Opeth – Blackwater Park
I must begin my 202nd review/write-up/blurb/post/whatchamacallit with an apology. I’d said I only spent over $5.99 on one CD while I was in Toronto recently. Clearly, I forgot about this one, found at BMV for $5.99. Oops. Sorry! But I really think that’s it now. I think. Apparently my memory is completely untrustworthy, even only days after the event. I assume I’ll be forgetting all of your names next week, and how to type by next Friday…
So. Blackwater Park. 14 years ago, this was Opeth’s 5th album. According to Wiki, it didn’t chart in North America or the UK. Weird. But it received positive notices in the press, so that’s… something? I dunno. All I know is I played this thing twice before writing it up and it’s friggin’ EPIC!
There’s just something about Opeth’s sound. It’s just so huge… Reviews said this was a departure from their older stuff, as they were working with a new producer here, but all I heard was great heavy metal, at times blistering and growly, at others sweeping and achingly beautiful. Often all in the same song. This is complicated, ambitious and aggressive music. A tune like The Drapery Falls is a bit more accessible, acoustic guitars and tremolo effects making the whole thing eerie. Well, that’s before it explodes into full-on metal again… Dirge For November is gorgeous (and compelling in its velvet glove on an iron fist approach). The Funeral Portrait has one of the most satisfying new-to-me metal riffs I’ve heard in ages. What a sound! Patterns In The Ivy is a delicious, short acoustic guitar/piano reminder that I need to play my guitar more often… And the title track is so huge, so everything they do that the mind just reels. The rest are just as great.
This is one helluva gigantic record – actually, it’s a lot to take in and process all in one sitting, but I promise it’s worth it. I still don’t go for the growly vocals all that much, but here they just sound like they’re supposed to be part of it. Besides, he also sings, and the gorgeous instrumental passages temper the whole thing. These guys must just be monstrous in a live setting. Whoa.
Two thumbs up. Hells yeah! \m/ \m/