This article is definitely a milestone for me as a writer and reviewer, not only because I’m a huge fan of the band and their music but because a band with a legendary status like Opeth -One Does Not Simply- write a review about them! But I’ll do my very best to do such task and maybe get this article printed out, framed and hang it on my wall of accomplishments, if I had such a wall.
Usually in my 2nd paragraph I go through a quick look into when the band started and all of that Jazz, but I won’t because it is Opeth; and if you know nothing about them then shame on you Mr./Mrs. Reader! Go hit the Internet and browse like crazy about them and learn some history.
Now the tough part, reviewing the most anticipated album internationally that is set for release on 26 August 2014 through Roadrunner Records Pale Communion, so I’ll start off with what Mikael Åkerfeldt wants to do in this album:
“I wanted to do something more melodic with this album, so there’s stronger vocal melodies and more melodies overall for this album.”
And also, I wanted to mention Greg Kennelty of Metal Injection that got the chance and privilege to listening to the whole album even before the tracks got any titles and he describes the album as:
“The missing link between “Damnation” and “Ghost Reveries” or if “Heritage” was written directly after Ghost Reveries without “Watershed” having ever existed.”
Now comes my turn, the album is a true successor in terms of musical presentation to its predecessor Heritage which caused a whole lot of controversy in the Metal community since it sounded more Progressive Rock than Progressive Metal! And let me remind you what Mikael said about that when he released that album:
“I was a bit discouraged with the contemporary metal scene, and I wanted to break away from it even more. I feel we’ve been on the outskirts of that scene for a couple of years. I just couldn’t see myself writing another album in the same vein as the last couple of records. Thankfully I listen to so many different kinds of music, and writing music has never been a problem. I’ve always seen Opeth as a band without boundaries. So if it’s good and everybody in the band likes it, it’s an Opeth record. In the end I sat down and wrote the music that I wanted to hear right now.”
And I do feel that in the new album as well, along with what he wanted to do with the album is exactly what I’m hearing to right now while writing this review; Strong and amazing clean vocals, very melodic music with a whole lot of transitions that would just take you from one realm to another in a single track. The keyboards adds a lot into the album, that dark and heavy side that Opeth keeps in all of their works is manifested with the keyboards that uses all of that mostly are Rhodes pianos. Of course I can’t leave out the crazy yet amazing time signatures that keeps on shifting as well as the chords.
As for the lyrics, again Mikael proves that he’s a poet and not just a songwriter, the lyrical context is full of complex meanings that would explain the human emotional experience and the human condition with a hint of Anti-God in there which I honestly don’t like; but I tend to skip it most of the time and just enjoy the experience that I go through every time I listen to them.
Opeth is not just music, it’s an experience, and to the fans that got really upset with what the band is doing to their sound at the moment and somehow forcing the band to get back to their old way I say this to them: Enjoy the experience that the band is going through and what they are giving to us, you are witnessing evolution and change and somehow the natural progression of the bands music. I think this album is a solid statement that metal music could evolve and become so beautiful and majestic so just take your time with it and just let it grow on you and you will see beauty and grace even with the darkness that it holds in its undertones, it’s still manifested in their music with such grace that the only thing you could do is listen, appreciate and maybe thank them!
Opeth’s Pale Communion came out August 26th so make sure you get your copy of the album, and here is a track from their album for you to enjoy, ‘Eternal Rains Will Come’:
Edited by: NJ Bakr