Sweden’s OPETH have clearly made their mark in the Metal world with their mix of Death Metal and 70s Progressive Rock. The band has made a career out of merging the harshest of riffs with beautiful acoustic passages and writing 10 minutes songs. Seeing this band play live is something akin to a religious experience, all you need to do is stand there and let their music take you to worlds you thought unimaginable. They hardly need to move onstage as their music is so captivating.
The last OPETH album was something atypical. Mikael and crew clearly decided to focus only on their 70s influences and they released “Damnation”, which raised a few eyebrows and then they did a tour with PORCUPINE TREE, where they concentrated on their lighter and acoustic based stuff.
The show where this DVD was recorded is special, because OPETH played 2 sets, one concentrating on the mellow stuff and one concentrating on the ‘real’ OPETH.
Cool concept, but I have a few major problems with the song selection. The first set consists of “Damnation” material and “Harvest” from “Blackwater Park”. The second set consists of nothing but material from “Deliverance” and “Blackwater Park”. Any OPETH is good OPETH, but they had a good deal of acoustic/mellow material to replace some of the stuff on the first set (“Benighted”, “Face Of Melinda” should have been featured on here) and playing nearly everything in the same order as “Damnation” hurt the surprise element even more. I know that they were promoting their latest album at the time, but that doesn’t mean they should focus ENTIRELY on it. The second half isn’t any better, leaving out masterpieces like “The Night And Silent Water”, “Serenity Painted Death” and “Demon Of The Fall”. Then again, seeing as most of OPETH’s songs are 10+ minutes, there was a time constraint, they can only play so much of their heavy stuff in one hour, but frankly, I would have been very happy if the first set was only 45 minutes and they left 75 minutes for the heavy material. Probably a much better song selection would have been chosen.
The interview was pretty interesting, each member stating how he got into the band, their influences, when they started playing their instruments and the recording stories were pretty entertaining and scary (the disaster that happened when they were recording at a studio before they decided to use Steve Wilson again was pretty dismal) and it was a nice insight into the minds of one of Metal’s most creative bands.
Track list selection aside, which is understandable because of their vast amounts of material and time constraints, the concert is great in itself (frankly, I realize that whenever I get a live recording, I’m ALWAYS going to bitch about my favourite songs not being there, because I like the less common stuff and I get pissed because that song isn’t on there and I just start ranting about its omission. It’s tiring and I just start turning into an ungrateful prick. I should stop doing so) and the interview is also a great feature. They’re one of the most down to earth bands I’ve ever seen and they deserve to be respected by fans of all types of music. (Online March 2, 2004)