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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 18 June 2005
Blackwater Park is an awesome album, no question about it, and it may have gained them a lot more acclaim but it's not their best album by a long shit, in my opinion anyway, if you're looking to get into Opeth (which I VERY highly recommend you do), check out Morningrise, My Arms Your Hearse and Still Life.
I'll just do a track by track rundown, it's easier.
The Leper Affinity: This song kicks off the album perfectly, excellent riffage, leads onto a nice lead harmony and finishes off with a nice piano outro to round it off. Awesome
Bleak: Although some people don't like this track because of the repeating in the first 4 mins or so, stick with this one, it is awesome, strange little james bond sounding riff that leads onto one of the most melodic guitar breaks, the kind that gives ya goosebumps. Chorus is also great.
Harvest: Lovely acoustic track with a hint of dark thanks to Steven Wilsons nice effects on the lead at the beginning, great chorus, good to sing along to.
The Drapery Falls: A lot of peoples fave on this album but is slightly overrated I think, the intro gets a bit dull but it definetly picks up round the midsection, overall a good song.
Dirge For November: Very nice acoustic passage at the beginning that leads onto some very evil (and oddly enough melodic) chord progressions, finishes off with a very nice acoustic part the end that drips atmosphere.
The Funeral Portrait: When you hear the beginning acoustic riff, you just know it's leading up to something, and it does with style, awesome riffage and a great headbanging track, one of the heavier tracks on the album.
Patterns In The Ivy: Sweet little acoustic interval, nice for a few listens but gets a bit dull, although saying that, it does lead up to the next song nicely...
Blackwater Park: Well, this just finishes off the album perfectly, some awesome riffs and a soft acoustic part makes you think that this is not gonna get heavy, you're damn wrong, some heavy ass riffs come into play, one of the best songs on the album.
I'm not going to go into the bonus tracks, but if you're new to this album, I recommend getting the special edition with two extra tracks (Still Day In The Sun and Patterns In The Ivy II), both acoustic tracks, both excellent.
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on 11 November 2006
I finally took the plunge and bought this album after toying with the idea for a couple of years. Porcupine Tree are one of my favourite bands and Steve Wilson helped produce this album. The only thing that put me off was the idea of listening to all the Death Metal grunts that I knew would proliferate. I have written this review just to say that if there is anyone else out there with the same concern, just buy this amazing masterpiece now!! This delightful mix of heavy, acoustic and progressive riffing has everything from beauty to savagery in it and usually in the same song. What really impresses me about this album is although the music is progressive in every sense of the word, it's never rammed down your throat. It flows effortlessly. Blackwater Park Should have won them awards. Unfortunately amazing music like this will never be the critics choice. Well nevermind that, enhance your life and buy this album immediately!
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on 22 April 2003
As I write this I am listening to the album in question. It starts off with the slow deep build up of 'The Leper Affinity' which after 28 seconds bursts into the climatic roar of guitar, complimented with the phenomenal drumming of one Martin Lopez. This album starts off on a high as this song is outstanding, the lyrics are well thought up and meaningfull (a trait that is all so rare with most modern bands) and the music composed beautifully. As the song glides seemlessly from the loud to the quiet, you forget what you're doing and just listen to the mellow middle section. Just as you're getting comfortable in this new acoustic mode the band suprise you as they rush back into distortion. The climax is......I can't find the words to describe it. It is piano, just piano, and is an amazing conclusion to an amazing song.
The next couple of songs are very good. More melodic guitar riffs and vocals appear here which shows Opeth put a great deal of time into the writing of the whole album, not just focusing on one or two songs. 'Bleak' contains a brilliant verse riff which blasts you out your seat one minute then pulls you back for a quieter, roll off part. 'Harvest' is a very quiet mellow song, which concentrates on the acoustic guitar and soothing vocals. It is a great song to relax to, very pleasent.
The next song is one 'The Drapery Falls' and is one of the best on the album. It has a good mixture of the loud with the quiet and overall is a great listen. When I saw them live not long ago this song got lots of cheer when they announced it. A well loved song by me and many others.
'Dirge For November' is the next offering. It is a pleasent piece with nice acoustic guitar playing and vocals although sadly when the distortion comes on this song fails, and the riffs are not so good when compared with others on the album. So right now I'm putting it back to the beggining of the song with the acoustic.
Next up is 'The Funeral portrait' which again, like 'The Leper Affinity' builds up to a distortion section at the beggining and then leads onto amazing guitar playing by Peter Lindgren and Mikhael. About a minute in a phenomenal riff comes in which I cannot help feeling happy when I hear it. It's not mellow, just unbeleivably heavy and satisfying. The rest of the song doesn't let up and it remains at this high quality all the way through.
