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Review of the Album "Still Life" the 4th Studio Album by Swedish Progressive Death Metal Band Opeth

Updated on September 1, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Opeth's Still Life Album Starts Out With the Solid Song The Moor

Still Life is the 4th studio album by Swedish progressive death metal band Opeth and some of you may be wondering if this is the time that the band will hit their peak. We shall find out if this is the case. The first song The Moor starts with a beautiful progressive atmospheric guitar part that could be soothing enough to listen to during a relaxing bath!

The Moor is about a person that returns to his homeland for the first time since he was 15 years old. You can kind of interpret it that way through the lyrics. He is surrounded by a deep fog in the morning. Even though he says that was lacking faith and he was tainted, his mind is now at peace in his homeland. Or is it? It is very difficult to have a mind at peace if we lack faith and are tainted with too much negativity.

A Photo of One of the Pages of the CD Booklet for the Album Still Life


Analysis and Symbolism Of the Album Cover for Still Life

By 1999, Opeth had released two very good albums and one good album. By 1999, their riffs are getting better as they use an Iron Maiden inspired riff in the first song. The cover shows a very despondent woman in a dress as she is surrounded by a swamp. In the distance lies a grave with a cross symbol. That suggests that a loved one that she knew passed away. There is still life in her body as she is standing near that swamp even if she looks forlorn and despondent. The band was trying to show that even in times of mourning after experiencing a loss, life still goes on and must go on. The memory of those that have departed this Earth remains with us.

"The Moor"

Godhead's Lament Is a Song that Is Hard to Interpret

The next song called Godhead’s Lament is lyrically an interesting song, yet it is also hard to interpret. I get the sense that the song is about a person that has trouble putting the past behind them. They are busy hiding their scars and unable to leave a certain place. This place is not revealed in the song itself.

Benighted a Great Acoustic Song

Benighted is an acoustic song that is about trying to do what we can to repent when we have sinned. Human beings have sinned since the beginning of the Earth’s history but some of us learn the hard way what it means when we have sinned. The song has a nice blues style solo in it. Once we are absorbed by the divine light of love, our mind can be stabilized and our soul can be healed.

The Song Called "Face of Melinda"

Face Of Melinda and the Greatness of Heavy Metal In Sweden

Face of Melinda is about a woman named Melinda who is overcome by sadness and grief as there is no joy in her eyes. But there is a man that is planning to win back her love so that the crack or the emptiness in his soul will be refilled. The band is trying to explore the concept of humans reinventing themselves after tough losses and hard times. Opeth’s music enables this writer to settle down and sleep easier at night if he is having trouble sleeping. Sweden is one country that is doing VERY well in the death metal department even in 2017. A loyal man that makes a promise to win his lover back can be trusted to do just that.

The Song Called "Benighted"

White Cluster and Final Thoughts About the Album Still Life

The last song called White Cluster shifts back to the typical Opeth style that the band used earlier in their career as Mikael’s growls take over from the start. Even though the song talks about the concept of forgiveness, there is a hangman that is coming for his prey as the noose tightens around the people. Overall, Still Life is the most solid work for Opeth since 1996’s Morningrise and it may even be better than 2001’s Blackwater Park.

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.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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