THE OPETH REFERENDUM MMXXI: Round 24

Vote for your LEAST favorite song(s):


  • Total voters
    7

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I will definitely have two, very easy, votes for Eternal Soul Torture and Frost of Winter.

As for Morningrise...

This album has never really clicked with me. It's a fine listen, don't get me wrong, but the songwriting just isn't there and the whole thing is a bit overwhelming. I appreciate the enhanced acoustic nature of the tracks and I think there are some gems, but it's one of the albums I come back to the least.
  • Nectar will be my easiest vote, as it is a pretty middle-of-the-road wall of sound with no truly catchy sections.
  • Advent is certainly cool, and by no means a bad song, but it fails to reach the heights of the better tunes here.
  • Black Rose Immortal is a great collection of neat musical ideas and riffs, but Mikael's songwriting just isn't refined enough to make this a true classic. It's also about 5 minutes too long. Easily the third best song here, and still quite good, but in no way does it compare to their later epics.
The other two tracks are my picks to advance, with Night and The Silent Water being a lush, twisty journey and To Bid You Farewell allowing Mikael the space and confidence he needed to progress as a songwriter.
 

Detective Beauregard

Independent as a hog on ice
I think it's very different to the later albums, most obviously the guitars. The dual guitar style on Orchid and here is absent on everything after MAYH. On MAYH it still appears, but a lot less and mixed with the chord stuff that they used on Still Life and after.
I loved that melodic, counterpoint guitar sound, but Akerfeldt grew tired of it since it was what other bands were doing at the time (apparently).

The bass is a lot more audible which I like. Opeth always had good basslines but 1) they're harder to hear on later albums and 2) Morningrise easily has the best bass performance here.
The bassist on Orchid and Morningrise - Johan DeFarfalla - recorded with a fretless 6-string. You can hear this most audibly in the middle section of To Bid You Farewell. I loved this sound, but Akerfeldt wanted to take the band in a tighter, more rhythmic direction. DeFarfalla was fired, and after the drummer (Anders Nordin) was informed of this, he quit. Lopez and Mendez were hired, but Mendez did not have enough time to learn the material from My Arms, Your Hearse, so Akerfeldt recorded the bass instead. This is why the album is the band's least interesting in the bass department.

Anyway, onto the voting! The easy "don't stand a chance" picks are...

Silhouette
Requiem
Into the Frost of Winter
Eternal Soul Torture

The remaining five songs on Orchid are all solid, with Forest of October being my favorite and Twilight being my least (thus I'm giving the latter a vote). Morningrise is tougher as it is a stronger album overall, but Nectar doesn't stack up to the other four. Also - and this isn't a popular opinion - Advent has never clicked with me. It's a solid song, but it never reaches the beauty or epic stylings of the remaining three. Therefore I'm giving it a vote.

The remaining three tracks on Morningrise are classic in my opinion. The Night and the Silent Water is a mix of death metal and folk that works oh so well (with the live version on The Roundhouse Tapes being even better in my opinion). To Bid You Farewell is the band's first growl-free song, and features a groovy and spacious middle section carried by melodic bass lines. And while Black Rose Immortal might be a few minutes too long, it contains the band's strongest music from either of their first two albums. Some of those melodies are perfect.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Orchid is a very different animal. I know I've said this before, but there's something inherently magical or mystical about this record. The atmosphere is unmatched in the Opeth discography and the performances are hungry as hell (even when they are obviously young). I do agree that the songs can be a bit indistinguishable due to their length and number of sections, but part of the experience lies in getting lost in it. Every time I listen to Orchid I become completely absorbed by the spookiness and darkness inherent within.

