While “Morningrise’ is not near as well produced as the later albums would be, this is far more genuine. Their sound has changed so much since the days of ‘Orchid’ and ‘Morningrise’ that I can say, without a doubt, Opeth will never reach as high as they did here.
Later albums such as ‘Blackwater Park’ and ‘Ghost Reveries’ would lean more to the progressive side of metal (which is perfectly fine), but their earlier albums had a much more primal feel to them. The guitar lines were more prominent (and absolutely jaw-dropping) over-shadowing the bass and drums just enough to avoid sounding muddy.
Vocals are quite different then on the later albums, too. The growl isn’t as deep and sounds almost Black Metalesque in comparison…a good kind of Black Metalesque. The thing with ‘Morningrise’ is that the whole is far greater then the sum of it’s parts, and the picture on the front very astutely matches the over-arching tone of the album. Very fine artwork indeed.
For some seriously awesome riffs be sure to check out the opening theme riff to ‘Night and the Silent Water’ and really anything from the mid-section of ‘Black Rose Immortal’.
Visceral, technical, and enduring…this one is a keeper. One of metal’s all-time best.