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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

  2. No

  1. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    My thoughts on Sorceress:

    Persephone – A beautiful, haunting piece of acoustic playing with that added touch of Opeth weirdness via the spoken word at the end. I think it sets up the album rather nicely. It doesn’t do much, but it’s a nice intro. 7/10

    Sorceress – The mixing on this song is horrendous, but that doesn’t stop it from being a very cool tune. An absolutely maniacal circus riff kicks off a little jam that, although I don’t think it fits very well with the main chugging riff, is interesting. Turn down the fucking bass, though! The main riff, I must say, is amazing. It’s so damn simple, but so heavy and tight and swinging, I love it. The first refrain introduces us to Mikael’s higher range with some shouting and it sounds great. In fact, I love his vocals in this entire song and especially how they punctuate the staccato riffing. The turnaround with just some very quick noise chords going into the second verse is my favorite subtle arrangement. I really like the dynamic section beginning at 2:50, I just wish the quiet guitar wasn’t so damn quiet and that the hi-hat were mixed out. “Watch your eager tongue” part and the transition (similar to the beginning of the second verse) going into the solo are so damn powerful. There’s a simple power to this song that is not usually present in Opeth, it’s more of a Metallica thing, but I truly enjoy it. The ending riff is cool, but reeks of Heritage in the lack of good transition. With a more biting guitar tone, better mixing, and some transition work this song would be perfect. As is, it’s a 9/10.

    The Wilde Flowers – Continuing with the same power as the previous track, Wilde Flowers kicks ass from start to finish. The riffs are awesome and chaotic, the vocals are catchy, and the immediacy is striking. I love the riff in-between the first two sets of verses and the swirling bee keyboard behind verse 4. The transition at 2:15 is so bizarre, but really beautiful and masterfully done. The little bluesy noodling before madness begins is great, and then: holy shitballs that fucking solo is amazing. This is the best thing Fredrik has done yet with the band. It was even cooler live. The chorus gets a bit repetitive, but it still works because of the dynamic change. The quiet vocal section is very reminiscent of the creepiness on classic Opeth albums. I don’t love the transition into the outro, but it’s not super jarring because it’s prefaced earlier in the song. I like the Egyptian blues feel it has. This is a beautiful moment of music, especially the Symphony X-ish piano scales. Once the band picks up behind Mikael it’s all justified because the emotional release is astounding. Acoustics leading into pure all out frenzy is just fantastic. This song is a journey. 10/10

    Will O The Wisp – I love that the ending lyrics of Wilde Flowers and first verse of this song mirror each other; it really ties the album together. This is a simple, beautiful acoustic song with an amazing guitar outro. One of Opeth’s best ballads. Mikael’s vocals are rather nasally here, but they still sound great. I often find myself randomly singing the chorus to this song. When it plays, it’s so catchy that I cannot help but sing along (not something that can be said of many Opeth songs). The harmonies are gorgeous and the arrangement is perfect. I love the minstrel keyboard flourishes. Fredrik’s solo flows in so well with the vocal melody, and Mikael’s ending leads are just absolutely stellar. 10/10

    Chrysalis – Classic Opeth! I don’t understand how people don’t love this song. The riffs, the solos, even the way the vocals are arranged sounds so much like classic Opeth. Sure, the vocal performance is different, but this song could easily have been on Still Life or Ghost Reveries. Sure, the mixing and guitar tone are still lame, but the song itself is so badass. The solos (there’s a keyboard/guitar duel!) are awesome, the riffs are awesome, vocals are awesome…I really hope they start playing this song live. It transitions wonderfully into the quieter part with a killer bluesy solo. Mikael’s layered vocals at the end are catchy as hell and his repeat of “Leave it all behind you” is haunting. A perfect modern Opeth track that lifts heavily from a bygone era. 10/10

    Sorceress 2 – It’s very pretty, it’s very spooky, but honestly this song does nothing for me. I’ve said before how my least favorite aspect of Mikael’s voice is his soft falsetto and that’s all we get here. It leans too hard into beauty to come off as truly creepy and ultimately goes nowhere. Probably my least favorite Opeth song since Weakness. 3/10

    The Seventh Sojourn – I really do like this (mostly) instrumental, but it’s placement on the album really kills the pace setup by the first 5 tracks. Sorceress 2 kills all momentum and essentially restarts the album. In that regard, it’s either genius or idiotic tracklisting. This album feels like 2 separate EPs: one that ends with Sorceress 2, and one that starts with this track. As the beginning of a new collection of songs, this works rather well. The rhythm section is positively alive here and I love it, and the guitars, bass, and keyboards fill out the space with perfection. The acoustic guitar and bass unison at 2:20 is wonderful. The only real problem, other than another meh transition into the vocal part, is that it’s simply too long. I do adore the way it ends, though. 8/10

