Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Opeth: Ghost Reveries

Opeth Ghost Reveries (Roadrunner)

Now 15 years into their career with seven near masterpieces under their belt, Opeth has dared to create the perfect album. The eight song CD comes closer to being a symphonic work than a typical black metal album, but still manages to keep its hard edge and metal identity. Much like a classical composer, the band uses contrast and divergent textures to achieve their objectives, while employing a seamless development that transforms mere sections into movements. Much of the CD can be summed up by analyzing the opening tune: it begins with a the ringing out of opaque chords before jolting forward with a characteristic Opeth heaviness, equipt with vocals that sound like they are coming from the belly of devil himself. This is positioned next toTool-esque percussion and a clean-tone, slightly r ā€˜nā€™ b tinged vocal line, which is something novel to the band. The remaining sections juxtapose the light, clean melodious minstrel qualities against rhythmically heavy, harmonically complex discordance. Adding new instrumentation to their sound with Per Wiberg on keys has given guitarist/vocalist/main composer Michael Akerfeldt another weapon in his already burgeoning arsenal, best illustrated by the eerie synthesized sting introduction of "Beneath the Mire." Ghost Reveries is sure to become a metal classic.


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