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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 30 September 2013
Morningrise is the second studio album by Swedish progressive metal band Opeth. It was released on 24th June 1996 in Europe by Candlelight Records and on 24th June 1997 in the United States by Century Black. It was reissued in 2000 on CD by Candlelight Records and on LP by Displeased Records. The LP was limited to 1000 copies. These reissues contains the bonus track "Eternal Soul Torture", an early recording from Opeth in 1992 (the lyrics for this song were written by founding member David Isberg). A special edition was released by Candlelight in 2003. The recording sessions took place at Unisound studio, in Örebro, between March and April 1996, and once more the band produced alongside Dan Swanö. Morningrise was the last Opeth album produced by Swanö. It was also the last Opeth release with drummer Anders Nordin and bassist Johan De Farfalla.

Morningrise showcases Opeth's signature style, exploring the dynamics between the combination of black metal and death metal vocals, and guitar parts with lighter progressive and acoustic elements. The album was very well received by critics, with some calling it "epic" and "perfect".

As the release of the first album was delayed, they had already written most part of Morningrise when Orchid was released. Although some parts of the material recorded date back to 1991, Mikael Åkerfeldt said, "the material we had been writing felt really fresh and new." Åkerfeldt and Lindgren wrote an instrumental piece that was meant to appear on the album, but they did not have enough time to finish it. Morningrise includes Opeth's longest song ever recorded, "Black Rose Immortal", with a length of 20 minutes and 15 seconds.

Morningrise is an excellent follow-up album to Orchid in that the same varieties of musical styles were played, with heavy riffs and death growls mixed with guitar harmonies and also some acoustic guitar parts with clean vocals (To Bid You Farewell is devoid of death growls and black metal screams). Like Orchid, I also strongly recommend Morningrise to anyone who likes great music.
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on 26 June 2003
Morning rise is to put it simply amazing. From the opening riff of "Advent" to the closing beauty of "to bid you farewell", the album is flawless, after that things go a little downhill with the inclusion of the bonus track "eternal soul torture"...but let's not dwell on that. Morning rise is too much to take in at a single listen: the first time i heard it i thought it was ok and went straight back to the very accessible damnation/deliverance pack. But put it on again...NOW(!) and you'll hear all that you missed the first time round and more... Advent, the opening track builds slowly for about 15 seconds before breaking into a crushing guitar riff and pounding black metal drumming...soon to be followed by the intense roaring of Mikael Ackerfeld at his best. This heaviness contniues for some time but is beautiful in it's own way, twisting and turning through a tempest of drums and guitar. And when the accoustic break comes in you can almost feela tear in the eye: truly beautiful. Going on to possibly the best track on the album "the night and the silent water" (which i interpret as a reflection on the hypocrisy of organised religion, read the lyrics and see what you think: particularly "you sleep in the light, yet the night and the silent water still so dark") which breaks upon you like a wave on the shoreline and batters you senseless before lulling you with some breathtaking instrumental passages. The track most people will remember from this album however will be the twenty minute opus "black rose immortal" which incorporates everything from lone vocals (with no backing) to violas and cellos to black/death metal riffage. Anyone who has listend to a couple of opeth albums will know that they are a band who always like to throw in a ballad and it is "to bid you farewell" which wrenches at the heart strings on this one: a slow accoustic number with sombre mournful vocals for the fisrt 7 minuts or so before breaking into one of the best guitar riffs penned by opeth with soul destroying vocals....anyway enough of my ramblings: BUY NOW!!!!! please... for your own sake...
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on 29 November 2001
Morningrise is one of the most perfectly crafted albums I have ever come across. The contrasting styles and tempos of the music are blended seamlessly throughout each of the 10min+ songs. If there could be one song to 'sum up' Opeth, it would be the epic 'Black Rose Immortal', which flows spasmodically for over 20 minutes - lesser bands would have cushioned this single song and sold it as a 12-track album. The music is also complimented with excellent mixing. There is not a single fault on this album.
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on 9 October 2001
The most fantastically brilliant album ever. It took me a week for the music to sink in. The album glides effortlessly between fast-paced black metal and classical accoustic pieces. And Black Rose Immortal is perfect.
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on 28 February 2001
This album has a hypnotic, lulling effect on the listener, as elaborate gothic metal opens out into shimmering acoustic passages with sleepy, drifting vocals, most notably on the 20 minute epic, 'Black Rose Immortal'. Definitely recommended, if you like your metal haunting and melodic.
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on 29 March 2004
I've bought Morningrise in 1995. It's perfect. It's brilliant. Thank you Opeth. No words could ever describe Morningrise. You can try but you'll fail. Morningrise was Opeth at their best (Orchid came almost as close). After Morningrise something had changed: no more twin guitars, the acoustic passages never sounded as classical as on their first two albums. I'm not saying that the other albums are bad, their are not! But Morningrise was different...
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on 19 May 2008
As someone who has been into Opeth for some years now, I still cannot see the major appeal this album holds. It's an improvement over Orchid in terms of songwriting at least. There are still some very clumsy transitions, and even plenty of parts where they just stop, pause, and then play something completely different, but the songs as a whole feel like they have a kind of a shape, a beginning, middle, and end. To Bid You Farewell actually flows quite nicely and becomes quite hypnotic. The exception, however, is Black Rose Immortal. Opeth have never written anything as long as BRI before or since, though it's obvious why. The song is barely coherent; after about ten minutes they clearly start running out of ideas on how to make the song last longer, it keeps sounding like it's ended, only for another section to come in out of nowhere. The outro is nice but even that just starts after a pause following a completely different section. None of it flows logically at all. It's as if they tried desperately to write a 20 minute song just for the sake of it.