'Patterns in the Ivy' is a very short song and has no vocals. It is completely acioustic guiatar and piano. Although not being long it is a very mellow offering from Opeth and really calms you down ready for the final song.
'Blackwater park'. The title track. This song mirrors the album. Outstanding. The dual guitar work is very well composed and well timed. It goes from loud, to a short quiet section, back to the loud again and ends with an acoustic ending to the album.
Overall this album is a masterpiece. It will appeal to many different people as the tracks vary from the quiet to the incredibly loud. Well put together and nice packaging. Need I say much else...
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on 7 November 2003
Where to start....
Well, as this is my first Opeth album, It probably will stand out more to me than any other Opeth albums i will listen to in the future... then again maybe not.
If there was one word to discribe this album, it is 'EPIC'.
I'm allways keeping my mind open to the various sub-genres of metal and the millions of top quality bands, Opeth being the latest band to grab my attention. Having never heard any Opeth songs, i took a risk with buying this album, as i knew them to be a death metal band, death metal not allways being my cup of tea. How suprised i was. I'ts the perfect blend of heavy riffs and acoustic goodness, death growls and really good singing.
The death vocals do it for me though.
The album is very techincal. The shear quality of the songs is amazing, with the average running up to about 9 - 10 minutes in length. The tracks that really stood out to me are 'Bleak' which has a killer riff at the begining, then fades into an acoustic part and then back into heavy stuff to finish it off, clocking in at 9.15. 'The Drapery Falls' also is very impresive as in the Title track. Even the cover art is cool.
This is my first Opeth album and it certainly wont be my last at any rate. Only problem now is which album to head to next!
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on 19 July 2009
The classic Opeth album, released after Still Life and with the recognisable touch of Porcupine Trees Steve Wilson producing, this album is the epitome of the Prog metal genre. Opeth must be the only band to easily move from death metal to acoustic within a 6 minute song. This album is a great collection of what Opeth are capable of. Songs like The Leper Affinity & The Drapery Falls, songs that would blow a fair few speakers are cushioned in with the acoustic Harvest & Patterns in the Ivy. This album highlights progressive music as it should be, with each track offering a number of genres. Åkerfeldt's vocals will amaze you as he goes from Death grunts backed by Peter Lindgren's stunning guitar work to beautiful melodies within seconds. Wilsons work is obvious on this album compared to the previous Still Life and this has got to the be the ultimate Opeth album to buy.
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on 1 February 2003
What an album this is. My first 'Opeth' experience was 'Deliverence', which is one of the best albums I have ever heard. I don't know how I missed 'Opeth' for so long as they are one of the most original bands out there. So today a parcel dropped through my letter box. Blackwater Park. The limited edition 2 CD version, wrapped in an all black sleave. And what an album. Unlike some CD's, this one instantly mesmorises. Brutal death metal riffs and vocals mix with cascading melody and accoustic parts and mellow vocals with some blues thrown in for good measure. The scope really is astounding. It's hard to put into words how good Opeth really are. Unlike a lot of bands, they are open to load's of different styles, but they all meld into that 'Opeth' sound. The arrangments are so eclectic and original, so melodic and heavy at the same time, it takes your breath away. So, if you have yet to experience 'Opeth', then 'Blackwater Park' is the perfect place to start. And, if you can, try and buy the limited edition for the extra tracks and video. You will not regret it.
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on 30 September 2013
Blackwater Park is the fifth studio album by Swedish progressive death metal band Opeth. It was released on 27th February 2001 through Music for Nations and Koch Records. This was the first Opeth album to be released in North America at the same time as it was in the rest of the world. It has been released on compact disc and vinyl record formats. A special edition of Blackwater Park was issued in 2001 with a bonus second disc that included "Still Day Beneath the Sun" and "Patterns in the Ivy II". Those two bonus tracks were released together as a vinyl-only 7" EP by Robotic Empire Records in February 2003. The limited edition EP sold out in less than 24 hours and continues to be one of Opeth's most sought-after releases to date. Two singles were also released to promote Blackwater Park. A shortened radio edit version of "The Drapery Falls" was released as a promo single (the full-length album version is nearly 11 minutes long). The bonus track "Still Day Beneath the Sun" was later released as a vinyl only single. The album marks the first collaboration between Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson and the band, as Wilson had been brought in to produce the album, which led to a considerable shift in Opeth's musical style. Blackwater Park did not chart in North America or the United Kingdom. The album had two singles released from it: "The Drapery Falls" and "Still Day Beneath the Sun". Blackwater Park was highly acclaimed on its initial release and has been praised by critics, with Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic stating that the album is "surely the band's coming-of-age album, and therefore, an ideal introduction to its remarkable body of work".

