Very seldom does a metal band come along that can truly mesh mind-blowing beauty with visceral power. Opeth has long been known for their ability to walk this line with probably more grace than any other band ever, and on My Arms Your Hearse their craft is at its peak. Their grooving rhythm style is in force here, but retains some of the more aggressive rhythms of their two earlier efforts, a balance best seen on the chorus of Demon of the Fall. The result is a very hard-driving section that arouses harder headbanging than most future Opeth works. They would also never quite be as beautiful during their heavy groove sections. April Ethereal is quite possibly my favorite song of all time now due to the balance struck between that pounding brutality and awe-inspiring, majestic beauty. Later Opeth efforts tend to polarize the songs, with a monster-headbanging-heavy part followed by a stunning acoustic part. While these are also great albums, there’s something special in MAYH’s balance – it seems more sublime than Deliverance or even Blackwater Park. This is the first effort by the current Opeth lineup. Bassist Johan DeFarfalla and drummer Anders Nordin had recently moved on and been replaced by the Martins – Mendez (bass) and Lopez (drums), both of whom bring entirely new feels to the rhythm section. Mikael Akerfeldt’s clean voice has not matured to the fullest but is still incredibly beautiful, and his growls are as forceful as ever. Guitarists Peter Lindgren and Akerfeldt together master incredibly complex and dense harmony passages that are far more technically difficult than they sound. While their style may put off fans of pure technical flash, more thoughtful listeners will appreciate their depth and power, and may ultimately be touched in a way that few (if any) other bands can top.There’s something here for any fan of rock music. Absolutely perfect. Recommended tracks: April Ethereal (best song ever), Demon of the Fall, Credence.