This time I came back to Opeth through Blackwater Park. I’ve been away for a while, but the new album is coming out soon, and there is no way I will miss it. Unlike most fans, I’ve enjoyed their newer sound. To me, what they seem to miss is that the albums they love most would not exist without these latter, for this has always been their foundation as writers.
I am hard pressed to think of an album that is orchestrated so brilliantly. “The Leper Affinity” sets the stage, as each track leads you to “Blackwater Park”, which consummates the whole in a such a way that leaves you breathless.
I’m listening to Still Life and can’t believe I ever doubted them.
The new album came out today (27 September 2019) and I’m glad I captured those thoughts from a few months ago. I don’t know what to make of In Cauda Venenum. It’s far larger than I can take in on this first listen. I’m near the end, and it follows naturally from the three albums that came before–specifically, the shift that Heritage marked. His voice is beautiful, and the writing is complex and jazzy. But it is not heavy, not even in a way that Damnation is (which I know is cheating). I realize I miss the heaviness, and would be lying if I said I did not. On the other hand, this is the greatest of the last four albums. There is something Kodama-like about it. I could easily imagine them performing the entire album live, as it is complete.
16 October 2019
Excellent. It is rare for me to come back to something I wrote earlier and agree with every word.
I will take it one step further: give me Orchid and In Cauda Venenum and I can explain everything in between. This is on the level of Mozart. I can now understand their trajectory.