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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
From what I'd read in articles leading up to the release of the album, I knew I'd be expecting something special when listening to this latest release from Opeth. Mikael Akerfeldt had said in numerous interviews that he'd been wanting to concentrate on melody a lot more for this album and he really was telling the truth. This album is one of the most melodic Opeth...
Published 26 days ago by Huw Roberts

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Faulty Blu Ray
As others have already stated the 5.1
audio on the Blu Ray disc is faulty.

There is no low frequency effect coming
out of the subwoofer. The volume on
the surround speakers completely
drowns out the sound coming from
the main front left/right speakers.

Also no one seems to be accepting
any responsibility for this as far...
Published 3 days ago by Mr. S. Rick


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece, 26 Aug 2014
From what I'd read in articles leading up to the release of the album, I knew I'd be expecting something special when listening to this latest release from Opeth. Mikael Akerfeldt had said in numerous interviews that he'd been wanting to concentrate on melody a lot more for this album and he really was telling the truth. This album is one of the most melodic Opeth releases, if not the most melodic release in their entire catalogue. Not only is the singing melodic but also the guitar parts and the strings, making for an extremely listenable album.

The songs are memorable, catchy and with all the right twists and turns / light and dark bits that we all love Opeth for. The Prog elements really work on this album. Even though they're a lot more subtle when compared to Heritage it makes it sound very organic and fluid. It's obviously progressive but not in a jarring way, which is also down to the emphasis on melody. People moping about the 'excess' of prog that Heritage was (apparently) seem to forget that Opeth have always been progressive. They've certainly gotten more progressive over the years but they've not released anything that's been completely out of the blue. This is them taking the prog of Heritage and cleaning it up a bit. Heritage had to happen for this album to be made, although oddly enough it sounds as if this would've been a more logical follow up to Watershed than Heritage was (I would like to point out that personally, I love Heritage and have absolutely no problem with it).

I've listened to the entire album a good 4 or 5 times now and it's rather addictive. No one is like Opeth. I've heard people say that the Opeth of today release music that is '70's prog worship', and I've never heard so much bollocks in my life. This, to me, is a very modern sounding album in both the music and the production. Opeth just do prog differently to say, Dream Theater. You really feel that everything is about the song, and there's never too much showing off, although my only complaint is the fact that Fredrik Akesson doesn't show off enough, because he can seriously play. The solo on Cusp of Eternity is fantastic and in terms of modern guitarists he must be one of the most underrated players out there. I'd like to praise everyone's playing on the album actually. The whole thing is very well played and performed. Mikael's singing is brilliant as always and I love the choir of Mikaels that pop up throughout the album.

