You had me until you said Watershed 4/5.
I had no idea this dropped already (22 Aug). Just grabbed it, and updating with my first impressions as I listen.
1) Eternal Rains Will Come - 70s proggy feel, but more listenable than most songs on Heritage. Chord progression reminds me of Face of Melinda.
2) Cusp of Eternity - A little boring for me, but Mikael sounds pretty great on this one
3) Moon Above, Sun Below - Here we go, ~11 min song and starting off super interesting. Still has that kinda plodding guitar progression with a focus on Mikael's vocals, but at least this song has textural shifts unlike the previous one. Interesting little shift around 6:30, unison organ/bass/guitar, almost sounds like a new song. The groove on the latter part is almost jazzy, but I can dig it.
4) Elysian Woes - Really sparse intro with a more targeted message ("Are we pursuing destruction..."). 3:20 and the song opens up, but it's almost over. I'm guessing this song is more of a bridge into the next one.
5) Goblin - Here's that jazzy feel again, not exactly what I think of with a song name like Goblin. 2:00 and no vocals yet, just this jazzy groove.
6) River - Is this Opeth or Kansas...? First 3 min are solid, but wow, if it wasn't for Mikael, I'd almost not know it was Opeth. Not loving the organ chirps on this solo section... Nice little unison section in their older style/key. Liking the earnestness in Mikael's vocals. The first half was kinda weird, but it ended well.
7) Voice of Treason - Interesting string part to begin, feeling hopeful for this one. The song's escalated nicely, sounding a bit like the good parts of Heritage/Watershed. Loved this one. Great build ups and feels like a successful marriage of their older stuff with their proggy/experimental side.
8) Faith in Others - Last track eases into that plodding groove from elsewhere in this album, a nice come down from the previous track. More vocals without much background, giving off a hopeful vibe. Those guitars, damn, love it.
I'd give Pale Communion a 4 out of 5. For reference, I'd give Heritage a 2.5 and Still Life, Blackwater Park, and Ghost Reveries are 5s in my book. Watershed is another 4 out of 5 and I enjoyed this one about as much as Watershed, maybe even a little more than Watershed. There's a lot more groove on this album and a pretty big focus on Mikael's vocals, but this is album is more cohesive than Heritage. It gels the concepts from Heritage with their older work. It never really brought me to the highs those other albums can and still do, but it came close.
Last edited by Neph; 08-27-2014 at 01:50 PM.
You had me until you said Watershed 4/5.
Meh. I still enjoy that album even if it did mark the end of their death metal rooted style. I've accepted their new 70s prog rock / jazz fusion sound and if I want to go back, I'll just listen to their older albums.
I like the 70s style proggy jazzy stuff way more. But I've always hated growl vocals. It was really the only gripe I had with Opeth for the most part.
Let me start off by saying I love metal. I love old opeth, harsh vocals and all. I also enjoy good music of all kinds. People raging about them going all prog need to stfu. Anyway, moving on.
A lot of the tracks haven't really grown on me but there are a few really great ones. Cusp of Eternity has some really interesting vocals. Goblin is a pretty cool jazzy tune, and from what I understand (read it somewhere), it's meant to be a sort of cover song of a band called Goblin from the 70s. Moon Above, Sun Below and Voice of Treason are by far my favourite songs on the album, can't stop listening to either one. Another interesting fact about the album is that Martin Lopez came back to do the drumming on Goblin and Voice of Treason so it doesn't surprise me that I really like those tracks.
Pretty good album! Not 10/10, I'd give the great tracks 9/10 and the rest a 7.5. I'm really curious what their live show is going to be moving forward. Watershed + Damnation and this new album only?
Really tried to like it. I just can't get into it. I think it is better than Heritage, but it's not something I'll go back to often if ever. I think I just can't resolve in my own mind that this is the same band that released Morningrise and Still Life. You almost have to look at Opeth as a completely different band and I just can't. Oh well, if I want old Opeth I'll listen to old Opeth. It's obvious they've morphed themselves into a mostly non-metal entity now.
I don't think they've moved their album style because of his growl voice getting weaker (I've read people speculating that) but just because they want to. If his voice was going I don't think they'd do so much old stuff live.
More on topic...I think this album is great, much better than Heritage.
Fuck this album. If I want real Opeth, I'll put on Ghost Reveries.
I hate to break it to you, but this is 'real Opeth'. They'll make whatever music they want and don't seem to care whether or not people want their old sound. Frankly, I'd rather have a band evolve over time, making music that's interesting to them. It's much better than having them shit out the same album year after year.
New album isn't really doing much for me however i'm OK with that, just the way things go bands change and sometimes you just don't dig the path they've chosen. Not the first time it's happened won't be the last, it doesn't undo all the awesome work they've done in the past. Kinda weird to see In Flames (another band that I've lost the will to keep following) opening for them on this upcoming tour dunno why but I just don't feel like those two go together in a line up.
Still digging this album.
I just realized the references to Dream Theater on the second track: Cusp of Eternity. The key is really similar to DT's Dance of Eternity and also there's the lyric "She turns around to stare at a scene form her memory".
Also, while the first section of River is decidedly the most un-Opeth style on this album, I love how the main lyric of that section is "And our bodies float on the river / to the oceans of demise". It's a little cheesy to have these metal lyrics in this almost country-vocal section, but it works.
I'll stick with MAYH through BWP, or just go listen to Witherscape for like the 1000th time.
Last edited by Vorph; 09-08-2014 at 08:55 PM.
Good album. I am more than happy with prog rock Opeth. I do feel a little sad that there is little chance for another BWP, though.
Liking this a lot. It will definitely stay in my rotation much longer than Heritage.
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