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OPETH SURVIVOR 2016: Results -> The sun sets forever over Blackwater Park!

Discussion in 'Forum Games' started by Night Prowler, Oct 12, 2016.

?

Satisfied with the results?

  1. Yes

    83.3%
  2. No

    16.7%
  1. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    [​IMG]

    Welcome to the Opeth Survivor III!
    As always, we'll start with the first 2 albums: Orchid and Morningrise.
    Into The Frost Of Winter and Eternal Soul Torture are bonus songs.
    Since I presume we all have to relisten to these albums, this first round will last for a bit longer; just post here so that I know to wait for you to vote :)
     
  2. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    YES. OPETH!

    I'll have to listen to these a lot, as this older material really takes some hardcore analysis to sink in. But, I think I can safely say that I will definitely be voting for Into the Frost of Winter and Eternal Soul Torture.
     
  3. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    :edmetal::edmetal::edmetal:

    Gonna need time for this, especially Morningrise. I listened to some of Orchid with that spotify documentary thing and I still think it's great.
     
  4. SixesAlltheway

    SixesAlltheway Yacht Rock

    I'll play if we can add some more information about each album? I don't know the albums particularly well...Some discussion would be nice.
     
  5. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    I intend on approaching this Dream Theater survivor style.

    Edit: Check out the Metal Talks: Opeth podcast too if you get a chance. It's very in depth, especially with the early work.
     
    MrKnickerbocker likes this.
  6. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    Long writeups about albums aren't really my forté, especially these two albums. I'll write something about Still Life though, the rest I leave to experienced long-posters like @Mosh :p
     
    Mosh likes this.
  7. SixesAlltheway

    SixesAlltheway Yacht Rock

    Yeah, if we can add some more background info on the albums entering the survivor it would make it 100 times more interesting. I'll check out the podcast!
     
  8. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    I'll do something on Orchid this weekend. Morningrise is actually one of the few Opeth albums I don't own, so I will use this survivor as an excuse to fix that and listen to it then.
     
    SixesAlltheway likes this.
  9. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    I'll try to do some writeups myself, not essay style but writeups nonetheless.

    I've been in an Opeth mood since September, so I've already been listening to most of their discography.
     
    SixesAlltheway likes this.
  10. SixesAlltheway

    SixesAlltheway Yacht Rock

    Writeups, pictures, background info - all of it more interesting than just naming whatever song you are voting for :D
     
    MrKnickerbocker likes this.
  11. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Gave both Orchid and Morningrise a spin today. My evaluations of the two albums weren't affected by today's listening sessions, both from an overall standpoint and from a track-by-track standpoint. Not a big surprise in the case of Orchid because I've played tracks from that record multiple times in the past few months. Morningrise, however, I hadn't heard in a long time.

    I consider Orchid the superior of these two pretty comfortably. It does the better job of showcasing the band's ability to write stream-of-consciousness style music and still keep things coherent. Tracks like In Mist She Was Standing, Under the Weeping Moon, The Twilight Is My Robe and The Apostle in Triumph don't have a lot issues with flow despite the presence of constant melodic changes. Forest of October is one exception, I feel like it's all over the place. On Morningrise, however, Nectar and Black Rose Immortal suffer from this problem quite heavily. The Night and the Silent Water has its fair share of problems as well but it's more negligible.

    Orchid

    1. In Mist She Was Standing: This track was my favorite Opeth tune for quite a long time. A lot of great ideas on this one and still a coherent piece. The ending still remains one of my all time favorites.
    2. Under the Weeping Moon: This is easily the most coherent long track on the album, despite having a long ambient section in the middle of it. Great riffs throughout.
    3. Silhouette: Pretty heavy for a piano piece, Anders' playing sounds almost violent at times. Decent track.
    4. Forest of October: Not a huge fan of this one. It's okay, but coherence is an issue and the amount of interesting ideas doesn't live up to its length.
    5. The Twilight Is My Robe: That acoustic section midway through the 3rd minute is an unmistakable Opeth moment. Love the transition with the first solo. Though I think it should've ended at 9:00, after the repeat of the lead melody that follows the solo. Feels more natural.
    6. Requiem: Cool stuff on this one, but obviously too short.
    7. The Apostle in Triumph: A heavy track where all shining moments are the non-heavy stuff. The flamenco intro, the awesome volume swell thingy and the riffs that follows it. Not a huge fan of the heavier riffs on this one.

