Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Prog-Metal

My first introduction to Opeth was to the song "Advent" from their second album "Morningrise". For the near fourteen minutes that "Advent" played, I was enthralled. A definite decible cranker! I next heard "Black Rose Immortal" from the same album and I, honestly, have never been the same. The music gets into your veins. It breathes a life into you and becomes a part of you. It flows under your skin and through your heart and touches places inside you that you didn't think anyone else knew.
What is prog-metal you ask? My answer is: Opeth. A mix of many different elements and genres of music from blues to 70s prog-rock to death metal influence the very unique sound that is Opeth. Formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1990, the current band members are Mikael Åkerfeldt - Vocals, Guitars; Peter Lindgren - Guitars; Martin Mendez - Bass; Martin "Axe" Axenrot - Drums; Per Wiberg - Keyboards
Here's why I love Opeth. Mikael Akerfeldt's voice can turn from a melodic and lilting to a hardcore death growl within the same verse; this brings an eerie and intense essence to the music which can cross over into many different sub-genres of metal, making Opeth a chameleon among it's peers. The "Opeth Sound" can carry you from the soft melodic, drawn-out and dreamy to the heavy, banging and thrashy, a vertiable manic journey through a dark and beautiful musical landscape. You listen because you just have no idea where this music is going to take you. It isn't of the usual metal formulas like "chunky chunky chunky bridge chunky chunky" or "thrash thrash thrash thrash". It is atypical, to say the very least.
Two albums back to back.that show exactly how different Opeth's sound can get are Deliverance and Damnation. Hardcore metal versus acoustic prog; roaring growls versus resonant vocals.

The album that mixes both of these sounds together in perfected harmony is their latest release "Ghost Riveries". I was very fortunate to experience Opeth live this past spring on their "Ghost Riveries" tour. I was able to experience the magic of their sound in person; a line directly into my veins. A phenomenal rush!
Basically, the bottom line is that you either love Opeth or you don't. You just "get it" or you don't. And if you don't well... I guess you can just turn down the volume and put in Barry Manilow.

2 comments:

The Grunt said...

Yeah, you got me to buy Deliverance--and we're not talking about the movie, folks.

vera said...

That reminds me... I need to make you a kick-ass CD of Opeth tracks...
I think you'll dig on Black Rose Immortal and The Drapery Falls...

xo
v