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Morningrise

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★★★★½
(41 Reviews)

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  • Much like my other Opeth reviews, I have to say that listening to an album of this caliber and then attempting to convey the feelings it arouses in the form of words is both foolish and futile. Nothing can prepare you for Opeth. Although the band has attracted its share of detractors now, I must say that any music listener with an open mind and long attention span should find hours of perplexing enjoyment here. Those who fail to understand, power to ya, but don’t pollute this website with tasteless reviews on why you hate Opeth.Morningrise is different from every other Opeth album. Each has its own appeal, something you look for as you’re listening. With My Arms, Your Hearse it is the aggression and heavy riffs that I search for as I listen. With Still Life I listen for the enchanting vocal performance given by Mikael Akerfeldt. Blackwater Park has everything. Aggression, melody, awesome growling, awesome singing, beautiful acoustics, sweet riffs, and progressive song lengths. On here it is just the riffs. Oh, the riffs. And the twin guitar melodies. Amazing. The lyrics pale in comparison to future albums’, although they are still good, and Akerfeldt has a different style of singing here. It’s more of a black-metallish high shriek than the deep inhuman growl of late, and his clean vocal performance is less catchy and haunting. Therefore the guitar leads and segues into acoustic dreamland are what I look forward to when sitting back to this eclectic journey of a CD. The mood given by the amazing guitar lines on Morningrise make it my favorite, with Blackwater Park a close second.Morningrise is also the least ‘metal’ of all their albums. When compared to MAYH or Deliverance, it is very soft. While those make Pantera and At the Gates sound light, Morningrise is like a heavy thrash album. The riffs do not reverberate in your skull like the opening to “Bleak,” or “Godhead’s Lament,” or “When.” They glide soothing over you, flowing in an ambient manner, rather than a percussive one. The song lengths are also unbelievable. There are five songs here, the average length 13 minutes or so, the longest being “Black Rose Immortal,” at a Dream Theater-esque 20 minutes! An epic album in all proportions.”Advent” kicks the album off with a short acoustic beginning and following with a 12-minute rollercoaster of double-bass drums and awesome riff after awesome riff, balanced with the needed, yet arbitrary acoustic interludes spicing up the mix. “The Night and the Silent Water” is a much more laid-back track, with less aggression, clocking at about 11 minutes. “Nectar” is another piledriver, this time with Medieval-sounding riffs similar to In Flames. “Black Rose Immortal” is the epic, which feels 8 minutes long at most. “To Bid You Farewell” is a largely jazzy-acoustic/clean vocals all through piece, with a bit of electric guitar finishing it off.Opeth are beyond death metal. The incorporation of acoustic guitar is what makes them sound so classical. Many people compare bands like Suffocation or Emperor to the likes of Beethoven and Mozart. That’s not accurate. Here’s the real statement:If Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg, and Mahler were transported to the present and were forced to form a rock band together, it would sound something like Opeth’s Morningrise. ***This is a reissue, containing the bonus track “Eternal Soul Torture,” a rough, poorly produced demo that was later cut up and used for the other songs. It sort of throws off the album’s mood, but whatever.

    Posted on January 19, 2010