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The best Opeth post, ever

Kind of a weird one here, a bit hard to take for some.....others love these progressive rockers from Swden to death.....the band has been through a blurry of personnel changes, but remain pretty much the playground of guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Lars Mikael Akerfeldt. Sort of like a more "out there" version of Tool (a mouthful to be sure), these guys traditional will incorporate nearly any musical style into their lengthy compositions, often featuring "standard" rock vocals and just as often utilizing nearly unlistenable "death vocals" (that is my opinion of them).....the music is at times amazing though, amazing enough that many of their more ardant supporters refer to each individual album as a "masterpiece"....I'm not quite ready to do that, but this is something that I do occasionally enjoy, and really is "different" from most anything else out there.....

The formula was set from the first release, 1995's "Orchid", long (10 minute plus) epics, a combination of "clean" and groweled "death metal" vocals.....personally I find it one of their btter efforts, "In the Mist She Was Standing" and "Triumph of the Apostle" give us every indicator of whet we  expect down the road.

Even better, for my cash is "Morningrise", which takes the first albums concepts and builds on them....more lengthy epics, more combinations of folk/acoustic and black-death metal, more vocals sometimes sounding like aman being, others sounding like the Cookie Monster....."To Bid You Farewell" is the essence of the album, there are PLENTY more epic length bashers like "Advent" and "Black Rose Immortal".....possibly their best album.

Growth continued on 1998's "My Arms Your Hearse"....lyrically a conceptual affair about a dead guy who becomes a ghost......the music has a harder edge than the previous efforts, with a reduction of the acoustic parts which were trademarks earlier.....the album also includes three instrumental tracks, which work VERY well in this kind of setting, the songs are SOMEWHAT shorter (7-8 minutes), "April Ethereal" and "Karma" work the best.....for what it portends to  be vs what it IS, I have to say this is quite a successful album as well.

"Still Life" was released in 1999, and evidently contains anit-Christian sentiments conceptually, once again, they paint the picture they desire, creepy shit like "The Moor" and "Face of Melinda" could have been written to order. Have to say, although this isn't my favorite kinda shit always, this album accomplishes what it sets out to do, as well, which makes them, what 4 for 4 at this point?

Many fans argue for 2001's "Blackwater Park" as their top effort, I can see the point there as well.....these guys REALLY set the scene they desire, painting UGLY sonic landscapes that are pure, sludgy, metalic wondement......fortunately, I have the bonus disc which includes the fab "Still Day Beneath  the Sun", and  there are plenty of  other classic-uglies here, "The Leper Affinity", and "The Funeral Portrait" notably......gotta say this for Opeth, these guys knew their formula and flipped the bird to anyone wishing any diversification.

"Deliverance" was released in 2002, and is perhaps the band's "heaviest" album.....another fine work, really, hard rocking and totally "opeth", tracks like "Master's Apprentices" and "By the Pain I See In Others" drive the point home......man, have I underrated these guys? This is an excellent disc as well.....It's just that I dislike the "growled" vocals SO much that they detract from the brilliance of the music......that is MY problem, I guess, but honestly, these are some fine prog-metal albums when you take the vocals with a grain of cocaine.....

So, what a shock it would be when "Damnation" was released in 2003.....no more death-metal growling, no more heavy riff-rock, a TOTAL departure.....and it DOES work. MUCH shorter songs and less-complex structures drive the point home that this is a radical departure....I can imagine HUGE fans of the band accused them of "selling out" on this one, but what can you do? It's a decedisc as well.

"Ghost Reveries" went back to the traditional Opeth "sound", and I personally a not crazy about the disc, perhaps from a band a bit past it's "sell-by" date.....far from unlistenable, "The baying of the Hounds" recalls classic Opeth as do a few others......but I wonder if this ship had sailed by this point....

In 2008 they released "Watershed", as I am prone to doing with bands that I think have run their course, i basically forget about em.......don't think I've ever HEARD "Watershed", likley downloaded it and never gave it a listen......here it is in all it's glory nonetheless......

They've put out several live discs (don't have em....blog friends?) and stuff, the most recent release I have here is 2011's "Heritage" which I also have never listened to, wht do ya want me to do, lie? Anyways, it is here too, and should complete the picture for these guys, they are fairly easy to encapulate.....they were what they were, and while I prefer Tool's "symphonic gloom metal" to Opeth's, Opeth is a treat that some of us might enjoy in the proper frame of mind......

A few live discs here also, from 2003 "Live at Shepard's Bush Empire", as you might imagine, these fellows have a propensity to noodle a bit on stage, some like thatme personally, well......We also have 2007's "The Roundhouse Tapes" and 2010's "Live at Royal Albert Hall".....natcherlly all three are double disc sets so's ya can get the FULL EFFECT of Opeth on the stage.

