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opeth rides again - 88%

ironasinmaiden, December 25th, 2002

It's starting to seem like Opeth couldn't make a bad album if they tried.... of course, this wasn't my initial reaction to Deliverance, their latest magnum opus. Like Still Life and Blackwater Park before it, I greeted Deliverance with indifference and disappointment. The clean vocals and progressive passages I loved so much about those two albums are few and far between on Deliverance... this one is apparently for the headbangers.

After several listens, my mind is changed.... Deliverance is just as brilliant and creative as their past work, just in a different sense. Wreath, the opener, kicks off with double kick and growls (is it me or do they seem strained on here?) galore, with sparse melodic lines weaving in and out of dissonant wall of sound riffage. One of the heavier things Opeth have done, and quite damn good. There seems to be an epic vibe to Deliverance, I don't know whether it was intentional or not.

This is most evident in the title track, which is by far my favorite on here. Opening off with a mind bending riff that segues into one of the best progressive moments in Opeth history (check out the jazzy drumming). The Masters Apprentices is a welcome shift in texture, being a totally progressive and mellow tune with a Porcupine Tree vibe (steven wilson produced).

Final verdict: not as good as Still Life, but still a great album and a fine addition to any metalheads collection. For the people who were all about Orchid, this one will definitely be pleasing. For the fans of Blackwater et al, Damnation is to come :)