    Morningrise

    1. Advent: Easily the best track on the album. The intro riffs are all hard hitting. Very nice transitions throughout. Only problem is the ending two minutes that drag on for too long.
    2. The Night and the Silent Water: Great first five minutes, mediocre in the rest of the song. Still one of the better songs on the album.
    3. Nectar: A couple of good ideas save this song from being a total disaster. Utterly forgettable.
    4. Black Rose Immortal: So many cool ideas, so badly executed. With more time and work, they could've crafted at least 3-4 great songs from this entire piece. But as it is, just good.
    5. To Bid You Farewell: Beautiful song but it suffers from awkward early Mikael cleans. Current Mikael would do a tremendous job recording this one.

    Into the Frost of Winter & Eternal Soul Torture are both demos that are hard to listen to. I think both could've been better than Nectar if they were recorded properly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  12. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    I'll reverse my decision to not take part. It's been a long time since I played Opeth and this is a nice opportunity.
     
  13. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    I really like Orchid. I've always felt that the first three Opeth albums have the disadvantage of living in the shadow of what came after. It's kind of the opposite effect of Dream Theater's discography. Their early albums hit such a high mark that everything they've done since is in the shadow of those classic albums. With Opeth, they've continually refined their sound until Heritage when they shifted completely and now they're refining a new style.
    I heard the first three Opeth albums first and I thought they were great, especially Orchid. All unlike anything I had ever heard before. Even Mikael said in the recent podcast that Orchid had really good reviews upon release. They would definitely go on to refine this style, but they were already off to a great start. I actually think this is a great band for new listeners to join in for the survivor. Listening to Opeth chronologically is the best approach IMO.

    Production is raw but not bad by any means. For low budget extreme metal standards, I think it sounds good. This type of metal is more about creating an atmosphere with the production anyway and they definitely succeed in doing that.

    In Mist She Was Standing
    - Love the harmonies that start this off. So many great melodies that give me a real Maiden vibe. Lots of classic sounding Opeth riffs that wouldn't be out of place on their later albums. The acoustic driven stuff is so haunting. This track is really quintessential Opeth. Great riffs, great harmonies, some amazing dynamics and buildups with the acoustic guitars.

    I really like the stream-of-conscious nature of Opeth's early work. It can seem pretty disjointed at times but it each song really feels like an experience. It's a similar feeling that I get listening to a symphony, except this is with Death Metal. They definitely lost something when they abandoned that writing style.

    Under the Weeping Moon - This is a much more coherent and closer to Opeth's later work. Even the middle section has a similar atmosphere to a lot of BWP material. Love the way that section builds into something really heavy and sinister. Some really jazzy bass work during the later harmony.

    And of course we get our first passage with clean singing. You can tell Mikael isn't confident with his singing voice yet. It's mixed very low and drowned in effects. Cool section though.

    Silhouette - This actually isn't too bad. I remembered it being mostly noodling, there's definitely some noodling there but also some decent ideas. A nice moody interlude, but not much more than that. It gets a vote.

    Forest of October - This one might be my favorite. Love the harmony that starts this off and the riff that follows. Love how seamlessly this switches between mellow and brutal. It doesn't sound disjointed at all. The huge riff at the 3 minute mark is simple but effective. Great drum work on this too. Anders does a great job with knowing whether to back off and do a simple groove or take the forefront a bit. Another BWP-esque acoustic section. I try not to compare this too much to their later work, but there is a lot of stuff reminsicent to BWP.

    The double time guitar solo is totally unexpected and awesome. Great guitar solo.

    Love when it's just the electric guitar playing long tones. One of the most haunting/eerie Opeth moments EVER .

    Tons of great riffs and harmonies follow. Love the interaction between electric and acoustic guitars.

    Awesome outro. The best on the album. The other songs have pretty rough endings, but this one is much better composed. The way the harmonies and riffs buildup before ending with the dirge-like acoustic passage.

    Twilight Is My Robe - More great harmonies and riffs on this one. I feel that the bass playing stands out a bit more on this tune. More "solo" spots but ots of interesting stuff happening when the bass isn't taking the lead, although at times it is hard to pick out through the muddy production. Some really pretty acoustic work and I like that Mikael does a bit more clean singing on this track. A really nice clean guitar solo too. I suppose this could count as the "ballad" of the album.

    Then of course there's the short little bass solo in the middle. Great way to start the new groove and get things heavy again.

    Love the drum groove that signals the outro.

    Overall, I dig the heavy stuff but I think it's almost all secondary to the excellent acoustic work. This song might've been better if they made it a full acoustic track with maybe a heavy climax at the end. The heavy outro is a great way to end it. Good song overall.

    Requiem - Similar to Silhouette, some nice stuff going on here but not much more than an interlude. A much needed break between the epics however. It still gets a vote.

