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A Review of the Album "Morningrise" by Opeth

Updated on December 20, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Morningrise Album Cover

The album cover shows a lake with some grass nearby. Then there is a small structure that resembles an old style Greek building as the sky is filled with cloud cover.
The album cover shows a lake with some grass nearby. Then there is a small structure that resembles an old style Greek building as the sky is filled with cloud cover. | Source

Track Listing for Morningrise

  1. "Advent"
  2. "The Night and the Silent Water"
  3. "Nectar"
  4. "Black Rose Immortal"
  5. "To Bid You Farewell"

Morningrise Is a Special Album

Morningrise is the second album released by Swedish progressive death metal band Opeth. Since its release in 1996, it has stood the test of time for being a very melodic and creative release. This album is very memorable to me because it is the first Opeth album that I was given as a gift at Christmas time in the late 1990’s. It is a rather unusual album for the fact that it has only five songs on it. These five songs last over 65 minutes in length. A word of advice will be mentioned here: Opeth’s songs tend to be very long so some of you will not be patient enough to sit through an entire Opeth album. But for those of us that enjoy beautifully written acoustic guitar parts and passages to go along with Mikael Akerfeldt’s raspy low growls and his nice, soft voice will find this to be a great experience. Joining him on guitars is Peter Lindgren. Johan De Farfalla plays the bass guitar while Anders Nordin plays the drums.

Morningrise Analysis of the Lyrical Themes

Every song on this album is at least good with "The Night and the Silent Water" being one of the outstanding ones. The lyrics tend to deal with silence, sorrow, and loss as a person is left wondering where the person that they love went to. As she sleeps in the night, the silent water has a certain darkness to it. The lyrics have a certain kind of poetic quality to them.

Morningrise Songs 3-5 and Conclusion

The bass guitar sound is very noticeable in “Nectar” which is another outstanding song in an album that has less than 8 songs. "Black Rose Immortal" is the longest song in Opeth’s history clocking in at over 20 minutes! The power of the moon’s light shines over a hill giving it a sort of life, thus “waking it up” in a way. While Opeth’s lyrical themes may be similar to bands such as Noumena or Tristania, Mikael’s vocals are easier to understand compared to the low, guttural vocal style of Antti Hapanen. The long song continues with even more melody as I can see a sort of Iron Maiden influence as well. After a clean vocal part, we are treated to yet more acoustic guitars. "To Bid You Farewell" is the final song on this album and it is about someone who wakes up during a very cold morning, waiting for the sun to rise. He feels very empty inside because the person that he loves so much is not with him. As night falls upon him, they both are taking a long walk and they come to the point where she departs and goes away from him. Where she will go, he does not know as he stands there full of sorrow. The majority of the 11 minute song is soft and interesting at the same time. Overall in spite of its length, Morningrise is an album that is different from many other death metal albums and provides an interesting contrast with all of the different acoustic parts. This is recommended also for any metal fan that desires good Swedish death metal.

The Song Called The Night And The Silent Water

How is Morningrise 20 Years Later?

Looking back at Morningrise 20 years later, I can say that it soundly beats other albums released that year including Metallica's Load Album. It beats most albums released by US heavy metal bands and that's saying a lot (coming from a person that has spent most of his life in the US and seen the changes that the heavy metal scene has gone through). Sweden beats the US, UK, and many other countries when it comes to heavy metal music and this album is a terrific work!

The Song Called "Nectar"

© 2016 Ara Vahanian


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