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Scarface187

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Scarface187

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Artist: Opeth

 

Album: Watershed

 

Label: Roadrunner Records

 

Release Date: June 2nd, 2008

 

 

 

So, where do I begin with Opeth? They are easily one of my 4 favorite bands, and I will continue to buy whatever they put out even if it is completely sh*t even though they never put out a bad album in my mind. The only album that they've put out that was disappointing to me was 'Deliverance' and I still love a couple tracks off it. Over the years, they've become a band you either love or hate. I think this has to with material they've put out in the past being very long. They've been known to record lots of songs that are 10+ minutes and I can see how that would annoy some people.

 

Now, the last time Opeth put an album out, they had just been signed to Roadrunner Records, and I can remember people worrying about they would turn out after this, me included. After all, Roadrunner is notorious for having artists that started out good then totally became sh*t, or for having artists that were already sh*t. The album came out and besides the very stupid generic metal video for the single 'The Grand Conjuration', it was a very good album I thought. There were still longer songs and it sounded very progressive. There was also a nice change in the sound by adding keyboardist Per Wilberg to the band who adds to the rest of the group. However, the band had written all the material for the album before they switched labels so we would have to find out next time if the label truely ruined them. Well, its certaintly not true this time either. Infact, the results are even better in some aspects. At first I was a bit skeptical about this release, mainly because the line up had greatly changed, with the addition of a new drummer and guitarist, but it all turned out fine.

 

Now for this album. I'm not going to review the album song by song this time because I'd like to review it as more of a whole piece. The first thing Opeth fans will notice is that the songs on this album are shorter, like their third album 'My Arms, Your Hearse'. There is infact only one song on this album that is over 10 minutes. Like 'My Arms, Your Hearse' was a turning point for the band, I think this album is another turning point. Their sound has evolved so to speak while still maintaining the signature Opeth sound. This is probably due to Mr. Per Wilberg, again, on the keyboards. He throws down a lot of the organ sound which sounds a lot like other progressive bands like Yes and Dream Theater, as well as some classical sounding sounds which when combined with the acoustic guitars on this album give off a very great orchestral atmosphere. Really great stuff.

 

The album starts off with the short 3 minute song 'Coil' and the first thing you'll say most likely is "Holy bat sh*t! Its a deut!". Thats right. Not only is this a ballad (Which is common with Opeth but still..), not only is this song completely mellow from start to finish, like a song off their album 'Damnation' (one of my favorites), but there are female vocals on this track, and if that wasn't surprising enough, they don't suck! I've heard my fair share of female vocals thrown into metal songs before but they've always kind of left a bitter taste in my mouth afterwards. Its not the case with this one. Its a great song and one of my favorites from this album. After this song, the band launches into familiar territory with 'Heir Apparent', with singer and guitar player Mikael Akerfeldt's signature growl. The song then goes into the usual Opeth structure, going back and fourth between being heavy and mellow.

 

Listening to the next 3 songs (including the single 'Porcelain Heart') made me notice how mellow this album is. There are still growls but Akerfeldt's clean vocals seem to dominate the majority of the album, which isn't a bad thing because he has a good clean voice and I enjoy his clean vocals, however, people that expect a fully heavy 'Deliverance' type album might be disappointed. This album is like a cross between 'Damnation' and MAYH, and even some of the acoustic parts remind me of the band's first album, (and my favorite) 'Orchid'. Overall, none of the band members seem to be slacking on this recording, the guitar parts wail and sound fantastic, the drums are great (though Axenrot is still no Martin Lopez sad.gif ), the bass is good, the keyboards are fantastic as I said before and the vocals are great as usual.

 

Final Thought: Going into this album I didn't know what to expect. By the end of it I was pleasantly surprised. Out of all the tracks on the album (there are 7), 3 of them stood out for me. 'Coil', 'Heir Apparent' and 'Hessian Peel'. I'd like to say more but words can't describe it really. You'll have to listen to it yourself. If you are fans of their albums 'Damnation' and 'My Arms Your Hearse' you will surely like it. Its a way better album than 'Ghost Reveries' in my mind. I can't wait to see them live next Tuesday.

 

I give this album 4 records.

 

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Also for those of you who have not heard Opeth yet and want to check them out, I'm going to go ahead and rate the albums from what I think is best to worst:

 

1.Orchid

2. My Arms, Your Hearse

3. Morningrise

4. Damnation

5. Blackwater Park

6. Still Life

7. Watershed

8. Ghost Reveries

9. Deliverance

 

Also for a good introduction of the band, check out their live album, 'The Roundhouse Tapes'. If anyone else has questions about the band or this release, ask away and I'll try to give my best answer.