    Apostle In Triumph - Love the acoustic intro on this. Very unlike any of the other acoustic passages on this album. Hate the fadeout though. Such a bizarre creative decision that makes the intro feel so disconnected from the rest of the song. The heavy stuff is good, although slightly less exciting than some of the other tracks. The intro promises something really unique but the rest of the song fails to deliver. The acoustic sections are really interesting though. The bit with the volume swells is very cool.

    Orchid's biggest flaw is probably the lack of variety. Every song is more or less the same style and everything starts to sound pretty same-y about halfway through. I think albums with multiple songs over ten minutes are best when they all have their own mood/style. However, all the epics are good on their own and it's a unique style. It's more listening to them all in one sitting can be a bit exhausting toward the end.

    Forest of October
    In Mist She Was Standing
    Twilight Is My Robe
    Under the Weeping Moon
    The Apostle In Triumph
    Silhouette
    Requiem

    I actually thought ranking this would be difficult, but the order was pretty obvious to me after listening.
     
    Forostar likes this.
  14. Collin

    Collin Jambi

    Opeth is still pretty new to me and I'm still in the listening process. I will probably join in when the next album joins.
     
  15. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    I still haven't decided what to vote for.

    Orchid has some cool moments; there are lots of cool riffs but the songs are incredibly bloated and there's not enough repetition. I spinned this album 3 times since opening this poll and while I can remember 3 or 4 riffs I don't remember the songs. While the growls themselves are OK there's absolutely zero memorable vocal lines. They also rely on Maidenish melodies way too much. I can say that Forest Of October is the best song but will have to decide on other 2, and will probably vote for all the others.
    P.S. For people who really like this style, I'd recommend Dark Tranquillity's album The Gallery. Riffs are in the same style, except the album is melodeath so it has shorter songs.

    Morningrise is much better but still far from classic Opeth. First two songs are much more memorable than anything from Orchid; there's some repetition and vocal lines are a bit better. Will have to decide on my 3rd favorite, but it's probably gonna be To Bid You Farewell.

    Btw. Into The Frost Of Winter and Eternal Soul Torture are pretty much the basis for Advent; both songs have lengthy sections that appear in that song.
     
  16. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    I've listened to Orchid three times, gonna give it one more spin before a fair judgment and then move on to Morningrise. Probably won't be voting until mid-week.

    Vocal lines are my biggest issue with these first two Opeth records, as well. Mikael clearly was not confident/did not care/was not a strong melody writer yet where the vocal melodies and rhythms are concerned. Lots of rushed, improvised-sounding lyrics.
     
  17. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Vocal melodies on old Opeth?
     
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  18. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    MAYH was the first Opeth album with interesting vocal work IMO.
     
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  19. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Mosh you really value these works for their own qualities. I enjoyed reading that. Great positive vibe. The part about disjointed/experience is well explained.

    Night Prowler, Opeth doesn't rely on Maidenish melodies too much. They focused on guitar lines, and Wishbone Ash was mentioned as one of the ingredients in the mix. Logical that they were into this style. And a joy to the ear if you like Maiden. It's good, these are intriguing harmonies, and more complex than the average band. They put lots of detail in it and did something original with using two guitars interacting with each other. I'm holding my breath for Knick's input/votes later on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
    Mosh likes this.
  20. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Barrels of Rum! Black Powder!

    I'm going to give Orchid a listen because all I really remember from it are Weeping Moon, October, and some cool creepy instrumental parts in Apostle. The first two songs I listed were represented on some of their live albums, which are good renditions (same goes for Advent and Night).

    Off the top of my head, I'd definitely vote for the two instrumentals on Orchid (they simply can't live up to the other tracks), both demo tracks, and Nectar (the weakest track on Morningrise by far, even if it does have a cool outro).

    I listened to the first two tracks on Morningrise earlier, and I still think Advent is overrated. I also seem to recall thinking the same of Orchid's opening track, but it's been a long time because all I really remember are the 3 minutes or so of Maiden-ish counterpoint harmonies that start the track.

    Also, while many call it disjointed and a poorly-executed stapled-together mesh of ideas, I love Black Rose Immortal. It's easily my favorite song from their first 3 albums and I wish they'd play it live or re-record it at some point. Those Nordic-sounding riffs in the first few minutes are stellar, and there's so much more throughout the song (the Mortal Kombat bass line, the creepy groove sections, the haunting clean singing) that make it worthwhile.

    Things are going to get interesting when My Arms, Your Hearse joins the game, as due to the wall-of-sound production, lack of standout bass parts, and general riffage I find it to be their weakest effort behind Heritage...
     

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