chop this up into individual paragraphs this looks like a headache as is. Your style is easy enough to follow and you get a pretty clear impression of the album across though, which is good to see!

"Opeth are a band that keeps searching. And whether you like it or not, that is a good thing- it means that they have true artistic value."

I don't disagree that Opeth have respectable artistic value, but this reads like a non-sequitur. Also the coming out simile didn't quite scan with the register for me, but others may feel differently

Digging: Otoboke Beaver - Itekoma Hits

TheNotrap
April 19th 2019


10615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great album, have a pos

Digging: Deathspell Omega - Si Monvmentvm Reqvires Circvmspice

Pratman
April 19th 2019


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for The POS, and thanks for The constructive criticism, greatly appreciated.



Chopped it into paragraphs (yeah, it did look horrid), changed the opening line (although now it might be worse than it was), but the coming out simile... it does indeed look like something that I thought was an attractive figure in my own head, and not necessarily might be appreciated by others, but I'll keep it in the review (at least for now)- as a kind of experiment, to see if it only made me smile, or maybe others might like it too. It could've been a little too much though, I am aware of that.

ThrashTillDeath94
April 19th 2019


784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well written review. Although I always compartmentalized this album as the end of an era personally.

e210013
April 20th 2019


2283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing band. Great album. Very well written review. Pos.

kalkwiese
April 20th 2019


3247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The end of an era

one starts anew



Opeth is dead

Long live Opeth

Pratman
April 20th 2019


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for The encouragement. I might be Ready to write about an album I didn't quite like- I think it's easier to review albums that you think are good...



I read somewhere that The last three albums were kind of a trilogy, and that now they'll go back to the heavy stuff.

kalkwiese
April 20th 2019


3247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wouldn't be so sure about that.

e210013
April 20th 2019


2283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"I wouldn't be so sure about that."

Neither do I. I think they left definitely their heritage as a Death Metal band. The growls are dead and I think that it's for sure. They became even a more prog band than they were in the past. I think the presence and the influence of Steven Wilson, inclusive as a producer, changed Akerfeldt forever. Anyway, the influences of the more melodic prog, (especilly the influences of Camel), were always present on Akerfeldt's prog heritage, which is perfecly obviously on "Damnation".

kalkwiese
April 20th 2019


3247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not sure if Wilson's influence was really a bad thing as some people claim. Mikael said he stopped being big on listening to metal fairly early on in his career, even before he got in contact with Steven. Working with him might have reinforced this stuff, but I think the shift away from DM would have happened anyway.

Pratman
April 20th 2019


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You tend to get to a wall, especially when exploiting a rather limited-by-nature genre, which is DM/BM. They had to go forwards or sideways. They chose one of the best options I think. And remember that good music is good music. In my opinion they recorded good music both then and now.

e210013
April 20th 2019


2283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I also agree it was a natural thing and I also think the influence of Wilson wasn't really a bad thing. And I also agree that Opeth continue making great music. The problem is that some people aren't very open to acccept the natural changes, progression (a natural caractheristic of prog rock) in the path of many bands. That also happened with Pain Of Salvation. I think Opeth probably lost many fans but won many others.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy