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Opeth - Blackwater Park (9/10) - Sweden - 2001

Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Label: Music For Nations
Playing time: 67:13
Band homepage: Opeth

Tracklist:

  1. The Leper Affinity
  2. Bleak
  3. Harvest
  4. The Drapery Falls
  5. Dirge For November
  6. The Funeral Portrait
  7. Patterns In The Ivy
  8. Blackwater Park
Opeth - Blackwater Park
You know what's good about this album? The fact that OPETH haven't changed their course one bit since "Orchid". Clearly, these guys are fixed on a path towards simply giving their fans and listeners the satisfaction all have, by now, come to expect from the quartet.

Well, the big talk about OPETH usually brings Mike Åkerfeldt into the conversation for no less than 70% of the duration, so let's cover him first. Brilliant. Cleanly, his vocals appear ranged as normally, yet this time around ring with slight imperfections which, in this case, serve only to add more character and an element of humanity to the approach. When it comes time to judge the Death-vox, believe me when I tell you that he doesn't screw around with any watered-down pussed-out bullshit that a lot of other bands in their field have decided to undergo. This is throatwork to be feared, yet beheld.

As if anyone expected otherwise, OPETH prove yet again that they are masters of their trade. Normally, if a song is abnormally long I am given the impression of it being forced or stalled. With this album, that's not the case at all. Instead, "Blackwater Park" feels more like a jam session where everything clicks, and each member instinctively knows what to play, and when. In addition to the songs being an entertaining length, you'll not find a dull moment among any of the tracks. There are so many twists and turns; emotional ups and downs among the score that I wasn't sure whether to fall into a serene trance, or emulate Martin's drumming on my computer desk here!

Not unlike the great artwork contributed by Travis Smith, "Blackwater Park" can be grey, and a bit dark in that seductive sort of the sense. One thing is for certain - this is real music performed by true musicians. If you've got any sense of taste about you what so ever, you shouldn't hold any ill issues in terms of appreciating this work of art.

Carl Wood



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