Opeth entered to Studio Fredman to begin work on Blackwater Park on 10th August 2000. The band had no previous lyrics written and had only rehearsed three times before entering the studio. The band's engineer Fredrik Nordström had arranged for the group to stay in a small room in the studio that had four beds. Opeth stayed there for around two weeks and then later rented out Dark Tranquillity member Mikael Stanne's flat. After recording the basic drums, rhythms, bass and acoustic guitars, Wilson arrived to produce the clean vocals and add some guitar leads. Åkerfeldt wrote that Wilson had an "immense impact on the recording" and after working with him the group entered "a new phase".

Blackwater Park is yet another excellent album by Opeth - did you know that they named this album and a couple of their other albums (My Arms, Your Hearse and Still Life) after progressive rock bands from the 1970s? Anyway, this album is another masterpiece and is very highly recommended, particularly because of its 12-minute title track "Blackwater Park" and the acoustic piece "Harvest" (to be fair, all of the tracks on this album are great so it's difficult to choose a favourite).
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on 9 December 2012
I've been an Opeth fan for years now, but due to laziness on my part I'm only just getting around to reviewing the albums I've owned for ages.

So Blackwater Park. Considered by many to be the finest thing Opeth have ever committed to disc. My favourite album will always be Morningrise, but this is definately one of Opeth's best albums. And considering the calibre of their back catalogue thats high praise indeed.

I normally don't do track by tracks but I think this album deserves it so:

The Leper Affinity: Starts quietly before launching into mighty riffting. A surprisingly aggressive song to start the album with. Nice little piano outro is a well added touch. As ever Opeth's attention to detail shine through here.

Bleak: A Slow starting track due to a repeating harmony for about the first 3-4 mins but its a track that slowly build up to a crashing crescendo.

Harvest: An acoustic track. Beautifully haunting and very dark. Steve Wilson also adds some leads to this one.

The Drapery Falls: For me the best song on the album. Slow starting, and clean sung for the most part, until about the last 3rd of the song when Mikael unleashes some of his finest growls ever recorded. Haunting, Dark but Brutal. This song alone shows exactly why Opeth are held in such high regard in terms of musicianship and pushing the envelope.

