6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
'Blackwater Park' Part Two ? As good but not better.,
This review is from: Deliverance (Ltd Edition Digipak) (Audio CD)
Opeth have once again managed to produce an exceptional album continuing the musical progression I thought must have reached it's creative pinnacle with 'Blackwater Park' (one of the albums of all time !). I say 'continuing' rather than 'improving' as I feel that this slightly less immediate than 'BP' and takes a little longer to absorb. Even so, the material here is streets ahead of the majority of other bands out there. How anyone is supposed to compete with these guys is beyond me as they keep raising the standards with every release.
Opener 'Wreath' starts at breakneck speed (no blast beats though, thank god), the guitars and rhythm section truly crushing. Drops down a gear later on and you hear the sound of bongos, no less, then picks up and bolts off sounding ever so slightly like classic Dokken with a George Lynch-esque guitar sound. This doesn't mean they've mellowed out. Far from it, as the song segues into a classic Opeth like finale with recurring, driving doomy riff, very atmospheric and a great way to kick things off.
The title track follows immediately with another driving, powerful intro. A minute or so in and we get our first true acoustic interlude, as beautiful and moving as anything Opeth have given us before. Slightly jazzy in feel, Mickaels vocals really are on top form both clean and rough. This track is going to be a true Opeth classic. All 13 minutes of it.
'A Fair Judgement' continues with the light and dark movements, interspersing quiet verses before launching into an almighty anthemic style hook. As intricate and varied as anything previous, it keeps the mood fully on the 'dark and doomy' side.
After 'For Absent Friends' (an acoustic instrumental), we have 'Master's Apprentices' which begins with a riff that Candlemass would be kill for. This is heavy. And it rarely lets up throughout. Possibly the best track on the album. More of the same intricate time and mood changes but never ever sounds contrived or too calculated. That is the joy of Opeth. They write songs of inordinate length but it all feels so natural, knowing every section fits perfectly with the next. This track finishes with a rollocking final guitar fest, maintaining the recurring hook riff till fade out. Fantastic.
Last track is 'By The Pain I See In Others'. Absolutely rocks out of the blocks. Best part of the song is the mid section, reminding me a little of Alice Cooper's 'Steven'. Ever so slightly 'disturbed'. In fact, keep the CD running for a while after you think it's all finished for some bizarre vocals, sounding like wails from a Middle Eastern mosque.
This is Opeth doing what they do best so don't expect any Anathema style shifts in musical direction. 'Deliverance' offers more evidence to support the view that Opeth are one of the best metal bands, certainly the most creative, around. While I found 'Blackwater Park' to be more immediate, 'Deliverance' is more like the first four albums, in that I expect to be finding new things in each song over the months to come.
What more can I say? Find out for yourself.