A couple of years ago, I purchased the album 'Still Life' as I was curious to see what Opeth were like after hearing positive comments about them. Being a fan of metal and prog rock, I thought there was a good chance I could get into them. However I was not blown away by it, and only really listened to the opening track 'The Moor' which is a great song. I only listened to the album a few times, and thought it was average at best.
After listening to their latest effort, my view of Opeth completely changed! This album really gripped my attention on the first listen, and ended up listening to it regularly, liking it more every time. This album focuses much more on the prog rock element; 'Hessian Peel' is an outstanding piece of prog rock with bluesy elements, which has a sound derived from the 70s. From the opening track you can tell this is going to be something different from Opeth, with its pastoral introduction of "Coil" (even has a female vocalist!). The next two tracks feature their very heavy, death growling vocals, but they also combine interesting experimental prog rock elements, really taking the listener on a ride with plenty of depth for repeated listens.
Personally my favourite song has to be 'Burden'. This song is just beautiful; it was while hearing this for the first time which demonstrated what a talent band Opeth are. Instantly likable, but still gets better with every listen. Its short piano introduction, the slow melodic verses which suddenly abrupt into dramatic harmony, and the awesome instrumental which has elements similar to Deep Purple and Pink Floyd, while still remaining unique.
It was after hearing this album I began to appreciate 'Still Life' and other albums. They are a band that get better with every listen, so if you are into bands such as Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Porcupine Tree or even Radiohead, there are worse things to do than listening to this with an open mind!