Opeth | Ghost Reveries (2005)
Oct 14th 2009 Patrick Saad Band/Album Reviews

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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:

Poll:

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

opeth-ghost-reveries

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).

Lineup Changes

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).

opeth

|| 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.

Recommendations

|| 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.

opeth_at_hellfest_ii_by_dragonlady1

|| 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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAUwCQdOurA

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:

  • Links

Ghost Reveries on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Reveries-Opeth/dp/B000AADYYO

Official Opeth Site: http://www.opeth.com/

Official MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/opeth

Official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Opeth/7496603409

I hope that reading this article was a time well spent! All comments and opinions are appreciated, as well as suggestions for other polls on the site.

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  • Mike

    oh great then. u will love the gift ania brought u!! haha

  • Sammy

    Fabulous job! As you already know, one of my favorite bands as well. You took the Opeth essence and delivered it in a brief yet reflective way for both fresh and old Opeth fans to embrace. Obviously also very knowledgeable about the member changes in the last several years so thumbs up there too!

  • your father

    yes, mike broke the surprise. it’s a nice review, though.

  • Patrick Saad

    Haha I kinda knew about the surprise , Ania 😛
    Sammy > well yes I tried to give a brief overview of the album with a small introduction to what Opeth is. If I was to get into details of the songs themselves, this article would have been boring for the non-Opeth fans.

    Yalla I wanna see you reviewing an album of theirs!

  • I added your blog to bookmarks. And i’ll read your articles more often!

  • Valuable thoughts and advices. I read your topic with great interest.

  • Mary

    I love this album, a friend actually got it for me as a gift a few years ago!
    Perfect harmony between the songs and amazing progression.

  • Patrick

    It’s probably the album to start with when trying out Opeth … I prefer Morningrise but that’s too RAW to handle for new Opeth fans right ?

  • ma7fouz

    this album is a concept album abt a man who murdered his mother, i voted for this album because i think it is one of the most evil albums opeth ever produced, musically and lyrically,especially the song “the grand conjuration” which is a bit oriental . Yes patrick morning rise is a bit raw for first timers, i started listening to damnation at first because all those massive guitar melodies and the variety of moods were too much for me in the beginning.

  • Patrick

    It is the most ‘evil’ album, and yes it takes time to get used to the Opethian music style,plus each album has its own ambiance let me say; Morningrise has the best ambient in my opinion.

  • Thank you! You often write very interesting articles. You improved my mood.