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Nice review Scarface187. icon14.gif

 

This album has been a bit of a grower for me, I didn't really take to it at first but after repeated listens I'm loving it. My favorite tracks are Coil, Heir Apparent, The Lotus Eater and Hessian Peel.

 

Also theres a really cool part at the end of Burden where a cool harmony is played and then the guitars are slowly put out of tune while it's being played, sounds really horrible, but in a good way. tounge.gif

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Scarface187

 

Also theres a really cool part at the end of Burden where a cool harmony is played and then the guitars are slowly put out of tune while it's being played, sounds really horrible, but in a good way. tounge.gif

sh*t so it wasn't just me who noticed that. That part is pretty cool too.

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Also theres a really cool part at the end of Burden where a cool harmony is played and then the guitars are slowly put out of tune while it's being played, sounds really horrible, but in a good way. tounge.gif

sh*t so it wasn't just me who noticed that. That part is pretty cool too.

Yeah, apparently Mikael absolutely hates it, he did it so people would cringe upon listening to it. And him laughing after the out of tune harmony is pretty funny.

 

Most definitely buying Watershed when it's released over here and I'm really looking forward to the tour in support of the album.

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  • 2 months later...

Good review, pretty spot on. I was disappointed by the shorter songs, but it is still a solid album. The Lotus Eater and Burden are now my favorite Opeth songs behind The Baying of the Hounds.

 

And why the (relative) hate for Ghost Reveries?

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I think my biggest problem I have with Ghost Reveries was that it was basically Blackwater Park Jr - it didn't seem as inspired as their other work - it sounded like recycled tracks they never used in the previous 6 years. I think why Watershed is so successful is because they weren't trying so hard to attain that classic Opeth sound, but still manage to achieve it. It's nothing I've heard before, yet it still sounds familiar. This is what a good band sounds like.

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psychedelic-squid

The first time you hear Watershed you think: "Allright, was that all?" The same thing happened for me with Ghost Reveries, but after you have heard it for quite a bit, the album grows on you and it almost becomes an obsession. I think Watershed is a daring album, still having it's roots planed deep in the Opeth underground. Absoluty loving it now, I don't recall feeling a "weak" number on it. Opeth just have a talent for making masterpieces smile.gif

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Digital Murders

Yeah, this album really met all my expectations and more. There's this shift in tempo in Hessian Peel where the drums are just fan-f*ckin'-tastic. I'm not sure exactly were in the song it is, but if you listen closely you'll hear it. I never noticed it the first couple times I listened to the album, but when you hear it, it's like....I don't know, it's just f*ckin' beautiful.

 

And I feel as though I'm the only Opeth fan who seems to dislike Blackwater Park, but love Ghost Reveries. I could never get into Blackwater Park at all. The title track and "The Drapery Falls" are the only tracks I ever listen to, whereas I'll sit and listen to Ghost Reveries from start to finish. Not to say Blackwater Park is bad, it's excellent in every aspect of the word, but I just can't get into it.

 

And for f*cks sake, I can't find the "Roundhouse Tapes" DVD. I've looked in two different states (yes, two) in multiple stores and nobody seems to sell it!

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psychedelic-squid
Yeah, this album really met all my expectations and more. There's this shift in tempo in Hessian Peel where the drums are just fan-f*ckin'-tastic. I'm not sure exactly were in the song it is, but if you listen closely you'll hear it. I never noticed it the first couple times I listened to the album, but when you hear it, it's like....I don't know, it's just f*ckin' beautiful.

 

And I feel as though I'm the only Opeth fan who seems to dislike Blackwater Park, but love Ghost Reveries. I could never get into Blackwater Park at all. The title track and "The Drapery Falls" are the only tracks I ever listen to, whereas I'll sit and listen to Ghost Reveries from start to finish. Not to say Blackwater Park is bad, it's excellent in every aspect of the word, but I just can't get into it.

 

And for f*cks sake, I can't find the "Roundhouse Tapes" DVD. I've looked in two different states (yes, two) in multiple stores and nobody seems to sell it!

You're not the only one, I HATE Bleak :l It just irritates me. And I think Blackwater Park is average, close to Deliverance. It's boring sometimes smile.gif .

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Scarface187

 

 

And for f*cks sake, I can't find the "Roundhouse Tapes" DVD. I've looked in two different states (yes, two) in multiple stores and nobody seems to sell it!

Thats because its not out till September.

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Digital Murders

 

And for f*cks sake, I can't find the "Roundhouse Tapes" DVD. I've looked in two different states (yes, two) in multiple stores and nobody seems to sell it!

Thats because its not out till September.

Really?

 

I thought it came out last May. Thanks for the heads up.

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