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A Review of the Album "Morningrise" by Opeth

Updated on August 5, 2023
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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"

Opeth's "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.

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.

About the Songs Nectar, Black Rose Immortal and To Bid You Farewell

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.

The Song Called The Night And The Silent Water

Final Thoughts About "Morningrise"

Overall in spite of its length, Morningriseis 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. Given the fact that this album only has five songs, by the analysis of most people, this would be an extended-play or a mini-album as opposed to a standard full length release but I guess you could say that with the fact that all the songs are so long that this album may as well feel like a full length album. No song in this album is less than 10 minutes in length thus giving it a unique musical feel which few if any other albums of the metal genre have. For those of you that crave the cleaner vocal style, this album obviously does have that however there is mostly death metal vocals in here. There is also a sort of whispering vocal section in the second song thus giving Morningrise another different quality.

Best Song In Morningrise

What is the best song in Opeth's Morningrise Album?

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The Song Called "Nectar"

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian


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