Top positive review
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Best available version of one of the many jewels in the Opeth crown.
on 20 June 2008
Many Opeth fans argue that Still Life is Opeth's best album. For me, it's their first proper album, with unarguably great production and a little more diversity on offer than before. It is also the first to feature the classic lineup of Akerfeldt and Lingdren on guitar, and Martins Lopez and Mendez on drums and bass. Still Life treads the line of heavy and mellow perfectly, from ridiculously deathy passages on Serenity Painted Death to the guitar heaven of Face Of Melinda. As Mike Akerfeldt himself has said, it's a very dense album; every song is chock full of music, intense instrumentation, ideas and life (no pun intended). It is without doubt a masterpiece, and paved the way for its spiritual sequel Blackwater Park a few years later.
Still Life reviews are readily available, but I thought I'd provide a little more insight into the specifics of this latest release (the third, I believe). First of, the packaging is gorgeous. The album comes in a sort of hardback book, with the CD trays on the inside covers and the booklet as the pages. The artwork has been reworked (mercifully by the original artist and with the band's permission) and the new style is just as pretty as the old. The booklet features extensive liner notes from Akerfeldt on everything from he and Lindgren's in-studio hallucinations to why the Martins could not be trusted with shopping for groceries. Amusing and light hearted, and as enjoyable as he always is. The main attraction for most will be the new mix of the album. While I didn't notice the main album being much different, the 5.1 mix makes all the difference, and if you're into that sort of thing, this is the version to buy. Also included is an excellent rendition of "Face Of Melinda" live from what I presume is to be an upcoming DVD, with new drummer Axe (another Martin!). The performance is well shot and laid back, and immaculately played with fervour as always with this band.
This latest version of the album seems to be the cheapest as well, so, considering the band's fresh input, you don't need to worry about Peaceville pocketing all the money unfairly. This is an update worth your cash.