31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A Brave and Wondrous Thing!,
This review is from: Heritage (Audio CD)
This album is a musical side-step for Opeth and is likely to divide their fans big-time. Those who like the death metal side of their music will probably loathe this (no grunting!), but those who prefer their lyrical, romantic side will love the whole album. There is plenty of piano, acoustic guitar, flute, with only an occasional drift into the heavy side ('The Devil's Orchard' reminds me of of some of Djam Karet's music, a fairly jazzy experience in places but a good rock song at heart with a decent little guitar solo at the end). The acoustic beginning of 'I Feel The Dark' has a Gordon Giltrap feel about it, but it's a gorgeous track that develops nicely into a melancholic rock groove that gradually gets heavier as it progresses. Some of the musical motifs on the album seem a bit simplistic but this is a good, modern progressive rock album that will appeal to many fans. It's an odd first listen and it takes two or three complete hearings to appreciate just how good an album this is. It's a brave and wondrous record and I like it better each time I hear it. I confess that I prefer Opeth's lyrical progressive side and have little time for the death metal grunting that, to my mind, spoils some of their earlier work. Many new listeners will be drawn to Opeth through this album and that is no bad thing - this talented band deserves to be heard more. This is adventurous music and the band's collaborations with Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson seems to have broadened their horizon. The production is first class and cranking up the volume pays dividends! I found this a fascinating listen and recommend it. It's one of the most interesting albums released this year.