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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

284 Ratings

A Very Impressive Release by Opeth


I'll preface this by saying I dislike reviewers that give top ratings to everything, and i'm not one of those people. I think this may be the most mature and deepest release by Opeth to date. It's really really good. The songwriting, the ideas, the sounds, the production, its all there. It's one of thos epic sounding albums, where you say, wow, this is better than I thought it would be. This may be the record that really propels Opeth into the spotlight. First off, its quite progressive. But not always heavy progressive, and not always progressive like Damnation. Its a mix of sounds, some old some new. I can say that there are elements to this album that aren't in the last. The keyboard takes on a new roll in the band, and it fits great. If you're new to Opeth, this is a great starting point, because you'll get hooked, if you've been listening to Opeth, you'll probably think this is the best release to date. Enjoy!



For a long time Blackwater Park has been my favorite Opeth album, followed by Ghost Reveries recently. But this... this is the new, definitive opus of the greatest band on Earth. While at first, after hearing the single Porcelain Heart, it didn't shock me that Opeth had successfully merged styles of progressive death metal and blues styles once again, a full listen of Watershed revealed to me a transecendental mix of masterful musicianship unachieved by any other band I have ever heard. Coil is an interesting opener that features female vocals... the pleasant calm before the storm that is Heir Apparent. Track 2 is the heaviest song of Watershed, packed throughout with tight, crushing riffs and death growls as good as Opeth have ever done, with a cool outro. The Lotus Eater is unconventional to the say the least, but enthralling nonetheless--a unique song in the catalog of Opeth and very reccommended. I don't want to spoil its surprises for anyone who has yet to hear it so I won't say why. If you're a fan of epic ballads than Burden may just be your favorite song on this album, as it is mine. Again, any attempt to describe it would be a disservice to virgin ears. As previously mentioned, Porcelain Heart is an incredible mix of progressive, death metal, and blues. Just like Bleak on Blackwater Park, it succeeds in defining Opeth's latest sound in one song--probably my second favorite of Watershed. The second-to-last song on this album, Hessian Peel, is a contemplative, 11-and-a-half minutes long turning point that gets you ready for the final track. As you listen to Hex Omega, you become sad that the album is finally coming to a close, and the music doesn't help by being so tragically good. You just appreciate it while it lasts and savor every second. That an album could make you feel so empty after closing is a testament to Opeth's genius. Now, the value that comes with buying the special edition is that you get to add 16.5 extra minutes to your experience of this album, which already justifies the price. In my humble opinion neither of the three songs compare to what is in the core package, but are fantastic in their own right. Derelict Herds is the best, followed by Bridge of Sighs and then Den Standiga Resan, which both sound like they would come from a badass-ified Damnation 2.

About Opeth

Brought together in Stockholm by guitarists Peter Lindgren and Mikael Åkerfeldt in 1990, Opeth added progressive influences and acoustic instrumentation to their brand of Swedish death metal. As the group progressed, it was very common for an Opeth live set to fly in several different musical directions -- and an average song lasted no less than ten minutes. Impressed by their originality, Candlelight Records released their debut full-length in 1995, which was titled Orchid, and featured a rhythm section of bassist Johan de Farfalla and drummer Anders Nordin. Edge of Sanity mastermind Dan Swano produced the band's ambitious second album, Morningrise, in 1996, after which they embarked on a brief tour with Morbid Angel. Century Media took notice and not only licensed Opeth's first two albums for the United States, but also planned on releasing their next album on both sides of the Atlantic. With the recruitment of bassist Martin Mendez and drummer Martin Lopez (ex-Amon Amarth) to replace the departed de Farfalla and Nordin, Opeth's third album, My Arms, Your Hearse, was released in 1998 to glowing reviews, establishing the band as a leading force in progressive metal with death roots.

Released in 1999, Still Life displayed even more of the band's prog rock influences, and the following year the band played its first U.S. concert at the Milwaukee Metalfest. Blackwater Park, titled after an obscure psychedelic prog outfit from the '70s, was released in early 2001. The album created a huge buzz among progressive metal fans, who had begun to lump the band in with other experimental metal bands like Tiamat. Instead of waiting until the buzz died down, the band released Deliverance in the fall of 2002. The following year, Opeth surprised fans with the release of Damnation, an album that was almost completely devoid of any heavy metal trappings and focused instead on acoustic instruments and traditional songwriting. Ghost Reveries arrived in 2005 and proved to be a return to form for the band. Opeth returned in 2007 with Roundhouse Tapes: Opeth Live, and in 2008 with the all-new studio album Watershed. In 2010, the band followed up with another live album, In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The set was recorded at the famous London venue and featured the band playing its breakout album, Blackwater Park, in its entirety.

Opeth shifted stylistic gears dramatically for 2011's Heritage. While writing for the album, Åkerfeldt fell under the spell of the music of Swedish folk music, Alice Cooper, and many spaces between. The sound, while remaining Opeth's, was also quite different, far more prog than death metal. In fact, if anything, it was the sound of the band leaving death metal behind. The album's cover was loaded with symbolism depicting the change. Heritage was also the last Opeth recording to feature keyboardist Per Wiberg. The album was released in September on Roadrunner. The new musical direction displayed on Heritage was the origin for the next chapter in the band's musical evolution. After a global tour and a long rest, the band returned to recording in Sweden with mixing engineer Steven Wilson. Pale Communion, released in August of 2014, signaled the band's complete embrace of prog rock. Opeth signed to Nuclear Blast in June of 2016 and announced a new album titled Sorceress with the release of a teaser video. In July, they issued the first of eight YouTube webisodes, revealing that the album had been recorded in 12 days at Rockfield Studios in Wales -- the same location where the band cut Pale Communion. Sorceress was released at the end of September in the middle of their American tour. ~ Mike DaRonco & Thom Jurek

    Stockholm, Sweden

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