2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
They've done it again...,
This review is from: Watershed (Audio CD)
I tend to get nervous when Opeth release a new album, because I'm always worried that their insanely high standards will one day slip and they'll give us something that doesn't blow us away. I'm happy to say that I'm still waiting for this to happen. Watershed is absolutely superb.
Some have criticised some of the newer elements on here, but I think they all work. The addition of the female voice on the opener is a great touch, and I love the funky breakdown in Lotus Eater - to me there is no suggestion that it was just chucked in there. Even the detuned guitar trick sounds right, and it's pretty hard to take a piece of music that's meant to sound bad and put it into a song so it doesn't just sound like exhibitionism.
As has been pointed out, there is less death metal growling on here than many of their albums, but that doesn't bother me, as Mikael's clean vocals are getting better and better over time anyway. His vocal performance on Burden is marvelous. And he CAN still do the growls when he wants to, as Heir Apparent will prove.
The "new guys" (Axenrot and Åkesson) fit in very nicely, and Per Wiberg really starts to make his presence felt with a lot of proggy keyboard work. Åkerfeldt is still the core of the band, and without him Opeth would no longer exist, but he knows how to surround himself with talent and write to their strengths.
It's tricky to pick out a best song, because Opeth's albums aren't really designed like that, but for me, Coil, Hessian Peel and Heir Apparent are especially excellent. But the album works brilliantly as a cohesive whole, and should really be listened to in this way.
I can now relax until they announce their next album, whereupon I'll start getting unjustifiably nervous again!