The local CD shop owner told me to check out the new Opeth. I did, and liked it straight away. Not only is at a beautifully designed CD with good lyrics, but it also features great music.

The first few times I listened to the album I couldn't quite put my finger on the magic ingredient that was in Opeth's music, especially in "The Moor", "Godhead's Lament" and "White Cluster". Then, suddenly, while listening to another frantic riff the likes of which aren't written all too often these days, the words came popping into my mind. Mercyful. Fate. Mercyful Fate. Opeth's melancholic music had been enriched by full-out mid eighties classic Mercyful Fate style riffing that might as well have been written by Hank Shermann himself! And because I love Mercyful Fate that made me love Opeth's "Still Life" too.

The riff attack I witnessed in those songs is not the only reason I like the album, though. With the exception of two (primarily or totally) acoustic songs ("Benighted" and "Face of Melinda") the album contains well written songs with a start, middle and end. Most songs clock at around 10 minutes, but they don't become boring. Slower and quicker passages are alternated, as are grunted sections with clean vocals.

I am convinced this is one of the finer albums to have been released this year.

Click here to check out or buy this CD



Written October 1999


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