    Strange Brew – Oh hi, Heritage. So glad you could make it to the party…/s. I’ll review this in parts, since the transitions are all bad, just like Heritage. The first part is the third immediate vocal section we have on this album and the worst. The guitar-driven bit at 1:40 is infinitely better and should have started the song (to make it shorter). Of course, the heavy section dominated by the keyboard afterward makes zero sense. It’s cool and absolutely insane, but the (lack of) transition is awful. The big math rock riff with piano under it that starts at 2:40 is great, especially once the vocals come in. I love the panned vocals and the utterly harsh dynamics between each line, but best of all is the blues jam that breaks out over the final line. This is probably the best moment on the whole album: unfortunately it exists within this mess of a song. The bluesy verse that follows (“wickedness in me”) is very cool. All of this momentum is ruined by returning to the first section with another lack of transition. The outro is very cool and reminiscent of Watershed, but it just keeps going…to nowhere. Strange Brew is overstuffed and ill-conceived. 6/10

    A Fleeting Glance – Ah, the minstrels have returned. The vibe of this song is immense. Although there’s lots of falsetto here, I really love the vocal arrangement. Those runs he does at the end of each line are incredible. Once the bass and drums kick in the song gets even better, especially when they start with the cool blues riffing. Jumping back and forth between acoustics and electric in a classic Opethian way makes this song all the more special. Each time that post-verse riff comes in it sounds better and better. The final minute-and-a-half are not my favorite, but the tonal shift is rather striking. That second bluesy solo is just ripping! Another almost classic. 9/10

    Era/Persephone (Slight Return) – Why is the intro so damn quiet? And why is it so long? It’s unnecessary, especially considering the final track is just an extension of this intro. The transition into the heavy riff, again, is not good. Era is really a killer track, but the mixing really hurts it. The verses are great, the riffs are great, and the chorus is absolutely the most traditionally catchy thing Mikael has ever written. The guitar solo, as always on this album, is phenomenal. But, there’s also a lot to dislike (mostly in the transitions). That lame quiet piano interlude between the first and second verse kills the intensity of the song. Overall, the strengths of this song make up for the weaknesses, but it could’ve been better if it was even more straightforward. 9/10

    Sorceress takes many lessons from Pale Communion in regards to catchy vocals and intricate, beautiful guitar leads, but unfortunately retreads Heritage territory when it comes to musical arrangement, instrument tone, and muddy mixing. Some of these tracks would be classics with better production, but the poor transitions that Mikael seems to really enjoy these days ruin the momentum of the songwriting he perfected on the previous record.

    Album rating – 8.1/10
  2. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Persephone - This is a nice little piece that sets up the album decently. The spoken word is different for them. As far as intros go, I think Heritage is better.

    Sorceress - The jazzy keyboard intro is fun but it feels really disjointed. The arrangement would've been improved if it just started with that chunky riff. Once the song actually starts it's awesome. But WTF is going on with that mixing? It's so muddy and over compressed. For a guy who worships the 70s and constantly condemns modern production styles and guitar tones, he's really falling into the loudness wars trap on this album. I'll say it again, Steven Wilson should be producing these albums, not Mikael. I'm not going to dwell on it anymore, but this is a problem for pretty much the entire album.
    Anyone else think this song would've been better with growls? This is the first time I've had that feeling with Newpeth. Sure there were moments on the previous album that could've been done in the old Opeth style, but it wasn't necessary. This is the first time it feels like the 70s style is actually doing the song a disservice. It's trying to be as heavy as it can without being Death Metal, but the song sounds like it should be death Metal. This style no longer sounds natural for them, but very forced. I would love to see someone do a cover of this tune with a Death Metal production and growls during the verses.

    All of that aside, it's still a cool song. I like the heavy riffing and the chorus. Also usually don't notice lyrics right away, but these ones stuck out to me.

