I’ve been a fan of Opeth’s since “Still Life” — though I’ve since bought all of their albums. I keep waiting for this band to peak — for the wave to break on the beach and then pull back, never to return. I kind of thought the “Deliverance/Damnation” period was that point. The band seemed to me at their weakest during that time. But then “Ghost Reveries” comes out and melts my face, and now we have “Watershed”.
Quite simply, this is — in my opinion — the finest work to come from Opeth. None of their prior albums, to me, are as clearly a declaration of exploring new territory while at the same time still making an Opeth record. I love their previous stuff, but it’s been done — you know? Honestly, I didn’t know what to think of this record at first. I don’t think it gelled until I’d listened to it 5-6 times. It’s definitely a record that is made to be listened to from start to finish, and it hangs together very well.
If you’re not an Opeth fan yet, I think this would be an excellent introduction. All the elements are there and it’s so very fresh. Witness the power of a great band at the top of their game.