That said, it's going to be easy to vote for the interludes (despite my defiant love of Silhouette) and the demo that shouldn't even be included in this game. On my most recent listen I found Apostle in Triumph to be the weakest, but again, all of the songs here are pretty equally great.
  • In Mist She Was Standing is a perfectly youthful composition, the most evil sounding Iron Maiden worship you've ever heard. I love the atmospheric section in the middle and the grandiose ending.
  • Under the Weeping Moon has cracking atmosphere as well, once again with the killer creepy volume swell midsection, and is probably the closest this album comes to sounding like middle era Opeth.
  • Forest of October might be the most mature composition here and is just a ghastly joy.
  • The Twilight Is My Robe is like a combination of the previous song and IMSWS, with the swashbuckling ghoul vibe returning.
Alright, so anywhere, here's my votes:

Advent
Nectar
Black Rose Immortal
Eternal Ear Torture
Silhouette
Requiem
The Apostle in Triumph
Into the Frost of Earpain
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I loved that melodic, counterpoint guitar sound, but Akerfeldt grew tired of it since it was what other bands were doing at the time (apparently).
I'm very curious about this, as I've heard him say the same thing before. I understand moving away from that style for a variety of reasons (trying to broaden the sound, gain more fans, write something a bit catchier and less complex for the listener), but does anyone have examples of (successful) bands from this time period that we're doing the same sort of counterpoint guitars?
 

Detective Beauregard

Independent as a hog on ice
Orchid is a very different animal. I know I've said this before, but there's something inherently magical or mystical about this record. The atmosphere is unmatched in the Opeth discography and the performances are hungry as hell (even when they are obviously young). I do agree that the songs can be a bit indistinguishable due to their length and number of sections, but part of the experience lies in getting lost in it. Every time I listen to Orchid I become completely absorbed by the spookiness and darkness inherent within.
I feel the exact same way about Moringrise. I like Orchid, but the songs on the follow-up strike me as more mature and textured.

On my most recent listen I found Apostle in Triumph to be the weakest, but again, all of the songs here are pretty equally great.
There's a part in the middle of that song that is texturally amazing and creepy as hell. Maybe some sort of phaser effect? Easily one of the best moments of the entire album.

I'm very curious about this, as I've heard him say the same thing before. I understand moving away from that style for a variety of reasons (trying to broaden the sound, gain more fans, write something a bit catchier and less complex for the listener), but does anyone have examples of (successful) bands from this time period that we're doing the same sort of counterpoint guitars?
I assumed they were mostly from the underground Scandinavian extreme metal scene.
 

Shmoolikipod

Stranger to the Light
In the Mist She Was Standing is pretty easily the best song on Orchid. It's epic and memorable. And also very maiden like @MrKnickerbocker said.

Under the Weeping Moon has a very cool atmospheric middle part and the ending is beautiful as well.

Forest of October is pretty good, but it feels a little run of the mill. The atmosphere of the previous two songs isn't quite there either.

I don't feel strongly about Twilight or Apostle. Apostle is a bit all over the place.

Silhouette is beautiful, Requiem is unnecessary.

Into the Frost of Winter has shit production, but I said recognize a riff from Advent there.

Voting for Silhouette, Requiem, The Apostle in Triumph, Into the Frost of Winter, Eternal Ear Torture, Nectar, Black Rose Immortal (to save Advent) and To Bid You Farewell.
 

Stardust

Greenwich in the Sky
Darn, the essays have begun cropping up again. Hopefully I don't have to do the same as well. Anyway, I'll get my votes in whenever possible.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Alright. In order to finally finish this, I will start updating if we have 5 voters in each round. Results won't be as accurate, but obviously it's impossible otherwise.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
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Eliminated after Round 17:
Requiem - 8 votes
Silhouette - 7 votes
Eternal Soul Torture - 6 votes
Into The Frost Of Winter - 6 votes
 

Shmoolikipod

Stranger to the Light
Cut it with the Advent votes!
Nectar and To Bid You Farewell. I find that I come back to The Night and the Silent Water often and I stand my ground regarding Advent. It's a possible top 20 contender.
BRI vote to help Advent...
Twilight and Apostle for Orchid.
Apostle is a bit all over the place.
Wow, good on past me on noticing it. It randomly came on my Spotify the other day while on the bus. 13:50 of random riffs. Even something like The Amen Corner is more cohesive...
 
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