    The Wilde Flowers - This song is awesome. The total opposite of Sorceress. Everything feels organic here and there's nothing forced. Still, it's pretty heavy and sinister. Some great jazzy riffing with a cool verse melody. This is the sort of thing that Heritage was missing. An upbeat tune that still had that dark jazzy tone. I love the chorus.
    Also a really nice guitar solo. I don't think I've talked about Frederik much yet, but frankly I don't really like his playing. This was the first time I really enjoyed a guitar solo of his. His shredding style actually fits perfect here.
    The quiet section is really cool and gets stuck in my head all the time. Really atmospheric stuff. It's minimalist, but still tense and exciting. The buildup is fantastic. Love when it takes off.
    Overall, I think this song pretty much encapsulates what Heritage could've been. It has the atmosphere and dynamics of Heritage, but it is better arranged and more interesting. I like Heritage but many of the songs are amateurish in comparison to this. Understandable as it was an attempt at 70s prog by a guy who had been mostly writing Death Metal his whole life. But it shows there is a lot of room to develop.

    Will O' The Wisp - This is a cool song that is a slight departure from the usual Opeth acoustic ballad. It's different, but still familiar. Sort of like a modern Harvest. It has a brighter almost upbeat tone and reminds me more of Jethro Tull than anything else. Or something you'd hear at a Renaissance fair. It's catchy and enjoyable, not one of my favorite Opeth ballads though. I do love the outro.

    Chrysalis - This is another song that recalls pre-Heritage Opeth. Could easily imagine this on Ghost Reveries. Like Sorceress, I think it could've benefitted from a heavier guitar tone and maybe even some growls. Unlike Sorceress, the lack of those things don't get in this song's way and it still works for what it is. Love the chorus and the little synth interlude. Also really great drum performance on this tune. The riffing is immense.
    The solo section is awesome. Love me a good hammond organ solo. The riffing underneath is also great. The psychedelic section that comes after is also good. Very sublime musical moment. The vocals are haunting and the guitar licks are soulful.
    It is baffling to me that this wasn't played live. The song selection from Sorceress this year in general is bizarre, but this song in particular would've been great.

    Sorceress 2 - This is a nice creepy song. It is saccharine but also spooky. I think the combination actually really works. Not sure if it's something I'd listen to on its own, but it is a much needed moment of softness after a really heavy track. All that bass was also starting to hurt my ears.

    The Seventh Sojourn - Some more acoustic music is very welcome here and this has a cool unique flavor. I do kinda agree with @MrKnickerbocker that the placement on the album is weird. They both seem to act as interlude tracks, so why are they back to back. Should've put A Fleeting Glance in between these two songs or something. It also makes the album feel a little bloated. OK tune, but I lose interest in it about halfway through.

    Strange Brew - Love this song. I like how they introduce the main theme early on and it builds up gradually with the song. Every time it is reintroduced it is slightly heavier with more instrumentation added. The intro is so creepy, you know it's going somewhere exciting. The crazy keyboard riff comes out of nowhere, but it works. The intro is so hypnotic that it completely catches you off guard. Love when music does that. The section that follows is so heavy and intense. The bluesy 6/8 riff after Mikael's vocals is so infectious. Great solo section. The climax with the intro theme returning is epic.
    I think the transitions are great. The twists and turns remind me of classic Opeth. Feels like a spiritual successor to Moon Above, Sun Below but even better. Not quite as chaotic, but seems like a similar approach. Heritage would've been vastly improved with a song like this.

    A Fleeting Glance - This one starts off weirdly, but I'm open to them trying something different. Love the melodic guitar playing after the first verse. This song has a really nice build. The repeating keyboard figure is effective with the beat changing underneath. Then we get some classic jazzy Newpeth riffing. Awesome syncopation. This is a cool song that I suspect will eventually be considered underrated over time. It is a bit hidden on this album and hasn't really been talked about much. It's not amazing, but it's a really nice tune. The final guitar melody is so majestic and awesome. Great buildup.

    Era - Like Chrysalis, it makes no sense that this song hasn't been played live yet. Also would've made a good single. I guess it has a video now but that doesn't matter at this point because everyone has heard the album by now. One of the catchiest, most upbeat live friendly tracks the band has ever written. It's heavy but also really groovy. Mikael's vocals are buried, which is too bad because he really kills it here. Also has one of the band's best and most catchy choruses. This reminds me of stuff like Rainbow with Dio. Way better than Slither though. Great way to finish off the album.

    Persephone (Slight Return) - I like the idea of tying the album together, so I approve of this. It's really quiet though, when I listen to this in the car it basically sounds like silence.

    Both bonus tracks are good. The Ward reminds me of Led Zeppelin. Spring is cool too and has some good soloing. I can see why they were left off the main album though. Neither of them really go anywhere and they feel more like studio jams than fully fleshed out songs. Still some of the best Opeth bonus songs.

