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

Satisfied with the results?


  • Total voters
    6

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Yeah, it's a lovely little piece of trivia. From Wikipedia:

[Silhouette] was recorded just hours before they were leaving the studio and is a brief piano interlude. They were impressed that Anders Nordin played the piano very well. Lindgren said, "I remember the look on Dan's face when we said, 'Our drummer can play the piano.' He didn't believe a word we were saying. Dan can play the piano. Most guys play like shit. When Anders started playing, Dan was actually impressed." Åkerfeldt later said, "I'm still quite impressed."
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
It surely sounds more difficult than anything I've heard from Dan's hands.


The Night and the Silent Water
Okay, this song also contains not that fantastic parts that could have been stronger. But I am very charmed by these outstanding moments:
- the harmony introduced by that low chord starting at 2:12 and ending at 2.44. Love such parts. Sometimes it reminds me of the better My Dying Bride harmonies, but then a little faster.
- the following acoustic part (very relaxed, "silent"), I think I hear at least three guitars, very nice, with that pumping bass.
- the best part: the dynamic acoustic folk part from 7:34 swelling into a dark piece. The bass and drums really do it. Slowly the distorted guitars come in, the acoustics fade away while the bass and drums continue. The rhythm guitars get more intense and then we get into that 3/4 mode. The guitars canon each other.

Nectar
I'm taken aback by the high amount of votes in this first(!) round of the game. And I hope people will give this song another listen before they vote in the next round*. There's not little to digest:
- after one and a half minute the feast begins with that mysterious acoustic passage and the answering bass
- then these great full harmonic chords come in, turning in another top harmony. :notworthy: The chords come back and the bass adds great playing and (harmonic) sounds.
- beautiful solo follows a bit further on
- 6.20: another lovely acoustic interaction... stopping and followed by possibly the best acoustic section of the album (6:51-7:21). More strong acoustic sections follow with again great addition of bass. Electric moments are also present but mostly quickly changing with acoustics. At some point we hear both acoustic and electric guitars. Lots of detail in this playing. Opeth indeed lost something like this on later albums.
- the album ends with an interesting rhythm (Nordin is the man here for me!) and De Farfalla rules on bass once again, this time with some percussive playing.

*I'll replay all the remaining songs before voting in the next round.
 
Last edited:

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
I am also surprised at the votes against Nectar. I thought that was a clear stand out track.

If I have one kind of beef it is exactly this. I do not take it very lightly when appreciating a long epic song.
Opposite for me. A 13 minute song with 2 minutes of fluff at the end isn't too bad, especially if the previous 11 minutes are great. I guess it depends more on where the fluff is located too.

This survivor has increased my appreciation for the rhythm section on early Opeth. They are not the Martins, but Anders and De Farfalla have a lot of great moments on both albums.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Contrary to how Foro feels, I feel like Advent has the biggest amount of memorable stuff on the album. Great riff after great riff. It was fucking awesome live, too.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Perhaps I'm craving more for strong memorable melodies/harmonies. I do not hear these same highlights in Advent. That said, I'm sure my appreciation for the rest (riffs etc.) can still grow.

It was fucking awesome live, too.
That helps doesn't it? How would those other old songs sound in Royal Albert Hall? Very awesome as well I bet.
This survivor has increased my appreciation for the rhythm section on early Opeth. They are not the Martins, but Anders and De Farfalla have a lot of great moments on both albums.
But the Martins aren't Anders and De Farfalla either! These guys really added colour to the early albums. I do not feel the same with later Opeth. The rhythm is just there, playing along.

I have a theory on why Opeth's music changed (and perhaps this might interested @MrKnickerbocker in particular):
The music changed because the vocals changed.

Mikael wanted to do more with his vocals. In order to fill more space with his vocals, and to put more into the vocals, he'd also need to be able to do that in relation to the music he'd be playing. And the vocal direction should also fit to the music we're hearing. Thus, more music with more (difficult) vocals = less room for music as on the old albums. Of course Michael grew more comfortable with his vocals as he became older, but I honestly think that the music needed to change to be able to make a start with that. On Ghost Reveries and Watershed the music gets more complex again, by now he's more used to handling vocals and playing difficult music.

So, in a way, I see the absence of all this detailed guitar stuff we're hearing as a sacrifice because the vocals got more priority.

I might be very wrong and the band would probably never say this openly anyway, but I really don't think the more vocal oriented direction could be combined with such guitar music.

Of course, the musical direction changed because of taste (as well), but this also could've been a factor.

I can also say it like this:
The first albums couldn't have different (or more developed) vocals, or at least more in quantity, as on later albums, because it wouldn't fit to this music, nor could it be combined with this musical prowess. The music had priority. 100%.
 
Last edited:

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I think you're completely correct, @Forostar, in regards to the vocal approach taken on later albums and how it relates to the change in nature of the overall musical composition. As much as I enjoy the strong rhythm section present on these first two albums, and love the Martins, I far prefer the change because it gave us much catchier, more interesting melodies.

As far as the vocals on the first two albums, I definitely think they could be more developed with the exact same musical backdrop. I'm no expert at growls, but Mikael's clean singing could be far superior on the first two albums if he had the confidence, polished ability, and ear for melody that he later developed.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
My Arms, Your Hearse really walks the line between Opeth that doesn't emphasize vocals at all and Opeth that emphasizes vocals. It has way more space for vocal melodies than the first two albums do, but Mikael's vocal creativity is still not yet there. He develops it to a T on Still Life.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
MYAH is a very transitional record and is still the oddball in the Opeth discography. Otherwise you could neatly put all the other Opeth albums in pairs.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
On Ghost Reveries and Watershed the music gets more complex again, by now he's more used to handling vocals and playing difficult music.

