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Commas do not belong in album titles - 86%

Cheeses_Priced, April 7th, 2008

I “used to like” Opeth, and you know what that means – I bought their albums and liked them, but then people on the internet made fun of me and now I pretend to hate them. Kidding! Enjoying their old stuff kind of hinges on how impressed you are by their aesthetic, and nowadays they're... noted for their profundity and innovation by Lamb of God's fanbase. But this was my first Opeth album, the one that really impressed me, and in the interest of proving that I'm not a poseur at the expense of admitting that my taste in music kind of sucks, I'll admit to still liking it.

The airiness and repetition of their first two albums and the directness of their later work hits head-on here, and they cancel one another out. It is, incidentally, the heaviest, most death metal-like Opeth album – that I've heard, anyway (I would bet that hearing their newest work wouldn't change my opinion). I wouldn't single that out as the reason as to why it's the best, but it probably doesn't hurt, either. The fact that Åkerfeldt rarely sings clean is beneficial, and I speak as a fan of his voice (!) - there aren't any catchy choruses here, just rather weird, free-floating melodies.

One could criticize the album for being somewhat amorphous in structure, like their older music, but at least you won't ever roll your eyes and check your watch, thinking “oh dear, another bridge is starting.” A bit of chaos is intrinsic to death metal.

The chaos died down quite a bit on Still Life, and by Blackwater Park it was long gone. But if you're not a closed-minded elitist who hates progress and is bored by songs over three minutes long, you may be able to get something out of this album.