    This album is still growing on me. My biggest issue is that it feels like a step back from Pale Communion. PC felt very organic and it seemed like they were starting to slowly bring in elements of their pre-Heritage sound again. With this album, it's almost as if they're consciously trying to avoid that and when that stuff creeps into the music they try to mask it with a bad 70s-but-not-70s production. The production might singlehandedly make this one of my least listened to Opeth albums. The bass is so loud and abrasive that I get ear fatigue only four songs into the album. It subdues really strong riffs and vocal melodies. Also, while I enjoy the song itself, the production and general aesthetic of the title track left such a bad taste in my mouth that I had a hard time giving the rest of the album a fair chance. Now that I'm over it, I can enjoy the album more for what it is and I think it's very strong overall. Still, it's hard to believe that Opeth were at one time arguably one of the best produced Metal bands when listening to this album. How did they go from the sonic clarity and immersive sound of Ghost Reveries to this?

    It is a lot like Heritage, but much better. More ambitious and the more minimalist atmospheric moments contribute more. Better variety too with heavier moments coming in at just the right time. It plays to the band's strengths better. Another major positive for the album is that it has the best flow since Ghost Reveries. Is this a concept album? I haven't really looked at the lyrics but it feels like there is some sort of theme going with the song titles and the way some of the lyrics mirror each other. It all flows really well and the whole album feels like a journey. That was one area where they got the prog rock thing right. Opeth have always been a really song driven band and while their music is best enjoyed when listening to full albums, it's not always critical to the experience the way it is with Dream Theater or Porcupine Tree. This album is a major exception to that.

    Overall, it's a good album but a major missed opportunity. This could've been a masterpiece up there with BWP and Ghost Reveries. Had they gone with a more modern production, added some growls, and maybe expanded some of the songs, this could've really been a return to form for them. Not that they've had a major decline, but I feel Newpeth so far has been pretty good at best but hasn't yet come anywhere close to Opeth circa 1999-2005. But I am curious to see where they go from here. I think it's time to ditch the 70s sound and become a Metal band again though.

    No bad songs (as usual) and quite a few future favorites.

    The Wilde Flowers
    Strange Brew
    A Fleeting Glance
    Will O' the Wisp
    Seventh Sojourn
    Sorceress 2
    Persephone (Slight Return)
    MrKnickerbocker likes this.
  3. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    I think it's time to ditch the 70s sound too, but not to become a metal band again.
  4. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    I'll write my own review and update by tomorrow or so. Until then, food for thought: what would be your best of album made out of the 3 Newpeth albums?
  5. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    1. The Devil's Orchard
    2. Eternal Rains Will Come
    3. Cusp of Eternity
    4. The Wilde Flowers
    5. Nepenthe
    6. Haxprocess
    7. Famine
    8. Folklore
    9. Era
    10. Faith in Others
  6. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Ooooh good one.

    The Devil's Orchard
    Eternal Rains Will Come
    The Wilde Flowers
    Moon Above, Sun Below
    Faith In Others
  7. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Barrels of Rum! Black Powder!

    Great question!

    I am not taking track order into account...

    - Devil's Orchard
    - Nepenthe
    - Folklore
    - Pyre
    - Face in the Snow
    - Eternal Rains
    - Cusp of Eternity
    - Moon Above...
    - Goblin
    - Faith in Others
    - Sorceress
    - Wilde Flowers
    - Will o' the Wisp
    - Era
  8. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    01. The Devil's Orchard
    02. Sorceress
    03. The Wilde Flowers
    04. Will O The Wisp
    05. Eternal Rains Will Come
    06. Cusp of Eternity
    07. Moon Above, Sun Below
    08. A Fleeting Glance
    09. Chrysalis
    10. Face in the Snow
    11. Era
    12. River
    13. Voice of Treason
    14. Faith in Others
  9. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Isn't putting in so many tracks kinda cheating? :D
  10. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    Not when we live in an age where physical media is basically dead, man. Mp3 albums don't have a track limit!
  11. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    Actually quite an enjoyable intro to open up this album.

    Intro and outro are an unwelcome return to Heritage in that it's mostly random jamming compared to a more calculated and planned approach of the previous album. Middle parts are good, but way too monotone. Main riff is cool at first, but the more I listen to the song the more it annoys me. Lacks energy and plods way too much.

    The Wilde Flowers
    This song suffers from the same problems as the previous one, although it's slightly better. Verses are great at first but are repeated way too fucking much so they lose that greatness. Same goes for the chorus. Solo is quite awesome though. Then the song ends and I get a Heritage PTSD flashback:


    But wait, the song isn't actually over?! Anyway, that ending part is quite cool but the transition is atrocious.

