Opeth - Blackwater Park review
|Release date:||March 2001|
01. The Leper Affinity
04. The Drapery Falls
05. Dirge For November
06. The Funeral Portrait
07. Patterns In The Ivy
08. Blackwater Park
09. The Leper Affinity [live] [Legacy Edition bonus]
[Limited Edition bonus CD]
01. Still Day Beneath The Sun
02. Patterns In The Ivy II
[Legacy Edition bonus DVD]
+ 5.0 Audio Mix Of The Original Album
+ The Making Of Blackwater Park
There are few bands that dare to continuously expand their musical sphere with each release, expecting their fans to accept the changes - even fewer succeed. Mikael Åkerfeldt, song writer and front man of Opeth, has pushed Opeth to do so since the band's inception and perhaps it's this constant change, not giving the audience a chance to adjust to one particular niche, which keeps them from ending up like so many metal bands before them: repetitive and uninspired. 2001 was the year Opeth opened the floodgates of creativity and released what many believe to be their magnum opus, an album so hyped you might doubt its brilliance. I'm here to tell you not to doubt. This is Blackwater Park.
As if the beautiful artwork didn't give you enough clues of the general mood of the album the opening song is quick to do so. Apart from an eerie fade-in and some great guitar riffs you are instantly hit with the album's powerful production and mixing. It sounds incredible! "The Leper Affinity" is a good way to start off the album with its heavy riffing and focus on growling vocals, though we still get the trademark blending of soft passages in the middle of the mayhem. The rest of the album is a balanced collection of songs, "Harvest" being a counterpart as it is completely on the soft side of the spectrum.
I could go on analyzing every single bit of every single song on this album but as this would take up too much space I save my last words for the title track. "Blackwater Park" has to be my favorite Opeth track. This song contains some of the heaviest, most brutal Opeth moments ever recorded along with some of the most misanthropic and dark lyrics ever penned by Åkerfeldt. Don't fool yourself, though, this is still Opeth we're talking about. Of course the song includes two and a half minutes of the creepiest and best clean guitar work ever heard. This song alone is basically worth buying the album yet we're offered an additional fifty-five minutes of incredible music.
It makes me very proud to share native country with this Swedish band but we're all equal to these gods of metal. Magnum opus or not this is the album that made Opeth break into the mainstream of metal but there's nothing mainstream about it. Instead Blackwater Park is a showcase of unconventional song writing, soulful musicianship and a perfectly balanced production. Combined, these aspects result in the best album of this decade and a milestone in metal music.
|Passion. That's what Blackwater Park is all about. Pure, unadulterated passion. Forget that Opeth display musical ability and know-how that is rivaled by few. Forget that the ending to The Leper Affinity goes from what can only be described as one of the greatest jam sessions ever, to a beautiful, yet melancholic pianistic epilogue. Forget that Harvest is one of the greatest acoustic songs ever written. Forget that Blackwater Park contains the perfect metal riff. Forget that Mikael Akerfeld quite possibly has the best voice in all of music. Forget that every moment of this album will make you stand in awe of what you're hearing. Why should you forget all that? Because none of it matters.
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