Posted on November 20, 2009 -
Opeth is probably the most talented band today in the whole death metal/progressive scene. I am not exaggerating when I say this. Mikael ?kerfeldt, who is the lead singer, guitarist and group leader, is a genius. His vocals can go from the best death metal growl I have ever heard, to these amazing clean vocals in the same song. These clean, “prog” vocals sound similar, maybe better, then Maynard James Keenan of Tool. And his guitar playing, you ask? He is one of the best guitarists in metal today, probably even in music currently. Rhythm guitarist Peter Lindgren is the James Hetfield of the 2000’s (in music terms). He plays great behind ?kerfeldt. Martin Mendez on bass is up there as the best in death metal, and Martin Lopez is one of the best drummers in death metal. His double pedal is as fast and crazy as anyone can go. The rhythm section in Opeth is extremely underrated, and if I needed a dream death metal band, I want these two guys in the rhythm section. All 5 of these guys (and a just added keyboardist) make on of the most talented group of musicians I have ever heard.
But, what makes Opeth so creative and unique is the combination of death metal and prog into 10 minute songs. And unlike some other bands with many talented members that can’t come through (Audioslave), Opeth makes the best music out there. They even mix some classical elements. These ten minute songs aren’t the basic verse-chorus-verse structure, but more like movements. In these ten minute songs, they can showcase their talent without flaw. That’s exactly what these guys do in every album they have released. The thing is they seemed to have done it a little better in 2001’s “Blackwater Park”. Everything just seems so much better. Not only better than Opeth’s back catalogue (which is hard to better), but this is better than anything else you will listen to. If you decide to purchase this album, then everything you have ever listened to will just sound lesser, and you will be exposed to these music geniuses, or as I like to call them, artists.
This masterpiece starts out with “The Leper Affinity”. Probably one of the best Opeth songs, this starts out with a brutal riff and the death metal vocals, and 5 minutes into the song, it shifts to this progressive, clean singing. After the song, at least for me, my mouth was dropped to the floor. What a song. But then “Bleak” comes in. Another Opeth masterpiece, and one of my personal favorite’s on this album. “Harvest” is next, and this shifts to the soft, prog part of the album. Only 6 minute’s long, (which is short for Opeth), this prog masterpiece is, which I thought I would never say, beautiful. “The Drapery Falls” is another combination of death-metal and prog, and a fan favorite. “Dirge For November” and “The Funeral Portrait” follow. I like Dirge, but it really isn’t the best on the album, but, hey, it is great nonetheless. “The Funeral Portrait” is more death-metal than prog, and my favorite on the album. “Patterns In The Ivy” is a short piano composition, which just goes perfectly into this album. The 12 minute title track follows, and caps off the best album released in these 00’s.
So, what are you waiting for. Everybody who has reviewed this album, except the few morons who don’t know good music when they hear it, says that it is a masterpiece. It can’t be explained as normal people music, because it is just too good. It remains upon popular belief as Opeth’s best and their breakout album. It is also considered the best album of the 00’s. I cannot agree more. Anybody who is into death metal or prog already owns it, but even if you enjoy classical music, classic rock or any music at all, you should check out this band. This album is the perfect spot to start. Then, get Opeth’s back catalogue, because it is just as good. These guys are already legends, and if they continue making albums like they are, they could be considered the greatest band ever. Not yet, but they have the opportunity. So, get this album…now!
This version is an enhanced, limited edition one. When I saw this, I immediately had to put my grubby fingers on it. These two b-sides were only available on either vinyl’s or rare, hard to come by singles. This version is out there, and it is certainly worth the extra money. The first song is the 4 minute “Still Day Beneath the Sun”. This is all acoustic, exploring the side of Opeth that was common on their 2003 album “Damnation”. It is a great song and I’m surprised it didn’t make the original Blackwater Park lineup. The second b-side “Patterns In The Ivy II”, is a continuation of the first one. It too, is also acoustic and also clocking out at 4 minutes long. Another great song. Then there is a multimedia track for “Harvest”, which is Opeth’s first music video. The video is very cool, and a must see for any Opeth fan or music video freak. All in all, these extra two tacks and the music video are both worth the extra money, because it is essential, just like every other Opeth album. Buy it!!! And be amazed.