Dirge For November: Again an acoustic passage starts this song, before building into some haunting, almost evil melodies. Chorus on this one is excellent, you find yourself singing along after the first few listens.

The Funeral Portrait: The heaviest song on the album. Starts acousticly before unleashing some headbanging riffs. Proof that Opeth can write some songs that will ensure moshing at any live showing.

Patterns In The Ivy: This "song" is an acoustic interval that is there to provide some breathing space, before leading up to the next song nicely...

Blackwater Park: Perfect end to this album. Again some great riffs start this off, before it desolves into an acoustic interlude that lulls you into a sense of peace before unleashing more heavy riffs at you. Mighty.

If you are new to Opeth, this is a good starting point. A nice midway between their earlier, more death-metal albums of Orchids and Still Life, and the more Prog albums such as Watershed. If you are a fan of prog rock, there's a lot to like about Opeth, although if you aren't used to growled vocals, it can take some getting used to. Opeth are a unique band that are able to combine two genres seemingly at odds with each other, and make something powerful, aggressive and brutal, but at the same time expansive, haunting and beautiful. Well worth a listen if you are a fan of music that aspires to be more than just a distraction, and instead be something designed to pull you in and immerse you.
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on 28 August 2010
I recently bought this album out of curiosity not really knowing what Opeth were actually about or even what they sounded like. I'd heard a mellow song called 'Hope Leaves' before but that was it.

When I first started playing it I was initially disappointed as 'The Leper Affinity' opened with what I considered to be a gutteral form of technical death metal. It didn't really appeal and I thought that if the rest of the album was like this then it would get quietly racked away and ignored. It wasn't long before my newly formed preconceptions were pushed when about a quarter of the way through, a rather tuneful solo came into play forcing me to accept that maybe this lot were more musical than I had first thought. A minute or so later the song moved into another technical section which led into a more mellow passage with acoustic guitars and excellent clean singing by Mikael Akerfeldt. By this point I was pretty confused as the song continued to play with my expectations as it built back up it's technical death metal sound before concluding with a melancholic piano passage.

I won't bother detailing the other tracks too much as they pretty much do the same sort of thing. That is, they shift with ease between styles both musically and vocally. The musicianship and songwriting on display here really is spectacular as the band expertly flit from one style to another without the songs sounding like a messy mash up of ideas missing any sense of form or shape.

The 2nd track 'Bleak' is another stunning example that includes a really catchy clean vocal section that I have been humming to myself for some time now. Probably my fave track but the others on here are equally skillful at integrating heavy elements with beautiful more folky acoustic moments and quieter more contemplative melancholic passages. 'Harvest' is the only purely mellow sounding track here and is also wonderful showcase of Mikael's vocals which are frankly amazing. He has such a good clean singing voice I'm surprised he can do the heavy growling without doing any damage.

The album is quite a lot to take in during a first sitting but multiple playthroughs really do reward the listener. I don't really know how to decribe this album other than experimental progressive death rock metal and as you can see that is pretty useless and doesn't fairly do it justice. It's just a really good album that requires listeners to pay attention and then rewards them in spades.

It's something I now consider to be a great introduction to a band. I've recently gone on to buy 'Damnation', 'Still Life', 'Deliverance' and 'Ghost Reveries' all of which I'm appreciating, but this I think, remains my favourite so far, especially with it being my first Opeth discovery.
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on 18 May 2008
This for me is a hugely rewarding and enjoyable album.

As I'm learning the guitar this is an absolute treasure trove of guitar styles. Everything from thrash metal, spanish guitar to gilmour-ish floydian lyricism. Usually all in one song too !

So full of ideas and somehow quite nostalgic in sound.

Oh wow, Drapery Falls just came on as I write this. Stunning. Sounds like a film score.

If dream theater are "the light side", these guys are definitely the dark.

As mentioned by others there is growling. But it works in the context.

Dream Theater meets Hammer House of Horror...
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