When choosing one’s favorite albums of all time, several criteria should be considered for a band’s work involves more than just composing good sounding music. Well, the musical aspect is surely noticed first, still other elements are involved such as production, mixing and last but not least the lyrical aspect (it’s last simply because music can be instrumental).
Opeth! A band that rightfully stands on the very top of my favorite metal bands’ list, simply because they keep delivering kick-ass albums over the years and with each record they present an extra dimension to the listener to engage in, along with some ridiculously creative song structures added to the poetic execution of meaningful lyrics whether with growly manifestations from hell or with the occasional clean heartfelt vocals.
Due to a recent poll on LebMetal.com, Ghost Reveries was chosen to be reviewed. The results came in as following:
What’s your favorite Opeth Album? (Winner gets reviewed)
* Ghost Reveries (18.0%, 15 Votes)*
Morningrise (16.0%, 13 Votes)*
Blackwater Park (15.0%, 12 Votes)*
Deliverance (13.0%, 11 Votes)*
Damnation (10.0%, 8 Votes)*
Orchid (7.0%, 6 Votes)*
Still Life (7.0%, 6 Votes)*
Watershed (7.0%, 6 Votes)*
My Arms, Your Hearse (6.0%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 82
Notes to begin with:
Ghost Reveries was:
Produced by: Mikael Åkerfeldt
Engineered by: Jens Bogren
Mixed by: Jens Bogren & Opeth
Released through: Roadrunner Records (Opeth’s first release with RR).
–Keyboardist Per Wiberg joined the band >> although Wiberg contributed keyboard work to Opeth’s live performances starting around the time of “Deliverance”.
–Guitarist Peter Lindgren and drummer Martin Lopez’s last Opeth album (Peter left for personal reasons which he explained later on as lack of motivation while Martin got out due to health problems).
|| Roadrunner Records released a special deluxe edition of “Ghost Reveries” in 2006.
Bonus material includes:
– a 40 minute documentary about the making of the record complete with the bands own private tour footage.
– a cover of Deep Purple’s “Soldier of Fortune” (3:28) (their first song with current drummer Martin Axenrot)- the video for “The Grand Conjuration”- liner notes- photos- enhanced 24 page booklet- deluxe sleeve- 5.1 surround exclusive mix of the record made by original mixed/engineer Jens Bogren.
|| If you have never heard Opeth’s music before, then I might just inform you that this band requires a special kind of scenery to better enhance the listening experience:
Best listened to during harsh Winter or late Autumn times, while seated in a room lit by candlelight only (Album Cover). It’s also recommended to have a simple closed window with a suitable view of withering trees and the poring rain giving redemption to the rotting Earth smell.
The album will surely get you headbanging, while sometimes capturing you in a deep thick mood of emotions, lead by the excellent guitar work by composer/lyricist/lead guitarist/vocalist Mikeal Åkerfeldt.
The amazing rhythm section lead by underrated bassist Martin Mendez and Latin-influenced drummer Martin Lopez provide the perfect layer for the progressive Opethian riffs accompanied by moody background organ/piano/mellotron which occasionally take the spotlight as well. And on top of those layers of music comes Mikeal’s most ‘focused’ vocal performance to this date, with low/high pitched growls and screams followed by heavenly calming ‘lullabies’ for one’s spirit.
A track-by-track description is unfair here, since the shattering amount of memorable moments is too great to split into single musically emotional events. Therefore, I’m just trying to guide non-Opeth fans to give the band a well-deserved listen.
|| The production and mixing of the album are one of the best that I have ever heard; the RoadRunner Records signing is a good decision for the band, even if some Opeth fans bashed the decision prior to the album’s release, since RoadRunner Records is related to many Nu Metal bands, which Opeth fans may find a bit lacking soul.
There are 3 mellow songs on the album, and they do suit the album’s mood, as they are somehow different from the songs on Damnation (Acoustic album released in 2003). The songs are “Atonement“, “Hours of Wealth” and “Isolation Years” (a song which isn’t connected lyrically to the album).
Here’s a video for Hours of Wealth, hope you enjoy it:
The lyrics are, for once, occult related. Now don’t be put off by this, since Mikeal isn’t a Satanist, but he had the album all figured out, with dark lyrics that showcase a possible sinner who’s being chased by the hounds of the devil, their baying getting louder by the minute, as the sinner runs to the forest, being slowly subdued to what he has become, while keeping a seed of hope.
Read the lyrics here: http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/opeth/ghostreveries.html#1
Here’s the official video for The Grand Conjuration, one of my favorites on Ghost Reveries: