This was a very happy purchase for me, as I have recently gotten into Opeth, and really wanted a way to get “caught up” with their back catalog as efficiently as possible. So, finding this for a mere $40 ($8 per disc) was a nice surprise! And of course, if you split the cost amongst four equally excited friends, $10 for five CDs is more than bearable!) But on to the content! Damnation and Deliverance were intended to be together as a double-album, but due to mixing difficulties, they were released three months apart. I honestly don’t know which way I would’ve preferred them, or if it *really* makes a difference, but the fact is that Damnation is just beautiful and Deliverance is just dark. And I love both of them… one more than the other depending on the day, but they are both spectacular! Blackwater Park is considered by many fans to be their finest output, and while I’d find it difficult to put any album at the top, Blackwater Park is one of those incredible albums that combines all of the elements of a band so seamlessly as does Opeth. The transitions between soft and brutal are incredibly crafted and Åkerfeldt proves again that he is a true musician along with his jaw-droppingly talented band. My only real complaint with the boxed set would come from the live concert Lamentations. To be honest, I love hearing what a band can do live, since that’s where true musicianship is displayed and tested. Opeth certainly delivers and the emotion conveyed in each song is absolutely present, however, the transitions between songs bugged me a bit, as they seem rather jarring and unrehearsed as opposed to the seamlessness of the songs themselves. However, if I can be candid, this is a problem with a band being too awesome for their own good than any real problem! Honestly, if you are missing more than two of these albums, or are just getting into Opeth, like myself, pick this box set up and witness the musical genius of Opeth.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
For new fans of Opeth this is certainly a good start. This box shows just how varied the music of Opeth is.
You get the fan favourite `Blackwater Park’ (at least it’s my favourite Opeth album as well as one of my favourites all time!), with several tracks appearing often in their live sets, e.g. `The Drapery Falls’, `Bleak’. This album is Opeth in a nutshell, it shows the band both fom their rough and soft sides.
The more mellow album `Damnation’ shows Opeth from their softest side. An album which focuses entirely on melodic and emotional songs, often in a slower tempo than on their other albums. This is an important side of Opeth that you can also hear on all of their other albums, although this one doesn’t have any distorted, heavy guitars, no growling and no long, epic 10-minute tracks.
`Deliverance’ is kind of like the opposite of Damnation and contains some of Opeth’s most brutal songs, like `Master’s Apprentices’ and `Deliverance’, although you also get more mellow tracks here as well, like `A Fair Judgement’.
For those of you who already have these three albums (like me) this box set isn’t a waste of space, and a waste of money anyway because of the last album, `Lamentations’. At least not if you love hearing live versions of the songs you already have heard hundreds of times. Sure, you can get this one on DVD, but if you’re like me, and like to listen to the music, but don’t want to get stuck in front of your tv/computer every time you want to hear these songs, I prefer the cd version, which is only available in this box set. The technical brilliance of the band which can be heard on their studio albums can surely be heard on this live recording. They play with a lot of energy and the sound is perfect!
So, if you’re a new listener and feel like buying three or four new Opeth albums, this is a good start.
If you already have the albums and the `Lamentations’ DVD, and you’re satisfied with that – don’t buy this box set. There is no difference on the albums in this box set from the ones you can buy separately.
I am new to Opeth. I saw this at a local record store, and noticed that it included from what I have read some of their best work. It was only 35 dollers so I picked it up. Three of the cds in this set retailed at the same store for 17 dollers and the fourth cd, which is of the band live is only availible in this box set. The live cd however, as most people have stated has an annoying buzzing sound. It is not that bad. Overall the band is great. The heavier stuff is better, but the softer stuff is starting to grow on me. The four cds included are Blackwater Park, Deliverance(My Favorite), Damnation(Accustic), and Lamanatioins (Live). I reccommend this to any new listner of Opeth. It is a great cheap way to get ahold of what many consider their best material.
Actually, the buzzing sound is a defect on the discs. I contacted Koch Records and sent the discs to them. They sent me a replacement – no more buzzing. Contact Koch Records through their website. And it is a fine box set. I am glad they decided to release this on CD, because the DVD was so good.
There are a couple of ways to look at this box set. If you’re just getting acquainted with Opeth and are willing to spend some extra bucks to get an in depth review of their best stuff (so far), you can’t go wrong. The price is right and the material is excellent.
If you’re already a fan, chances are you own everything in the box except the live CDs which are the ones you’re drooling over. If you’re wondering whether the set is worth the price just to get your hands on the live stuff, the answer is yes. If you own the DVD of the same concert, it’s nothing new, but you can put the CDs in your portable or car player and rock on. If you don’t own the DVD and would rather have just a good live album by Opeth, this is the only place you’ll find it. The good news is that each CD is individually sealed, so if you’re inclined to resell whatever CDs might be duplicated with this purchase, chances are this set will cost you less than you think.
As for the music itself… well, if you’re a fan, you know what you’re getting. The recording quality of the live CDs is very good. My copy doesn’t have any of the buzzing noise some other reviewers have mentioned. The performance, of course, is pure Opeth – passionate, precise, and played with all the intensity you’d expect. Given their production values in the studio, the live versions have a somewhat raw flavor to them. This is entirely a good thing. You can hear them working just a little harder to make up for the overdubs you don’t hear, and the excitement of playing for an appreciative audience is evident. A live album is usually the best measure of what a band has going for them when they can’t hide behind multiple tracks and takes. In this case, what you hear is what they are and that is absolutely AWESOME. Enjoy!