Mikael Âkerfeldt: Vocals, Guitars
Martin Mendez: Bass
Martin Lopez: Drums
Peter Lindgren: Guitars
|Blackwater Park Cover by Travis Smith|
Describing an Opeth album without the reader knowing of the record is probably one of the hardest things to do.
Why? Because Opeth always manage to not only create a record with 8-10 songs, but a whole atmosphere, an own small world, a journey through mastermind Âkerfeldt’s mind. This creation, in my case, left me begging for more.
So what do those „small worlds“ consist of? Harsh double-kick drumming with heavy riffs and guttural vocals seems like the given description of any given metal-record.
Opeth yet manage to incorporate bittersweet guitar melodies, clean guitar intermezzis, keyboard- and piano-parts, all seemingly held together by Mikael Âkerfeldt’s phenomenal and outstanding vocals. The feeling and atmosphere of the record is in large parts due to producer Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree).
Âkerfeldt is considered one of the best clean vocalists in the metal-genre.
Inner struggle and conflict always shine through his clean vocal patterns, yet they never sound cheesy. Within seconds though, he switches to the harsh guttural vocals which indicate but one word: Hate.
Akerfeldt is also one of the only vocalists who can pull his vocal duties off in a live-situation as well.
Yet, consisting of 8 songs, altogether lasting for more than an hour, Blackwater Park still seems tough for the listener.
But the almost compulsive compositions entitled „The Drapery Falls“, „Harvest“, „Dirge for November“ or the title track „Blackwater Park“ with their unexpected twists and turns, breaks and changes should be a blessing for all music-fans.
Blackwater Park marked Opeth’s commercial „breakthrough“ so to say, establishing their base for more experimental albums, later on incorporating 70s-prog-influences and even Krautrock.
For me, Blackwater Park is Opeth’s masterpiece. But not only that, I think that Steven Wilson’s production is the best i’ve ever heard so far.
The Drapery Falls live @ Royal Albert Hall
Bleak live @ The Roundhouse