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THE METAL OBSERVER - Review - OPETH - My Arms, Your Hearse

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Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse (10/10) - Sweden - 1998

Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Label: Candlelight Records
Playing time: 52:38
Band homepage: Opeth


  1. Prologue
  2. April Ethereal
  3. When
  4. Madrigal
  5. The Amen Corner
  6. Demon Of The Fall
  7. Credence
  8. Karma
  9. Epilogue
Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse
This is a little recount of my journey into the music of OPETH, so sit right back and you'll hear (read) a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.

Everywhere I looked, people were praising OPETH, so a few months ago I decided to check them out and see what all the fuss was about. I listened to "April Ethereal", but my first impression was something along the lines of, "this just sounds like a bunch of noise with cool acoustic breaks in between," (I liked the acoustic parts from day one). At least once a week I would try to get into their music, to break through the barrier that seemingly everyone else in the Metal-world had already passed. It just wasn't happening… But slowly I started to find parts here and there in the Metal-oriented songs that I found intriguing, and my interest was already thoroughly piqued by the clean songs, like "Credence".

Regardless of these newfound points of interest, I still just didn't get what the big deal was; that is until one day, one glorious day, when I was listening to "When". Approximately halfway through the song, acoustic guitars take over as some impressive clean vocals create a truly mystic atmosphere. I suddenly stopped what I was doing to listen to this, which I now thought was excellent. From there the song continues into a more uplifting combination of acoustic guitars and vocals, but just as you get accustomed to the switch, a final somewhat eerie riff leads into silence. By this point I was completely transfixed 101% on the song, everything around me had faded, as I eagerly awaited what was to come. The musical excellence that followed was the exact moment that I realized the absolute genius that OPETH possess. Soaring vocals and a riff that couldn't have been any more perfect blew me away and sealed my fate as an OPETH-fan for eternity. After this defining moment I started realizing how amazing each and every OPETH-song really is, they are masters of creating atmosphere and emotion, and switching between them. Everything from the chord progressions to the drumming intertwines into an awe-inspiring concoction of musical aptitude, and it is a joy to listen to.

Finally I have traversed the long and obscure path into OPETH's territory (cue music from "Rocky"), and while the journey took quite some time, it was so far beyond being "worth it" that I only wish I had done it sooner. Now I'm sure you're completely bored by my little story, so I'll quickly end this by saying buy this CD. You may not like it right away, it may take you a long time to immerse yourself in the uniqueness of OPETH, but trust me, it'll be worth it when you finally do.

Trevor Johnston

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