    Will O The Wisp
    Enjoyable song but is constantly building up to... nothing. OK soloing in the 2nd part of the song, but the whole thing is really repetitive and goes nowhere.

    Still Life no way, too happy and upbeat. Ghost Reveries, sure. Sounds like The Baying Of The Hounds without the growls. Similar rhythm in the beginning. It's an OK song, but nothing to get crazy about. After 3 super monotone for sure songs, it's kind of a breath of fresh air but doesn't have any parts that I would consider truly great + it fizzles out near the end. You're giving out 10's way too easily, Knick :p

    Sorceress 2
    Unpopular opinion it seems, but I really enjoy this one. One of rare songs on this album with atmosphere that I like.

    The Seventh Sojourn
    First 4 minutes make for a very solid instrumental track to rival Goblin. Reminiscent in some ways to Closure. The rest of the song gave me another Heritage flashback:


    Strange Brew
    Starts out in Heritage flashback style from the previous song, then goes into a Heritage jam session and I'm already annoyed. From 2:45 to 3:07 we get one of the best moments on the whole album though (though the drums are kinda muppety). I don't like the vocal parts that follow. They sound ripped off from a song that I can't quite remember. From 5:09-6:44 there's another (better) Heritage flashback part, but it's completely redeemed by everything that follows. Awesome riff with Mikael's best vocals on the album.

    A Fleeting Glance
    Best song on the album. Does everything right. Solid atmosphere and nice balance of heavier and mellower stuff.

    Opening gives me my 4th Heritage flashback. Main riff is so fucking annoying. It'd be an OK way to start the song then toss it out of the way but it just grinds on and on and on and fucking on for way too long. So monotone. Vocals are also horrible during the verses. Chorus is admittedly pretty awesome and everything afterwards is pretty solid. Awesome solo too. But the main riff is so fucking annoying, so I have to vote for it.

    Persephone (Slight Return)
    This was just silence, right?

    The Ward
    Silly little bonus song. One of least Opeth-y songs ever but actually quite enjoyable and super catchy for sure.

    Spring MCMLXXIV
    This one should've been on the full album. 2nd best song on it IMO. Mikael sounds very inspired despite it being a bonus song. I wonder if they intentionally recorded it as a bonus since they sound way more relaxed and better here. Not trying desperately to be all retro prog or folky/funky like on some other songs on this album.

    I would put this album near the bottom of Opeth's discography. It's better than Heritage (but The Devil's Orchard slays all these songs) and it's better than Orchid. Not sure if it's better than Morningrise, will decide by the time of the Album Survivor. It's definitely worse than all the other albums. Needs more epicness. Voting for the songs in bold, updating soon!
  12. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    Oh, also, my preferred Newpeth record:

    1. Persephone
    2. Eternal Rains Will Come
    3. Cusp Of Eternity
    4. Moon Above, Sun Below
    5. The Devil's Orchard
    6. The Lines In My Hand + Strange Brew (Outro)
    7. A Fleeting Glance
    8. Voice Of Treason
    9. Spring MCMLXXIV
    10. Faith In Others + Folklore, Part 2
  13. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Sorceress 2 kinda reminds me of Benighted
  14. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member


    Eliminated after Round 16:
    Persephone - 6 votes
    Persephone (Slight Return) - 6 votes
    The Ward - 5 votes
    Spring MCMLXXIV - 5 votes
    Sorceress 2 - 4 votes
  15. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    Voting for Sorceress, Chrysalis, The Seventh Sojourn and Era.
  16. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    Seventh Sojourn
    Strange Brew

    is all I'll be voting for this round.
  17. Detective Beauregard

    Detective Beauregard Barrels of Rum! Black Powder!

    Strange Brew
    A Fleeting Glance
  18. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member


    Eliminated after Round 17:
    Sorceress - 4 votes
    The Seventh Sojourn - 4 votes
    A Fleeting Glance - 4 votes
    Strange Brew - 3 votes
    Era - 3 votes

    Promoted after Round 17:
    The Wilde Flowers
    Will O The Wisp

    Finals begin!

    All promoted songs have been ranked based on average number of votes (#1 lowest, #36 highest).

    First group - #21-#36.
    Second group - #11-#20.
    Third group - #1-#10.

    Once the first group is down to 10 or less songs, second group joins the game, once that group is down to 10 or less songs, third group joins the game.
  19. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    Oooooh, going to make a playlist of these songs and then decide.
  20. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    I'm pretty sure I know what I'm gonna vote for, but I'm still going to listen to all these songs again, and I suggest you guys do it too :)

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