Probably my favourite Opeth release, although to me there isn't a single album of theirs that I dislike. If you're in the mood for some very well crafted, incredibly melodic progressive music with lovely string arrangements (a very nice addition to Opeth's sound!) then buy this album. There will always be the crowd of people who feel as though they're entitled to another Blackwater Park but to us fans who can appreciate that Opeth's sound has progressed and was obviously headed towards this direction then I think it's only fair to call this Opeth's crowning achievement so far.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open your mind, and the rewards are all there., 25 Aug 2014
By 
This review is from: Pale Communion (Audio CD)
The forums are fit to bursting with fan and critic opinion and reaction to the latest career curve ball from Opeth, and, as an open minded (and admittedly, bit older) fan, I find it hilarious that people can't accept the decision by Mr. Akerfeldt to move away from the days of the death growl onto a more progressive rock pathway with excitement and good grace. I've been a massive addict of this band since Blackwater Park in 2001 and have absorbed each and every album with utter amazement and delight, and I love the aggressive, death metal side of their catalogue as much as anyone, and sometimes I do yearn for a bit of that, but I promise, if you approach this album with an open mind and the thought that the willingness to break the mould and be 100 times more exciting than most bands out there today is what got you into Opeth in the first place, then this album could take it's place at the top table with the aformentioned BP, Still Life, Deliverence et al as one of your fave Opeth releases. It flows beautifully, and is far more cohesive than previous opus Heritage, and in my opinion contains some of Akerfeldt's strongest writing to date. From the labyrinthian opener Eternal Rains...with it's glorious layered vocal harmonies, to the epic and challenging Moon Above, Sun Below with it's stunning opening riff, straight from Satan's record collection (just cause there's no death growls, don't mean it can't evoke the Devil). Some have criticised Moon Above, .. for being boring and plodding, give it time and open you ears. The album then really open's up into anything goes territory, with prog-tastic instrumental Goblin, sounding just like um...Goblin, the stunning River, evoking an Opeth-ian version of The Moody Blues. The album climaxes with possibly the finest 16 minutes of music your likely to hear this year, starting with Voice of Treason, with cinematic string stabs and urgent drumming and a beautiful central vocal melody, ripping into a massive riff-centred chorus, with a familiar Eastern feel, it's immense. The album finishes on a high, with the gorgeous Faith In Others, which Steven Wilson endorsed as possibly Opeth's finest song so far. While that is subjective, it is probably Opeth's most emotional, beautiful and frankly tear enducing moment to date. The central vocal melody from Mikael is beautifully delivered with a passion and humanity so far unheard, that combined with the slow and lovely string drenched progression, it feels perfectly placed to end a proper opus. Also, the album is littered with the most beautifully constructed guitar solos on any Opeth album so far, just amazing. In summing up, my advice to any disillusioned fan, listen with wonder and an open mind and this will reward you no end. The most exciting thing is you have so many different sides to this band, you really can have your cake and eat it...that and the thought that the next album might be the one where he growls again........
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep and open mind, it needs effort to appreciate it, 10 Sep 2014
By 
Mr. George Johnson "Gj" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pale Communion (Audio CD)
Like many I was a little dismayed when Opeth headed off in a more prog-rock direction ( as opposed to their prog-metal roots ). Watershed was not a huge favourite with me but I stuck with them, then Heritage came out and I just didn't like it at all. Like many I'd loved their earlier stuff, having been listening to them since "My Arms, Your Hearse", seen them several times live, so I've invested a lot of time in them and I wasn't going to let all that go to waste.

I'm always willing to give artists a fair crack so PC arrived and I bought it. First listen...oh no Heritage Mk II! Much to my shame I didn't get past the first track! Two weeks later I was discussing Opeth with a mate and I decided to give PC another fair hearing, really listen to it, a few times if need be.

I have to say after a couple of days with it and I'd completely forgotten the golden rule of an Opeth album, IT TAKES TIME TO GET INTO! It's really growing on me.

Stand out tracks, obviously "Cusp of Eternity"!
"Goblin" - I really love this track despite it sounding like a 1980's cop show incidental music track! Ha ha!
"Eternal Rains Will Come" - Really mellow track with menace.

As others have referenced, the Metal Injections review is spot on, at first listen die-hards will just lose it saying it sounds all weedy and proggy, but the clever thing Akerfeld and Co. have done is managed to take all that anger and aggression from the prog-metal work on previous albums and somehow keep mellow out but keep the underlying tone of menace in their music.

If I'm still honest, no it's not one of their greatest albums ( hence the 4 ) when compared to stuff like Damnation and pick any track from Deliverance, Ghost or Blackwater but this is certainly damn fine album that deserves respect and deserves people giving it a fair chance and not just writing it off as Opeth-gone-soft. People expect things these days to be instant gratification, well I don't think Opeth have ever delivered instant gratification, you have to work with them to get into their music. I've disliked most of their albums at first listen but I've persevered and been rewarded in spades. So stick with it and give it a go, if you like it, brilliant, if not well at least you were open minded enough to try .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Faulty Blu Ray, 19 Sep 2014
By 
Mr. S. Rick (Derby U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pale Communion (Audio CD)
As others have already stated the 5.1
audio on the Blu Ray disc is faulty.

There is no low frequency effect coming
out of the subwoofer. The volume on
the surround speakers completely
drowns out the sound coming from
the main front left/right speakers.

Also no one seems to be accepting
any responsibility for this as far as
I'm aware.

Amazon should be on top of this issue
and in discussion with the distributor
of this product so this mess can be sorted
out.

Please note this only applies to the 5.1
surround mix and not to the stereo 2.0
mix which is fine.

This review also only applies only to the 2 disc special edition of pale communion.

If anyone else has encountered this
issue it would be very helpful if they
could post something (however short)
on Amazon so that they can see there is
a problem with this product.

