This thing is a masterpiece.
Being that this is a concept album, the lyrics here are probably the most interesting that the band has written up until this point in the discography. The story is really engaging and keeps you invested in the lyrics, which cannot be said for many other metal albums.
The sound of this album is immaculate. Every single track paints a vivid sonic picture filled with beautiful melodies, memorable riffs, and a mix of lovely clean vocals and brutal growls. ... read more
The first great Opeth album.
This project sees the band transition away from their early sound and embrace the progressive death metal that would define them throughout the late 90s and 2000s. The production here is much better than on previous albums, making the songs feel like they have a lot more weight behind them and hit harder.
April Ethereal is an intense and dark track and really starts the album on the right foot. This vibe continues through the next few tracks, which ... read more
The praises and criticisms that apply to Opeth's debut album apply here as well. However, I do think this is an improvement over Orchid. The overall songwriting is better and the inclusion of the closer "To Bid You Farewell" really brings this album up for me. It's a stunning acoustic track that builds to an extremely satisfying climax once the distorted guitars kick in. It's also their first song (As far as I'm aware) to include only clean vocals.
None of the songs here ... read more
This is a solid debut for one of metal's most celebrated bands. The performances are pretty spot on, and Mikael Akerfeldt puts in a killer vocal performance. The production on this album is pretty rough compared to their later releases and is clearly inspired by the black metal that was taking over in Scandanavia at the time (Though this album is definitely more death metal than black metal). However, I actually don't mind this as I think it plays into the overall vibe of the ... read more