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Opeth|Blackwater Park

Blackwater Park

Opeth

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Not everyone has the talent to create an album that can both serve as a real reference point for a whole genre, and yet still sound fresh 20 years after its release. That's a tricky feat in the world of metal, where trends in production came and went at a frenzied pace between the 90s and the first two decades of the twenty-first century. But Opeth pulled it off. When Blackwater Park came out in 2001, the Swedish combo had already laid the groundwork for what their style would become in the following years, somewhere between death metal and vintage progressive rock. But this record has an indescribable magic that crosses boundaries of genrebto help unite followers of different registers around its content. Is it still really death metal? Maybe it's better to see this album as the offspring of King Crimson mixed with Pink Floyd with the darkest of saturated guitars, and vocals that switch from clarity to guttural growls with unsettling ease. It's easy to lose one’s bearing in this sound... and fun, too.

The strength of Blackwater Park lies as much in its writing as in its production. Beyond its offbeat approach to metal, it is lyrical and adventurous without ever lapsing into pomposity. This little gem has a more open, less cramped and clearer sound than many of its contemporaries. That's the result of hard work by Steven Wilson, for whom this was the first experience of producing this kind of music. This is also an album that marks the beginning of an abiding friendship between the English artist and Mikael Åkerfeldt, the frontman of Opeth. The two men even set up a joint project named Storm Corrosion a few years later.

It all starts with The Leper Affinity whose dark power immediately establishes Opeth as a band in full command of the lexicon of death metal... until a first break arrives, with acoustic guitars and a calm and airy voice. It is here that it becomes clear that this is only the beginning of a hypnotic musical adventure. One of this adventures highlights is the sublime Bleak and its central sequence, which is worthy of the greatest progressive bands of the late 60s. Just a few tracks in, and already we have heard twenty minutes of rare beauty and intensity. It will be the same with the rest of the album. Each musician has mastered his instrument. Despite the apparent structural complexity of the tracks on offer, everything flows together with disconcerting ease, all the way to the closing Blackwater Park, in all its deep darkness and rare beauty. This album was a masterpiece and a milestone that brought Opeth into the pantheon of the essential metal acts, who have broken down the boundaries between genres. A cult classic. © Chief Brody/Qobuz

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Blackwater Park

Opeth

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1
The Leper Affinity
00:10:23

Steven Wilson, Producer - Opeth, Performer - Opeth, Producer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Composer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Lyricist

(P) 2001 Music For Nations

2
Bleak
00:09:15

Steven Wilson, Producer - Opeth, Producer - Opeth, Performer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Composer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Lyricist

(P) 2001 Music For Nations

3
Harvest
00:06:01

Steven Wilson, Producer - Opeth, Producer - Opeth, Performer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Composer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Lyricist

(P) 2001 Music For Nations

4
The Drapery Falls
00:10:53

Steven Wilson, Producer - Opeth, Producer - Opeth, Performer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Composer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Lyricist

(P) 2001 Music For Nations

5
Dirge for November
00:07:53

Steven Wilson, Producer - Opeth, Producer - Opeth, Performer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Composer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Lyricist - Peter Lindgren, Composer - Peter Lindgren, Lyricist

(P) 2001 Music For Nations

6
The Funeral Portrait
00:08:44

Steven Wilson, Producer - Opeth, Producer - Opeth, Performer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Composer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Lyricist

(P) 2001 Music For Nations

7
Patterns in the Ivy
00:01:52

Steven Wilson, Producer - Opeth, Producer - Opeth, Performer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Composer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Lyricist

(P) 2001 Music For Nations

8
Blackwater Park
00:12:11

Steven Wilson, Producer - Opeth, Producer - Opeth, Performer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Composer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Lyricist - Peter Lindgren, Composer - Peter Lindgren, Lyricist

(P) 2001 Music For Nations

9
The Leper Affinity (Live)
00:09:26

Pontus Norgren, Recording Engineer - Pontus Norgren, Edited By - Pontus Norgren, Mixing Engineer - Opeth, Performer - Mikael Akerfeldt, Lyricist - Mikael Akerfeldt, Composer - Brent Carpenter, Mixing Engineer - Brent Carpenter, Edited By - Brent Carpenter, Recording Engineer

(P) 2010 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

Album Description

Not everyone has the talent to create an album that can both serve as a real reference point for a whole genre, and yet still sound fresh 20 years after its release. That's a tricky feat in the world of metal, where trends in production came and went at a frenzied pace between the 90s and the first two decades of the twenty-first century. But Opeth pulled it off. When Blackwater Park came out in 2001, the Swedish combo had already laid the groundwork for what their style would become in the following years, somewhere between death metal and vintage progressive rock. But this record has an indescribable magic that crosses boundaries of genrebto help unite followers of different registers around its content. Is it still really death metal? Maybe it's better to see this album as the offspring of King Crimson mixed with Pink Floyd with the darkest of saturated guitars, and vocals that switch from clarity to guttural growls with unsettling ease. It's easy to lose one’s bearing in this sound... and fun, too.

The strength of Blackwater Park lies as much in its writing as in its production. Beyond its offbeat approach to metal, it is lyrical and adventurous without ever lapsing into pomposity. This little gem has a more open, less cramped and clearer sound than many of its contemporaries. That's the result of hard work by Steven Wilson, for whom this was the first experience of producing this kind of music. This is also an album that marks the beginning of an abiding friendship between the English artist and Mikael Åkerfeldt, the frontman of Opeth. The two men even set up a joint project named Storm Corrosion a few years later.

It all starts with The Leper Affinity whose dark power immediately establishes Opeth as a band in full command of the lexicon of death metal... until a first break arrives, with acoustic guitars and a calm and airy voice. It is here that it becomes clear that this is only the beginning of a hypnotic musical adventure. One of this adventures highlights is the sublime Bleak and its central sequence, which is worthy of the greatest progressive bands of the late 60s. Just a few tracks in, and already we have heard twenty minutes of rare beauty and intensity. It will be the same with the rest of the album. Each musician has mastered his instrument. Despite the apparent structural complexity of the tracks on offer, everything flows together with disconcerting ease, all the way to the closing Blackwater Park, in all its deep darkness and rare beauty. This album was a masterpiece and a milestone that brought Opeth into the pantheon of the essential metal acts, who have broken down the boundaries between genres. A cult classic. © Chief Brody/Qobuz

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