|Review: Opeth - Deliverance|
Label: Music For Nations
Year released: 2002
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: March 7, 2003
Reviewed by: Brad Allis
Rated 4.15/5 (83%) (40 Votes)
Opeth deliver another solid palate of what can only be described as "prog-death". For those familiar with the band the latest offering holds no surprises, just another great album in the Opeth catalogue. For the uninitiated Opeth mix prog elements with deep, guttural death metal vocals forming something that is both hauntingly beautiful yet uncompromisingly heavy.
To be honest I am not much of a fan of death vocals, but they don't bother me with Opeth. The contrast between clean and soft vocal styles just make each more effective. The heavy vocals sound heavier while the clean vocals sound so haunting.
From the packaging to the songs themselves, the entire feel is bleak with just a ray of hope. Grainy black and white artwork perfectly compliment the music which lies within. With song titles like "wreath", "for absent friends" and "by the pain I see in others" you know this isn't the feel good album of the year.
With the exception of the instrumental piece "for absent friends" all of the songs run 10+ minutes. For those who just lost interest, these are not 10:00 long, self-indulgent pieces where the musicians try to impress you with the number of time changes and difficult solos they can pull off. No, Opeth keep things interesting and changing. Each song has so much to offer that you don't find yourself staring at the counter, wondering if it will ever end.
The album starts off heavy. Wreath opens with driving guitars and the death-y growls of Mikael Akerfeldt. Nothing resembling a clean vocal occurs until the 9:13 into the song. Where "wreath" ends and "deliverance" begins is hard to tell without looking at the track listing on the CD player. The two songs mesh perfectly, but once "deliverance" kicks in it quickly becomes a standout. The blending of various vocal styles makes this the most memorable track for me.
Track three, "a fair judgement" starts off with dreary piano and clean vocals that drip with sadness. The whole song is one moody affair that, again, blends perfectly with the instrumental "…absent friends". "Master's apprentice" starts off like it is going to be heavy like "wreath" before quickly drifting off into dreamy melodies accompanied by acoustic guitars (don't worry the heaviest moments are still to come).
By the time you reach the 13:00 closing track "…pain I see in others" your admiration of the band is cemented. "…Others" is an amazing finish to an amazing album.
Opeth has raised the bar in their genre of music and don't disappoint. Their blend of elements keeps things interesting and fresh. For the uninitiated, Opeth should appeal to those who are looking for Green Carnation with a little bite or are board with more straightforward death metal. This offering, along with the much anticipated, though mellower, Damnation album prove that Opeth is on top of their game and are not dropping off, only getting stronger.
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