I have read over many pages of reviews on Blackwater Park, and I am quite pleased to see the support Opeth is receiving, and from intelligent people. However, I also see many, many reviewers giving this phenomenal album a single star. This dusgusts me. I read a review saying that anyone who wanted to listen to real music should listen to bands like Good Charlotte and Grade 8. I strongly hope this was a joke. I’ve listened with an open mind to Good Charlotte, and they are nothing but a no-talent, can’t-decide-if-they’re-punk-or-goth, sell-out MTV band that writes songs about suicide with touching videos only to show the world that they know something about cliche "teenage angst" and depression.
Wow, that was pretty rough, wasn’t it?
But fine, go ahead, like Good Charlotte. But don’t insult Opeth simply because you don’t like the rougher sort of vocals Mikael Akerfeldt employs. Not everyone does, it’s understandable. They were an acquired taste for me. The same reviewer that cited Good Charlotte as "good music" (perhaps simply because they have "good" in their name?) complained that Opeth is "nothing but a scream band with no talent what so ever" (by the way, whatsoever is one word).
First of all, the quality of Opeth lyrics surpasses that of any band I’ve ever heard. The dark and haunting poetry that flows from Akerfeldt’s pen does not paint a scenery before you, but envelopes you in that scenery. Opeth has been oftencategorized as progressive, and that alone refutes any talk of "no talent." Progressive music is about establishing a pattern of music, and then varying it to different degrees. Those patterns weave in and out of each other, harmonizing and working together to create beautiful music. It takes a far greater knowledge of music theory to coherently structure anything remotely close to being progressive than it does to create a two-minute punk song, the likes of which Good Charlotte probably churns out in under half an hour. The reason Opeth, Dream Theater, and Yes songs run on for over ten minutes most often (of course the Yes epic "Close to the Edge" at around 18 minutes, Dream Theater’s "A Change of Seasons" at 23, and Dream Theater’s "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence at a whopping 42 minutes) is because they are more than just songs they are writing. These progressive bands are writing symphonies that cannot be concluded in any short amount of time. The songs are long because a vast amount of time and effort was put into them, not to mention skill and knowledge. The bottom line is, saying that Opeth has no talent is like saying that sugar tastes salty, that the ocean is made of sand, or that the sun is a ball of ice.
For any new readers looking into Opeth, please disregard the one-star reviews completely. They are unfair and completely irrelevent. Blackwater Park may be the highlight of Opeth’s career and is definitely worth a listen. If you don’t like it, fair enough, but don’t insult it on unjust grounds. Respect the music.