Thanks for reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 6 stars Pearl of an album!, 5 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pale Communion (Audio CD)
Hear me out prog fellows this one hit all spot and then some more.
Were to start..I won't go into describing the tracks instead taking on the concept
Of one piece,as it's one of those rare album that give that feel.
Those of us that have been to prog rock/metal for the last 30 + years,know
How hard and elusive this idea can be for mostly with many miss.
Yet once in a few years if we were lucky and insisted we may be able to get hold,
Of a gemstone album the kind that we immediately wanted more of it,though
Not too many
We may needed to pass some 1500 CD's or more of hearing to locate such 50 CD's,
After many years of listening and digging.
Yap that's how hard this have been.
Well enough of that,Opeth warped for us this Magnificat Pearl of an album.
The music is Opeth signature all'right but it's also 100 % prog rock though not
To far for the prog metal sound.
with every track different to the other yet there is a feel of one concept and continuation.
The music always shift to some new variations yet cleverly arrange in a way that you never
Feel aggressive cut of idea,or the feel that something that is not belong enter,nor any thing as a time filler.
Like A good chef restaurant you get what you like in a way that leave place for you to want more
Yet as you think it you get a new dish of something equal tasty so you want to keep with that
While telling your self ok I'll do round Robin afterward. Lol.
For me this album will be life time using,it's a rare like too few,as the best of PT,PF,DT maybe(just the latest
And not the last one) but with all that saying there no mistake for the Opeth signature of sound it all over
In the best way that can be.
For me to get an album like so it's worth the extra 6 star!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opeth Back and Better Than Ever, 28 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pale Communion (Audio CD)
I am a diehard Opeth fan, I love pretty much every album they had ever done. The only exepction from me was Heritige. Heritige while not a disaster, felt like an album lacked cohesiveness and the songs meandered a bit. There seemed to be a lot of pointless meandering that didn't need to be there, so I was a little nervous going into this album. Turns out I need not have worried, this a glorious album.

Yes, I think it can be safely stated that this is not a "Metal" record in any sense of the word. This is prog album, make not mistake.

The simple way to review this album is that they have taken the melodic prog rock of Heritige, and refined it further. The meandering that I felt hampered that album is gone, and the songs are extremely cohesive. The melodies on this album amazing, ranging from fragile beauty to almost hear wrenching dispair. Mikael's vocals on this album are stunning and really capture a lot of the emotion on this album

What I think really elevates this album way above Heritige is how well it works as a whole. Like Blackwater Park, Pale Communion is at it's best when listened from start to finish, as a complete unit. It is a testament to the band that they are able to make each song fit so perfectly, that it ceases to be just a collection of songs, but something far greater. That's not to say there are no stand-out songs. My personal favourite songs are the insanely progtasic 16min Goblin, which is a tour de force of musicianship and the somewhat devisive Moon Above, Sun Below with one of the best Opeth riffs ever commited to tape.

If you didn't like Heritige much, this is still worth checking out as I feel it is a far stronger album. If nothing else, this should confirm if the bands evolution is one that fits with your personal tastes of the band. Blackwater Park is still my favourite album of theirs, and I think they may never top it, but this is a great album all on its own, and well worth a listen.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FAULTY BLU-RAY!, 1 Sep 2014
This review is from: Pale Communion (Audio CD)
GREAT MUSIC, FAULTY BLU-RAY

Beware if you're interested in listening to this album in surround. The front left and LFE tracks from the blu-ray are OUT OF PHASE, which makes the soundstage extremely odd and destroys what would've been another terrific mix by Steven Wilson. It creates a weird "hole" at the left side of the soundstage, with almost no bass at all and drums lacking punch and balance, due to the cancellation of audio waveforms in the air. Looks like every copy of the blu-ray is suffering from this fault, as many customers are already complaining on some forums. The stereo mix, however, is correct.

