Saturday, October 14, 2006

There Is A Day That Is Dawning

Opeth: Deliverance

Some bands are constantly changing and progressing their style. Others just do one thing and do it very well. Opeth are definitely one of the latter. In terms of style there is little to differentiate Deliverance from Ghost Reveries or Blackwater Park, it's still the same crunchy heavy metal outside with a delicious prog rock centre. Deliverance lacks the slick production of its successor Ghost Reveries (the first to be released on a major label, the munt-tastic Roadrunner Records) but that's easily ignored because the quality of the writing and musicianship is as stellar as ever.

The acoustic guitars make fewer appearances on this album than on others, due to it being released as part of a two disc set with Damnation, which is in turn almost entirely distortionless. Deliverance still contains one short acoustic song 'For Absent Friends', and 'A Fair Judgement' alternates slow, heavy parts with pretty, mournful ones to relate a sad tale of loss. The opening track, 'Wreath', isn't their best work, but the album ends with 'Master's Apprentices', a perfect example of heavy done heavy, and 'By The Pain I See In Others', in which they exercise their more trippy, moody side (while still remaining loud and growly).

Deliverance is not their best album. It's still fantastic but Ghost Reveries, Blackwater Park and maybe even Damnation are better. Still absolutely everyone must have this album for one very good reason. You may have heard that the end of 'Deliverance' (the song) is something special but it simply cannot be overstated just how awesome it is. The last five minutes of the song, the outro and it's leadup is an example of Mikael Akerfeldt's songwriting at its finest. At about the ten minute mark the song suddenly drops into a monotonously chugging, menacing riff, flies off into a glorious guitar solo and then descends into a peaceful acoustic part, over which Mikael sings “Deliverance, thrown back at me. Deliverance, laughing at me.” It will give you chills when you know what's coming next. The solo guitar riff that introduces the outro is fairly innocuous when you consider just how much it will stay in your head once you've heard the song a few times, but when the whole band kicks in to join it, anyone who's paying attention can do nothing but stand with their jaws hanging open and their underwear growing moister with each bar of glorious syncopated goodness.

In honour of this truly worthy contribution to art, culture and civilisation I am presenting Opeth with the very first Wildebeest Asylum Award for Excellence:

Well done boys. You've earned it.


Skarnz said...

I laughed.

like this: "Bwahahaha"

Squirk said...

I couldn't hear my own laugh over the the happy, bouncy house music being played in the hostel lobby.

But I'm sure it would have sounded like "iff iff iff iff"

Jon said...

I don't get it. What's so funny?

Jungle Rhino said...

Got hold of this the other day and I must say they are definatly one of the most "music capable" metal bands I have heard :)

Very good indeed.

I quite like Master's Apprentice also.

For some reason when I listen to Opeth I think of your old Newnham Tce flat Jon, notably Dave C and Ed.

Jon said...

I'm glad at least one other person is enjoying these guys. I'm pretty sure we never played Opeth back at Newnham Tce, but we did constantly play Cripple, who have obviously listened to a hell of a lot of Opeth themselves.