The overall style of the first two Opeth albums is quite different to the rest of their discography. Mikael Akerfeldt said that after Morningrise, he found that the twin-guitar thing that they were doing was being done to death by loads of other bands, and that everything that could be done with it had been done. They developed a different style for their next album, and I can imagine it was quite a shock when My Arms Your Hearse came out. In my opinion their style from then on is much more interesting on Orchid and Morningrise, which almost entirely consists of two guitars playing counterpoint melodies. Although many of the riffs are good, there's little variation in style besides switching from metal to clean passages and back again, which is nothing new these days. The more complex harmonies and arrangements that drew me to Opeth in the first place are not present on this album.

I don't recommend this to newcomers. Apart from the fact that I don't think it's very good, it's not representative of Opeth's style for the most part of their career. Pick up something more recent; I recommend Blackwater Park, Still Life, or Deliverance.
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on 14 February 2016
the second album by opeth...

pros: the acoustic sections are exellent, some of the riffs are very addictive

cons: black rose immortal is way to long for what it is, there is not enough going on to keep the listener interested, its very hard to tell which song is which and the productionis still awful
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on 20 January 2003
This was Opeth's second album, released in 1996, and many consider it to be their best work. Such is the high standards that this band have set themselves up to the present (album number six, Deliverance) that people's favourite Opeth album is actually a matter of debate. Unlike bands like Slayer and Metallica, who reached their zenith early in their careers and thus never reached the consistency afterwards, Opeth's album catalogue is consistent the whole way through.
There are only five tracks on Morningrise but each one is an epic. The shortest track is just over ten minutes. The longest - and best track - Black Rose Immortal, exceeds the twenty minute mark. This is not to say that they are meandering, tuneless feedback affairs. Far from it. For each song you can count at least five memorable hooks. Concept albums are often treated with caution, and understandably so. Pink Floyd - who Opeth, in their acoustic "mellow" sections, are compared to - are dull. Opeth are not.
Production wise, this marks the end of the stripped down sound that was on this album and their debut, Orchid. The guitars sound very similar to later releases, but the drum sound is a bit flat and tame here. Most people will be initially disappointed at the inferior production (although it's still decent) if they have heard the albums backwards. This is a minor gripe. As soon as "Advent" starts up, you'll have completely forgotten about this.
Of course, the fact that each song is a sprawling epic means that "Morningrise" will take a few listens before you start to grow accustomed to the album. This is not a criticism. It's an incentive to keep listening, because with each listen you find another catchy acoustic interlude or an air-guitar solo.
Utterly brilliant. An album that has never received the accolades that albums like "Hear Nothing...", or "Reign In Blood" have received for their genres.
Death-folk rules!
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on 16 February 2006
In my opinion, this is one of Opeth's best albums (tying with "Still Life" maybe.) There are only 5 songs on the album, all stretching to at least 10 minutes, (or in the case of the incomparable epic "Black Rose Immortal", 20 mins) Epic is definitely a word I would use to describe this album. A lot of bands (particularly black metal bands) tend to make their songs ridiculously long just for the sake of it, just to prove they aren't commercial or "sellouts". Not Opeth. Every song is just perfect. They are the length they need to be, incorporating countless different aspects of countless different genres. Its hard to pick a highlight from an album that is musically perfect from beginning to end, but I would have to say "Advent" is one of their best songs ever and "Black Rose.." simply cannot be compared to any other song ever written. It combines heavier, darker riffs and menacing death vocals with passages of softer more melodic acoustic guitar and stunning clean vocals, incorporating some fantastic drumming and absolutely classic riffs along the way. Just try and think of another song that can hold its own for 20 minutes! Maybe this isn't their most accessible, but its a good way of getting an idea of what Opeth are about, as I would say this is the band at their absolute best. The only complaint I could have with this album is the production. I don't agree that it detracts from the music itself, but it does suffer slightly in comparison to later albums. Theres not much else to say about "Morningrise". Its simply a stunning musical epic, combining the very best of death metal and prog rock with an edge of beautiful acoustic melody. If you like any of Opeth's music you can't fail to love this. I promise.
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