This is a great album and deserves to be released without any fault. Akerfeldt seems to have improved his prog rock songwriting compared to "Heritage", an album that was full of great musical ideas, but somewhat flawed songs. On "Pale Communion" the songs structures are better, more cohesive. Roadrunner needs to fix this screwed up blu-ray. If they do, I WILL change my review to 5 stars, because the music deserves it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Opeth influenced by Riverside?, 12 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pale Communion (Audio CD)
Heritage was a little inaccessible in my opinion but perhaps it needed to be made to fulfil Pale Communions potential. PC is far more likeable and has some memorable tracks and is far more melodic than any other Opeth album. There are many 70s prog influences but that does not detract from the albums undoubted brilliance. One thing I would say is that Polish prog group Riverside have often quoted Opeth as an influence but if this album is anything to go by then Riverside are now influencing Opeth, what a credit! If you like this and have never listened to Riverside then try them, their albums are similar to this and in some ways contain better structured tracks. This is a good album and if the progress into prog continues for them at the rate between Heritage and PC then role on the next one, it should be amazing!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What I was hoping Heritage was going to be., 31 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pale Communion (Audio CD)
Faith restored!

The reason I say that I have been an Opeth fan since the early days and right up to and including Ghost Reveries I loved everything they did, they could just do not wrong. Then came Watershed, which apart from the excellent "Coil" and the pretty interesting "Porcelain Heart" I found rather boring. In hindsight it feels to me like the album Mikael didn't really want to make but thought he had to because "the fans wouldn't understand". Personally Mikael, I felt your boredom in that album and I felt it was a backwards step from Ghost Reveries.

Then came Heritage. To me this felt like a "f**k it, I want to make what I want to make and I don't care if you like it or not", which is perfectly fine, musicians usually make their best music when they make what pleases them, but to my ears it seemed like a bunch of clever sonic experiments which failed as a piece of entertainment; like watching other people having fun but you can't join in. Best thing I could think of to say about Heritage was "at least he sounds like he's having fun this time!". Didn't care for it, but I was hopeful the next album would be better.

Pale Communion has all the freedom of Heritage and then some, except that it introduces some great design and never forgets it's a piece of entertainment. It's got some positively random moments and a lot of twists and turns; songs you expect to go on for ages just don't, and ones you expect to end in a few minutes just keep going with more and more varied parts. How does it sound? I think people have covered this but it's largely prog rock with a sprinkling of metal, jazz, accoustic. It's pretty weird and takes a number of listens to truly get it but it's worth the effort. Whereas Hertiage was just "very clever", this is "very clever AND very entertaining".
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A future prog 'classic'? Quite possibly., 25 Aug 2014
By 
Kevin O'Keefe (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This is a major step forward for Opeth. If Heritage was the rehearsal then THIS is the main performance.

I was intrigued by Opeth's last album; it was an uneven effort but reached for what I considered to be an exciting new direction (with often mixed results). What it lacked in good tunes it more than made up for in ambition, wearing its prog influences brazenly on its sleave and, while there much to admire about it, it was (save for a couple of outstanding tracks) something of a failure.

'Pale Communion' is almost everything I had hoped for with 'Heritage' (but which 'Heritage' failed to deliver). Gone are the pointless and somewhat indulgent passages; what you get here are concise yet complex compositions that, working as a whole suite, produce that moving and disquieting mood that Opeth have made their trademark. And what a trademark: it is a testament to the band that they have managed to evolve into such an immediately recognizable style and sound (they genuinely do sound like nobody else).

Unsurprisingly Steven Wilson's involvement is in evidence (although mercifully not smothering proceedings - as it seemed to me on 'Heritage' at times). The playing, arrangements and general composition are top drawer throughout. Mikael's vocals are even more assured, distinctive and, dare I say, beautiful. Harmonies abound as does orchestration and a finely judged sense of dynamics ensure this suite of songs never flag and continue to hold the attention from start to finish. For this reason I'll resist singling out any particular tracks as there is very little flab on this album (perhaps 'Goblin' could have been trimmed from the running order; but even this short instrumental - coming on like some funky shuffling Gentle Giant workout is pretty charming and groovy in its own way). The middle-eastern influences are still here (as employed in 'Heritage') but are used judiciously and to wonderful effect.

In conclusion this is a rock-solid effort from start to finish. Unlike their last album, which I could never envisage taking out for a regular spin after the initial interest had worn off, I can actually see (hear?) myself playing this album years from now. There is little higher praise in my view.

Quite an achievement.
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Pale Communion by Opeth (Audio CD - 2014)
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