27 February 2013

27th Feb - Opeth's Blackwater Park

Artist – Album: Opeth – Blackwater Park
Released:  27th February 2001
Sounds Like: Joe versus the volcano

So heavy metal, we meet again. Last time we met I think we both came off worse for wear. Sure, I gave your Children of Bodom’s Hate Crew Deathroll a measly 4 out of 10, the joint worst score I’ve given since starting this blog (shared with the bloody Dixie Chicks, no less/more), but in turn you gave me perforated eardrums, a banging headache and doubts about the ulterior motives of angels. I’ve not been able to listen to the story of the three bears without conjuring up in my mind the image of ‘Lil’ Bloodred Ridin’ Hood’.
Ah but metal, what is this? An album that’s interesting? An album that’s entertaining? An album that one can actually stand to listen to? Well played HM, well played.

Opeth’s Blackwater Park really is genuinely a good record. There’s the soft/ loud dynamics that icons such as Pixies or Nirvana were suckers for. There’s vocals that shift effortlessly between guttural roar and aching croon and they balance the two well. Crunching electric guitars aren’t the only dish on the menu, with acoustic guitars also holding their own. And the 10 minute long epics capture the ambition and mood of the great 70’s progressive rock groups such as Yes and King Crimson.

I’m not saying this is for everyone, far from it. But if you’re of an open mind, or already have a death metal leaning you should give it a spin. Ease yourself in with the surprisingly gentle ‘Harvest’, work yourself up to the mood-shifting ‘Dirge for November’ and, if you’re still standing, feast yourself on the furious title track. Great fun.

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       The Leper Affinity – 10:23
2.       Bleak – 9:16
3.       Harvest – 6:01
4.       The Drapery Falls – 10:54
5.       Dirge for November – 7:54
6.       The Funeral Portrait – 8:44
7.       Patterns in the Ivy – 1:53
8.       Blackwater Park – 12:08

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