Friday, November 03, 2006

The Sun Sets Forever...

Opeth: Blackwater Park


I must admit I'm rapidly running out of ways to say how awesome these guys are. Blackwater Park is by common consensus Opeth's masterwork (at least to date) and, with the caveat that I'm still working my way through their back catalogue, I'm not inclined to disagree. The style and tone is much the same as that of Deliverance and Ghost Reveries; melancholy, elegant and heavy. Once again I'm very impressed with Akerfeldt's vocals, no other cookie monster singer I've heard manages to convey as much emotion as he does while growling. The truth is that I could go on fellating this guy for paragraphs, his guitar solos are always brilliant, and his songwriting is even better. One of the things I find so great about Opeth's songs is the way that every riff and passage segues perfectly into the next. Each song comes across as a wholly conceived piece where every part has it's meaning in the greater context.


Blackwater Park starts strongly and only gets better as it progresses. Every track has something special to recommend it as a candidate for 'most brilliant song ever', 'The Leper Affinity' is a good album opener, and is notable for a beautiful extended piano outro. 'Harvest' is probably the best acoustic ballad they've ever done, 'The Drapery Falls' has a haunting, sad main riff that will stay in your brain for days and 'Blackwater Park', the finale, just fucking rocks out more and more before culminating in one of the most powerful album climaxes I've ever heard. However I think my favourite track is 'Bleak', which manages to pack excellent examples of every style of Opeth's writing into nine too short minutes. Moody gothic passages, heavy metal, quiet peaceful interludes and a surprisingly catchy chorus. It's definitely a good place to start with these guys, and if you've never heard them before then your homework for this week is to listen to this album.

4 comments:

Jungle Rhino said...

I shall check it out. I got hold of Ghost Reveries and I have to say that is even awesomerer than Deliverance. The Grand Conjuration being my favouritist track, just love it. I wish I got homework assignments like this at school...

Jon said...

You like Grand Conjuration? Most people seem to hate it... I think the rest of Ghost Reveries is pretty awesome though.

Jungle Rhino said...

Probably my Drum & Bass side coming out. The drumming in that song is about as close to a breakbeat as I've heard in a Metal track before :)

Also I like the Eastern style instruments - Kashmir was always one of my favourite Led Zep tracks.

Jon said...

I think there are definitely some cool parts in it, ("The EYES!!! [dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh] Of the DEVIL!!!"), but it kind of doesn't hold together as a song overall.

And yes there is some fucking cool drumming as well.