Opeth - Lamentations review
|Release date:||November 2003|
02. In My Time Of Need
03. Death Whispered A Lullaby
05. Hope Leaves
06. To Rid The Disease
07. Ending Credits
10. Master's Apprentices
11. The Drapery Falls
13. The Leper Affinity
14. A Fair Judgement
+ Making Of 'Deliverance' And 'Damnation'
This DVD was recorded during a show of the Damnation Tour in London. Two parts here: the most interesting, the reason why you already have it, is the concert. The second part is the making of Opeth's last two albums. As the important part is the show, I'll go quickly on the bonus.
The making of allows us to enter the writing and recording process of Deliverance and Damnation, and to see the studio life of this band. Every part of the recording of the albums is explained by the musicians, who also think back about the band's debuts. It is indeed really interesting to hear about the beginning of Opeth, with some anecdotes that desanctify these guys who look like unreachable geniuses... I guess a new sparkle of hope will light the ears of songwriters around the world when they will know that Akerfeldt's first metal song was called 'I hate Hiphop'. Everybody has to start somewhere... Something cool on these bonuses is the writing process with Akerfeldt and Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree: this is the living proof that two geniuses and great musicians can work together without ego problems...
Actually the interest of this making of is to show four good and intelligent musicians who know exactly what they want and what they have to do to get it.
The concert part is concentrated on the last album Damnation. The whole album is played (eight songs of Damnation out of the first nine) by a square and very professional band. They don't seem ill at ease, on the contrary Mikael Akerfeldt is smiling all along, chatting with the crowd, far from the shyness they usually show. Even if the first part of the show is only acoustic, the audience shows its interest, and the band does its utmost to avoid boredom, like the breathtaking 'In My Time Of Need' played with deep and stunning emotion or the metal jam at the end of 'Closure' that would break the neck of the most experienced headbanger of the world. 'Harvest' is as perfect as always, while 'Weakness', a track that doesn't seem fit for the scene, is eventually not as boring as I feared. The second part of the show is more metal, with tracks from Blackwater Park and Deliverance only. Once again, there is nothing to reproach to these guys, they know their job... And I can't tell which one of the acoustic or the metal part is the best.
The sound of the show is worthy of the best live albums, the songs are as perfect as on album, there is no problem with any instrument, you recognize a clean guitar out of an electric riff... As I said, just perfect. The only reproach that I can think about while watching the show is this one: guys, for your next DVD, please choose another head cameraman... It looks like this one had gone out for a cigarette or a coffee during the concert, and that gives way to some aberrations. Example: when there is a guitar solo, there is no point in filming the crowd or the drummer; when Mikael Akerfeldt starts growling, the camera seems all of a sudden very interested in Martin Mendez's bassplaying, as if afraid of the singer... This is very irritating, and is enough to avoid the maximal rating to this DVD which is, on any other point, in my opinion perfect. But this is a minor flaw that must not spoil your pleasure to watch 'Lamentations'.
|Opeth are one of those bands, who evoke intense sense of aesthetic beauty and splendor inside my mind. From their bizarre album arts to their fantastic musical and lyrical portrayal of the human consciousness, everything about Opeth for me is mysterious, dark and beautiful all at the same time. A blend of incredible moments of tender beauty and overwhelming moments of ferocious brutality, taste of their unique brand of extreme metal is an awe-inspiring and psychedelic experience. The "Lamentations - live at Shepherd's Bush Empire 2003" DVD is just another testimony of Opeth being arguably the greatest metal act to come out from the Scandinavia.
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