What’s On Your iPod? [#Recommended this week – Opeth]

Posted on October 23, 2010 in Media and Culture

By Mohit Sinha:

Opeth. For me, it means: sheer brilliance and beautiful music. Every metal-head acknowledges the genius of these Swedish heavy metals giants. The subtle poetry coupled with hypnotizing music bewitches you. Opeth’s signature style of mixing death metal with acoustic passages while also incorporating progressive rock simply amazes you.To sum the band up quickly, Opeth presents a ceaseless onslaught of dynamics, where a grinding metal assault (with death growls) can be exchanged for a gorgeous acoustic lull (with soft “clean” vocals) in a heartbeat. I am a huge fan of theirs and here’s a list of five immortal songs from Opeth – a must have on your iPod:

1. Black Rose Immortal

This is undoubtedly the best song by Opeth and I count it amongst one of the best songs ever. It’s a twenty-minute song, probably one of the longest by Opeth, in the album Morningrise and has one of the best transitions in a song. The lyrics are gorgeous, haunting and darkly evocative – as generally is the case with Opeth songs – and the perfect blend of well executed music creates an intoxicating atmosphere. The detail, precision, and distinctness of the instrumental sections is nothing short of stunning, and they never release the fettered listener from their vice-like grip. The song delivers a bombardment of savagely chugging riffs as well as the equally conflicting musical concordances by way of lead guitar

2. Patterns in the ivy

It’s a small and peaceful composition by the band. It flows smooth as whisky and the serenity clasps you in its arms. Though they are no words, the aura created by the guitars speaks a lot more. Not to mention it’s one of the best instrumentals you’ll ever come across. It’s from their Blackwater Park album in whose review CMJ wrote, ” Godlike… A metal fusion of Pink Floyd and The Beatles”. Blackwater Park is indeed a great album and this two-minute song is my favourite.

3. A fair judgement

It made me fall in love with Opeth. A pseudo-ballad with soaring guitars lines, melting pianos, ghostly bursts of atmosphere and gorgeous vocal harmonies. It’s from the Deliverance album which again showcased Opeth’s protean expanse of flavors and Mikael Akerfeldt’s bohemian preoccupation with creating progressive music.

4. The night and the silent water

This single is again from Morningrise which narrowly beats Deliverance to become my favorite Opeth album. A reviewer wrote for Morningrise : ” If Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg, and Mahler were transported to the present and were forced to form a rock band together, it would sound something like Opeth’s Morningrise. ” The night and the silent water features melodic electric/acoustic guitar interplay and is a song about death itself. It creates the most ominous of atmospheres and mournful soundtracks with solemn distorted harmonies and dark acoustic strumming.

5. To bid you Farewell

To quote from a music blog, ” It is the hard truth that no artist has or ever will write a song so overwhelmingly beautiful and emotional and Opeth’s To Bid You Farewell. Opening with a series of duel acoustic guitar riffs and leading into one of Akerfeldt’s most peaceful vocal performances, this song has fueled many to reflect upon themselves. With this one song alone, Opeth has accomplished the art of creating music that affects people in deeply profound ways. A clean guitar solo precedes the flowing into a gentle, bass-lead section with calming synth effects. The song concludes with a flurry of distorted riffs and the most heartfelt lyrics ever written in music”. I think I need not add any further.

There are many more songs who are in no way any less than these mentioned above. I will talk about those and many more in my following posts on What’s On Your iPod. Opeth’s fever is running high.

The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.

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  • Shashank

    You might have included either Blackwater Park or Harvest as well. Both are pretty popular especially Harvest, though personally I feel Blackwater Park is better (its worthy of the immortal status). And if we are talking about progressive rock, I believe nothing beats Porcupine Tree.

    Kshitij Tiwari

    I agree with every bit of this article except two things:-

    1. Opeth is not a heavy metal band. It is progressive death metal or more appropriately necroprogressive metal. (necro is a latin word meaning death)

    2. ” If Beethoven, Mozart, Grieg, and Mahler were transported to the present and were forced to form a rock band together, it would sound something like Opeth’s Morningrise. ”

    I’d rather say the album is My Arms, Your Hearse.

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