Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#14: Opeth - Blackwater Park

Release Year: 2001

I never thought I would ever like death metal... Until I heard Opeth.  There is no other band that better takes advantage of a loud/soft dynamic than this one, and this is their album that most seamlessly transitions between soft, idyllic folk passages and raging metal rampages.

Blackwater Park is notable for being the first Opeth album to feature Steven Wilson as producer, and his influence is profound.  Here we have a crisper, less murky Opeth, with keyboard parts and vocal harmonies.  The song "Harvest," in particular (featuring background vocals by Wilson), sounds like it could fit in perfectly well on a Porcupine Tree record.

Opeth is not your normal metal band.  There are long instrumental passages, extreme dynamics, and some songs without choruses (the closing song, the title track, features a 3-4 minute soft acoustic stretch in the middle that almost lulls you to sleep before returning as relentless as ever).  Blackwater Park is one of the greatest metal albums ever made.

Standout tracks:
  • Blackwater Park
  • Harvest
  • The Drapery Falls

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