So, in a way, I see the absence of all this detailed guitar stuff we're hearing as a sacrifice because the vocals got more priority.
I agree with most of what you said, but not this part. Mainly because Still Life is the most complex Opeth album from a guitar playing standpoint.

Harmonic guitars and the use of counterpoint go away, but they aren't any more complex than what they began to do. On the contrary, in fact, riffs on Orchid and Morningrise are easier to play than the stuff on the other albums.

But the Martins aren't Anders and De Farfalla either! These guys really added colour to the early albums. I do not feel the same with later Opeth. The rhythm is just there, playing along.
This is blasphemous. Martin Lopez is one of the most creative drummers in metal ever. He certainly isn't just playing along. Axenrot isn't either, especially during the Heritage and beyond era. Drums have more room to improvise than they did in early Opeth. I can see the point with DeFarfalla and Mendez though, it is true that DeFarfalla looked for the spotlight more than Mendez does. (Which is why he got fired from the band, incidentally)
 
Last edited:

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Harmonic guitars and the use of counterpoint go away, but they aren't any more complex than what they began to do. On the contrary, in fact, riffs on Orchid and Morningrise are easier to play than the stuff on the other albums.
That...is true. Although, I think Forostar may have been commenting more on the complexity of the arrangements VS. the complexity of the riffs themselves. For instance, a really challenging Still Life riff played by two guitars, still leaves more room for vocals than two moderately complex riffs playing different melodies at the same time a la the first two records.

MYAH is a very transitional record and is still the oddball in the Opeth discography. Otherwise you could neatly put all the other Opeth albums in pairs.
I would agree, but I would also consider Heritage a transitional record. I'd group them like so:

Orchid/Morningrise
---transition album--- MYAH
Still Life/BWP
Deliverance/Damnation
Ghost Reveries/Watershed
---transition album--- Heritage
Pale Communion/Sorceress
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I haven't heard the new album yet. But I read in a review that it can be seen as a mix of the two previous ones. Sorceress starts with more accessible songs in the vein of Pale Communion and then continues with long songs, the kind of musical "wankery" done on Heritage. So with Heritage Opeth went straight to the left, then went straight to the right with Pale Communion and with Sorceress it's balanced out with middle ground, which could please fans from both albums (as long as they do not dislike one of the these too much ;) ).

In that light, perhaps Heritage isn't a transitional album (the changes are too radical). The last three can be seen as a group of three.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
I think PC is closer to Heritage in that it's taking the Heritage style and making it sound more like an Opeth album. Heritage almost sounds like a different band at times.

Sorceress is a much different album to PC I think. It is heavier and has longer songs, but they aren't as droning as some of the stuff on Heritage.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
It's a good album but the title track really should've been a death metal song.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
1. In Mist She Was Standing
2. Advent - 15:35
3. Forest of October - 30:46


I bought The Roundhouse Tapes CD/DVD and (finally!) My Arms, Your Hearse.

The Opeth albums I do not own on CD (or DVD when live):

studio
Still Life
Damnation
(I do have this one on cassette though!)
Heritage
Pale Communion
Sorceress

live
In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
I bought Roundhouse Tapes recently but haven't had a chance to watch it. Looking forward to doing that once we get to GR in the survivor. Otherwise I have all the albums except Heritage. I also don't have the Deliverance/Damnation remix, but I might check it out for the survivor. I never really had problems with the production on either albums so it seemed unnecessary to me.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I only have Blackwater Park, Deliverance, Damnation and Heritage right now. Not that easy to find the albums here.
 

Detective Beauregard

Independent as a hog on ice
The Night and the Silent Water
- the following acoustic part (very relaxed, "silent"), I think I hear at least three guitars, very nice, with that pumping bass.
The part at 3:30 is one of my favorites from early Opeth. Earlier you asked if a neat melody in Black Rose Immortal was being played by Peter, and if it was coming from the left speaker I believe it was. On the live albums Mikael is always panned to the right, as is the case in this section at 3:30 where he's playing the arpeggios and Peter is playing the "lead." And I think there's only two guitars here.

Nectar
- 6.20: another lovely acoustic interaction... stopping and followed by possibly the best acoustic section of the album (6:51-7:21).
I agree that the part at 6:51 is amazing. There's a lot of great sections in this song that I forgot about (or rather simply thought they were part of other songs since these first two albums kind of blur together). The outro to this song is probably early Opeth's coolest. However, the section at 5:00 is nauseatingly bad. I understand that they were going for this big dissonant "chaos" sound, but it is awful and I'm glad they learned how to do this more properly on later albums.

Perhaps I'm craving more for strong memorable melodies/harmonies. I do not hear these same highlights in Advent.
I will give Advent credit, because along with some parts in Black Rose Immortal it has one of the few brutal sections on the album at 9:20. Amazing bass and riffage; the stop and unintelligible growling at 9:58 is perfect. However, the song in general does feel overlong and doesn't hit me in the same way Night, Black Rose, and TBYF do.

Still Life is the most complex Opeth album from a guitar playing standpoint.
This is absolutely true. I wish they'd play Godhead's Lament or Moonlapse Vertigo (my favorite) or Serenity Painted Death more often live.
 
Top