Opeth - Watershed
3 June 2008

Disc I
01. Coil [feat. Nathalie Lorichs]
02. Heir Apparent
03. The Lotus Eater
04. Burden
05. Porcelain Heart
06. Hessian Peel
07. Hex Omega
08. Derelict Herds [bonus]
09. Mellotron Heart [bonus]

Disc II [DVD 5.1 Mix, Special Edition]
01. Coil [feat. Nathalie Lorichs]
02. Heir Apparent
03. The Lotus Eater
04. Burden
05. Porcelain Heart
06. Hessian Peel
07. Hex Omega
08. Derelict Herds [bonus]
09. Bridge Of Sighs [Robin Trower cover] [bonus]
10. Den Ständiga Resan [Marie Fredriksson cover] [bonus]
+ Rehearsal Tapes [documentary]

Every time Swedish masters Opeth release a new album, expectations from their hordes of fans are very high. This time around, with the departure of two very influential long-time members, their new record Watershed could have been the end of an era. However, Watershed is yet another tour de force performance from Opeth.

While the opening melancholic track with clean vocals and even female vocals probably took a few of us by surprise, the rest of the album continues a tradition of excellence that Opeth's fans must acknowledge. Despite the joint departures of guitarist Peter Lindgren and drummer Martin Lopez, Mikael Åkerfeldt proves once more than his song-writing abilities are the core of the band. With Martin Mendez on bass, Martin Axenrot on drums, Per Wiberg on keys and the recent addition of Fredrik Åkesson on guitars, the band lay out their trademark sound once again. The ever-changing melodies, the subtle mélange of vocals and the progressive guitar riffs are omnipresent.

Watershed continues where Ghost Reveries left off. Heavy riffs, an eerie atmosphere, powerful melodies, the winning formula has been kept alive. But do not think for a second that Opeth just released a clone of their previous record. Some new elements spice up the songs, but I don't want to spoil them for you. While some heavy songs such as 'The Lotus Eater' and 'Hessian Peel' are sure to become crowd's favorites, fans of their Damnation album will be overjoyed with the inspiring ballad called 'Burden'.

Overall, I feel this is a more thought through album than its predecessors. And while the level of aggression might have been taken down a notch compared to their early works, the cohesion of the songs makes Watershed a unique release.

Some thought that the departures of two band members meant the end of the golden era for Opeth. Watershed proves them wrong on so many levels. With in-your-face compositions and melancholic ballads, Opeth's latest effort is so far the album of the year.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Band profile: Opeth
Album: Watershed


Written on 22.08.2008 by
Demonic Tutor
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mz - 19.05.2012 at 18:56  
I find this record pretty good and enjoyable. Each song is well written and good when I hear them separately but as whole this album lacks something. This seems to be a collection of good song for me not an album. When Watershed ends I am still unsatisfied . Also the song are not memorable, I enjoy listening to watershed but I cant remember the songs clearly even after 5 or 6 listens. Its good on its own but not as an album you could except from opeth
Regolith - 07.01.2014 at 03:28  
Watershed was my gateway into Opeth... and I've never turned back. The album is unique in many ways. For one, it's structure as a whole is brilliant. Two, each song is very original and memorable (completely disagree with the guy above me), and lastly, it has that lovely mix of brutal and beautiful. A personal favorite track is Heir Apparent, it contains some of the nastiest, tastiest riffs ever. Great album. Recommended. *Drummer Commentary: Martin Axernot is stellar in his debut here.
R-Boxma - 21.02.2015 at 23:41  
This is really strange. 99% of the posts listed here have positive remarks about Watershed so there MUST be something awesome about it!?

I think that every studio album that Opeth released before Watershed from Orchid to Ghost Reveries (except for Damnation) was absolutely incredibly Fantastic!

...But I didn't like this one.
And I don't really know why!?

Does anyone else think this?
Enteroctopus - 10.05.2016 at 20:12  
Written by R-Boxma on 21.02.2015 at 23:41

...But I didn't like this one.
And I don't really know why!?

Does anyone else think this?

I agree. I felt like the larger-picture compositional vision of Opeth started to break down even on Deliverance, although that is still a very excellent record (sterile production, but still..) If you listen to Orchid or Still Life it is not a group of songs, it is one experience like a Classical work in a series of movements.

GR had some GREAT Opeth songs, but toward the middle of the album I felt like there was far too much noodling and rambling about trees. Watershed is a continuation of that trend. It's a handful of very strong songs, some neat ideas played by some very talented people, but nothing cohesive. It seems pasted together.

Watershed is the album where I really started to lose interest in Opeth. Sure, I've bought the rest, but I'm not hungry for them like I was the earlier releases. They're just, less inspired.

Mikael is entering middle age and the fire of youth is fading.
Karlabos - 10.05.2016 at 20:54  

I suddenly know where Hex Omega took his nick from

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