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Reviews Written by
Alex Ward (Leeds, England)

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Darkness Descends
Darkness Descends
Offered by Andthebeatgoeson
Price: £22.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkness Descends-master piece of raw thrash metal, 31 July 2003
This review is from: Darkness Descends (Audio CD)
Released the same year as Slayer's 'Reign in Blood' and Metallica's 'Master of Puppets', 'Darkness Descends' had some serious contenders to compete with in the thrsh metal stakes. However it took on the task and suceeded easily, with its raw production and agresssive light speed riffing, along with Eric Meyer's and and Jim Durkin's insane soloing over which Don Dotty layered his insane and devil inspired voice, Dark Angel provided us with forty five minutes of the finest thrash metal ever heard. In terms of raw agression this is one of metals finest albums and a perfect example of the raw aggresive power of thrash metal. The album is four tracks in before the bewilldered listener gets time to breathe and begin to contemplate what he or she is experiancing, when the album drops into the excellant bass heavy intro to 'Merciless Death'. The opening tracks 'Darkness Descends' and 'The burning of sodom' provide straight up raw thrash metal that has not been bettered before or since. While 'Black Prophecies' is one of thrash metals genuine epic classics clocking in at around the nine minute mark, demonstrating the fact that the band is capable of producing both short bursts of thrash metal exellance and more epic thrash metal classics such as 'Black Prophercies. The closing track 'Perish in Flames' is one of, if not the greatest thrash metal track ever penned, with it's cut-throat riffs and truely insane vocals it presents thrash metal in it's greatest form. This album is thrash metal in it's most raw and perhaps greatest from, with overtly complex arrangements and mainstream production values disregarded Darkness Descends remains one of metals most original, raw and brilliant pieces of work.

Still Life
Still Life

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Life, master piece of progressive death metal, 31 July 2003
This review is from: Still Life (Audio CD)
This is best death metal album with prog elements i have ever heard, and an all time death metal classic. It blends aggresive and melodic death metal riffs, with progressive rock influences that would not look out of place on a pink floyd album. On paper it may seem like a bad idea, however when left in the hands of Opeth they create a truely exeptional blend of the two styles. The complex riffage interlaced with acoustic and atmospheric passages presents an engaging musical journey for the listener. The more progressive elements provide a build up to the crushing death metal riffs that keeps the listener engaged for every second of the albums sixty plus minutes, while they are on the edge of their seat in anticipation of the next unexpected change in direction. Still Life is an album of surprises that when first listened to cannot be predicted, and on subsequant hearings will continue to throw up surprizes through its unpredictable changes from death metal riffs and guttoral vocals through a number of differing musical stages to gentle acoustic guitar work and clean melodic vocals and back again. Other Opeth albums such as 'My arms your hearse' and 'Blackwater water' follow a similar path to 'Still life'(both are definately worth listening to, not to mention the rest of Opeths work.), however I believe Still Life provides a near perfect example of how two seemingly opposite forms of music can be blended together to proivide a truely exeptional and unique form of extreme music. If your looking for straight up death metal or the usual melodic experiments of progressive rock then this is not for you, however if your looking for truely unique and original metal music, Opeth could just be what your looking for, and 'Still Life' remains their progressive metal masterpiece. Opeth could possibly be the most unique and best band in the world.

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