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It was really hard to decide how much i liked this CD. I feel i have to be in a certain mood to really enjoy it, but there's never a time where i really hate it. There are a lot of people out there that are going to love this music, or hate this music. Myself, on the other hand, i find it somewhere in the above average category. Its somewhat great, but it does have its bad points. Sometimes, Opeth is just heavy as hell and banging out the low, creepy riffs, while other times theyre just going into a melodic breakdown of acoustic guitar and a crooning voice that you would never guess would come out of the vocalists mouth.
Pretty much every song does the "Opeth breakdown," and most of them contain the thrash-like riffs that are hard and kickass, with the death vocals that are quite excellent. I don't find this album very different than any others in terms of vocals, and guitar parts. I think speaking guitar-wise, this is probably the best of them, for i find that the melodic stuff is quite pretty and its really worth the time to listen to. The thing that was done the best on this album was the bass. Sometimes basses just aren't heard very much throughout albums, but Opeth is one of those bands that wants their beats heard. It works very nicely with the guitars, on all parts of the song. You wouldnt think of it, but it adds a lot to the album and the sound quality of each song.
One thing that you can expect from Opeth, is long songs. They are a band known for extremely long songs, that have many different beats hidden inside them. The longest track is somewhere around 13 minutes, but something i notice, is that the tracks don't grow old. They do enough switching of their stuff in one song that i find i can listen to the entire thing without ever being tempted to press the skip button and carry the CD to the next song.
All in all, if you can handle something that has just such an abundant load to offer, this is the CD for you. If youre looking for straight-up metal and nothing but that, don't get this CD because youll be too disappointed with all the acoustic parts they go into. Highlights are "The Leper Affinity," "The Drapery Falls," and "Patterns in the Ivy."