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Review "Blackwater Park" by Swedish Progressive death metal band Opeth

Updated on March 4, 2018

What is Different About This Album Compared to Morningrise?

Swedish progressive death metal band Opeth impressed me very much with their 1996 album Morningrise. Their 2001 album called "Blackwater Park" is another step in their musical evolution. However, by this point in their career, Opeth had two new members. These members are Uruguayan born Martin Mendez (bass guitars) and Martin Lopez (drums).

Opeth Band Logo

The Songs The Leper Affinity and Bleak Really Set the Tone For the Album

The first song called The Leper Affinity has a terrific solo by Mikael Akerfeldt around the two and a half minute mark. The song is about someone who is suffering through a very cold winter because he is really freezing. He knows that the days of spring are lost and gone and he must do what he can to endure this harsh winter. There is a piano contribution by Steven Wilson who also does backing vocals in some of the songs. The beginning of the song has a Lacuna Coil style riff but since Opeth was formed before them, they would be the ones providing that musical influence to Lacuna Coil. Sometimes I can understand Mikael’s growls if I listen closely enough in the song Bleak. For instance, when he says “I am dying fast inside your tears,” I can clearly know that this is what he is saying. Opeth’s lyrical themes are similar to bands such as Insomnium, Noumena, and many others. However, Opeth is not a gloomy sounding band in their guitar work and their music should not depress you. However, Opeth is not a gloomy sounding band in their guitar work and their music should not depress you. Opeth does have a tendency to repeat certain acoustic parts however. There is a part in the song that sounds like former Malpractice vocalist Mika Uronen.

What To Expect From This Band In Every Album

As usual, the length of Opeth songs is very long so patience is required but their time changes are interesting. Sometimes it may be better to have the piano parts at the end of a song so that listeners can relax after minutes of heavy guitars and growling vocals.

The Song Called The Leper Affinity

What Makes Opeth Different From Other Death Metal Bands?

One of the other qualities that Opeth does not have in their music is that they are not the type of band that you can head-bang to. This is the type of band that appeals to the patient listener who can sit back, listen to and appreciate the intricate and complex song structures.

The Songs Harvest, Dirge for November, and Blackwater Park

The song Harvest starts out in the acoustic guitar fashion as the progressive influence is once again present. As the man walks into the orchard past the gate, all he sees is coldness, shadows ahead and the feeling of mourning surrounds him. This writer does prefer a band like Opeth over a band like Tristania for instance. Sometimes a band like Tristania can get too gloomy to handle. Opeth never gets too gloomy and their vocal contrast between the growls and clean vocals is very good. Dirge for November continues in the tradition of beginning with acoustic guitar but in this song, we sense a classical influence and Andres Segovia would have been very proud of the musical display that is evident in this song. The Funeral Portrait contains some Opeth style riffing some of you may have heard in the Morningrise album. There is also a repetitive riff that has resemblance to the Pantera song Hollow. The last song called Blackwater Park is about a reaper that goes around infecting the crops and the roots along with it. Unfortunately, the human race has created many tragedies for themselves which has led to lots of sin. Blackwater Park is not as good as Morningrise but it is still a decent album from these Swedish guys.

The Song Called Bleak

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