OK, these guys are not The Mothers of Invention or the Darkness, which is to say that maybe they don't have the world's keenest sense of humor......in fact, they make Tool sound like Blink 182......but, there is a place for music like this....this is dark, dreary, atmospheric music, for a proper time and place, to be sure, but there can be some rewarding stuff here......trying, as always to present VARIETY, and to be certain, NOONE is quite like Opeth, on that we can all agree.

ORCHID-01 In the Mist She Was Standing/02 Under the Weeping Moon/03 Silhouette/04 Forest of October/05The Twilight Is My Robe/06 Requimum/07 The Apostle in Triumph

MORNINGRISE-01 Advent/02 The night and the Silent Water/03 Nectar/04 Black Rose Immortal/05 To Bid You Farewell

MY ARMS, YOUR HEARSE-01 Prologue/02 April Etheral/03 When/04 Madigral/05 The Amen Corner/06 Demon of the Fall/07 Credence/08 Karma/09 Epilogue

STILL LIFE-01 The Moor/02 Godhead's Lament/03 Benighted/04 Moonlapse Vertigo/05 Face of Melinda/06 Serentiy Painted Death/07 White Cluster

BLACKWATER PARK-01 Leper Affinity/02 Bleak/03 Harvest/04 The Drapery Falls/05 Dirge For Movember/06 Funeral Portrait/07 Patterns In the Ivy/08 Blackwater Park/09 Still Day Beneath the Sun

DELIVERANCE-01 Wreath/02 Deliverance/03 A Fair Judgement/04 For Absent Friends/05 Master's Apprentices/06 By the Pain I See In Others

DAMNATION-01Windowpane/02 In My Time of Need/03 Death Whispered a Lullaby/04 Closure/05 Hope Leaves/06 To Rid the Disease/07 Ending Credits/08 Weakness

GHOST REVERIES-01 Ghost of Perdition/02 The Baying of the Hounds/03 Beneath the More/04 Atonement/05 Reverie/Harlaquin Forest/06 Hours of Wealth/07 The Grand Conjuration/08 Isolation Years

WATERSHED-01 Coil/02 Heir Apparnet/03 The Lotus Eater/04 Burden/05 Porcelain Heart/06 Hessian Peel/07 Hex Omega

HERITAGE-01 Heritage/02 The Devil's Orchard/03 I Feel the Dark/04 Slither/05 Nepanthe/06 Haxprocess/07 Famine/08 The Lines In My Hand/09 Folklore/10 Marrow of the Earth

LAMENTATIONS-LIVE AT SHEPPARD"S BUSH EMPIRE 2003 DISC 1-01 Windowpane/02 In My Time of Need/03 Death Whispered a Lullaby/04 Closure/05 Hope Leaves/06 To Rid the Disease/07 Ending Credits/08 Harvest/09 Weakness

2003 DISC 2-01 Master's Apprentices/02 The Drapery Falls/03 Deliverance/04 The Leper Affinity/05 A Fair Judgement

THE ROUNDHOUSE TAPES DISC 1-01 When/02 Ghost of Predition/03 Under the Weeping Moon/04 Bleak/05 Face of Melinda/06 The Night and the Silent Water

THE ROUNDHOUSE TAPES DISC 2-01 Winowpane/02 Blackwater Park/03 Demon of the Fall

01 The Leper Affinity/02 Bleak/03 Harvest/04 The Drapery Falls/05 Dirge For November/06 The Funeral Portrait/07 Patterns In the Ivy/08 Blackwater park

LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL DISC 2-01 Forest of October/02 Advent/03 April Ethereal/04 The Moor/05 Wreath/06 Hope Leaves/07 Harlequin Forest/08 The Lotus Eater...

Perhaps you think Opeth sucks.....I think they served a purpose....nonetheless this was a good bit of work and  bet that some of you never even heard of these lads......explore new territory, and expand you horizons......How was your Christmas? I would LOVE to hear about it, really.....Personally my own was fantastic. Great day with family, lots of good food (ham, tur-duck-hen, buffalo), lots of good gifts given AND received (classic Vikings Starter jacket, the "satiny" kind like people used to shoot ach other for back in those crazy 1990's!).....a LOT of good times today, glad my wife and my son had a good time (the main thing), and would LOVE to hear any of you guys' stories of Christmas.....

What'll it be tomorrow? You probably have as much of an idea as I do, really....I'll really try to think of something a little less "serious" than this stuff though!

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