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Opeth - Watershed

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Opeth

Opeth - Watershed

Roadrunner Records

The Bottom Line

Opeth's last studio CD Ghost Reveries was named the best album of 2005 by this site and many others, so expecations were huge for their latest release. There have been a couple of lineup changes for Opeth in the past couple of years, including the departure of longtime guitarist Peter Lindgren and drummer Martin Lopez. Their replacements are guitarist Fredrik Akesson (Arch Enemy) and drummer Martin Axenrot. Axenrot has been with the band for a while, but this is his first studio album with Opeth.
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Pros

  • Great songwriting
  • A lot of diversity
  • Excellent musicianship

Cons

  • None

Description

  • Released June 3, 2008 on Roadrunner Records.
  • The CD was produced by Mikael Akerfeldt and Jens Bogren.
  • This is Opeth's ninth studio album.

Guide Review - Opeth - Watershed

Opeth has developed a distinctive style over the years, and Watershed continues the development and refinement of that style. Beautiful acoustic passages lead into intense death metal, with all kinds of lengthy progressive and experimental sections. There are more of those progressive and experimental parts that ever before. Put everything together and you have another outstanding Opeth album.

Watershed kicks off with "Coil," a quiet acoustic song featuring melodic vocals from Akerfeldt and guest female vocals from Nathalie Lorichs. The next song is "Heir Apparent," a louder and more extreme song that leads the album into the diverse ebbs and flows we expect from Opeth. After the brief (for them) three minute open, the rest of the songs are more epic in length, ranging from 7 to 11 minutes. Their sonic palette is a large one, going from a single sparse acoustic guitar to layers and layers of various guitars, keyboards and other instruments. Subtleties abound, and you'll hear new things with every additional listen.

Akerfeldt's vocals are right on point. His melodic singing continues to be rock solid, and he still has a reservoir of anger to draw upon with his harsh vocals. He does more singing than growling on this CD. The definition of watershed is "a critical point marking a change in course or development," and with the increased prog elements and the use of that word as the title, Watershed may well signal the start of a bigger shift in Opeth's style.

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