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opeth palecommunion
Artist: Opeth
Title: Pale Communion
Genre: Progressive Rock / Metal
Release Date: 25th August 2014
Label: Roadrunner Records

Album Review

Upon releasing Heritage back in 2011, OPETH were facing two kinds of groups: Those who embraced the evident change that came with the new album, and those who didn't. Now that we know that 'Pale Communion' explores the discovered new path further I found that reactions have become rather extreme. Some people honestly sound like 5-year-olds “Someone has taken my lollipop away”. Sorry folks everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but please stop whining if a band decides they wanna pursue a new direction. I for one was pretty excited for the record, also because I found 'Heritage' ha its flaws regarding song writing, some length and confusions that could've been prevented. 'Eternal Rains Will Come' delves right into the action of a progged-out evening. The complicated drumming, the varying themes and all make it sound like the song jumps back and forth between styles by its own will, and that's a hell of a lot fun to listen to. That OPETH do very well without putting breaks and breaks in line they demonstrate with the teaser single 'Cusp Of Eternity'. Just straight in your pretty face and with a killer guitar solo on top

Clocking in at nearly 11 minutes, 'Moon Above, Sun Below' is indeed the longest of the album tracks, and one being very special at that. It kind of walks on a path between darkness and light. It can be extremely unsettling one moment and then just breaks into noisy rebellion, when the desperation becomes too mighty until everything subsides to the frailty of an acoustic treatment, and it never gets boring for a second. As mythical as the title suggests, 'Elysian Woes indicates, the song turns out to be atmospherically. It's also quite the opposite of the previous track. It feels a lot like the 'Damnation' material, very stripped down and low-key, telling a tale, shrouded in mist for ages and covered in autumnal thoughts of sorrow. I tell it as i see it: 'Goblin' is an instrumental show-off of the band's capabilities. Even though they're not quite touching the limits of what they can do. You can tell by the flow of the music, the lads had a lot of fun doing this track.

The rumbling 'River' has got a taste of light-footed singer/songwriter material with everyone being in high spirits, hopeful and smiling. Then, abruptly the light is fading, giving way to despair and melancholy starts reigning being run over soon by boundless rhythm attacks and side-stepping riffs. Surely not the easiest of the tracks but a rewarding listening experience. Come the last chapter of the album, we're treated to an all new element in OPETH songs: Actual strings! While the rhythm section for once doesn't take any extreme U-turns all that happens above that rhythmic level establishes a sense of sublime drama within the sound, which is, even if feeling strange at first, perfectly fitting. Personally, i doubt the very last song 'Faith In Others' would be what it is now without them. It's actually one of the best OPETH songs. Period. The feeling of desperation, the emotional immediacy are being greatly enhanced by the poignancy of the strings and make it the highlight of an album that is proof, the chosen path was the right on. The arrangements are spot-on and for me have no lengths at all. I expect great  more great things to come and am excited how these will sound like.


01. Eternal Rains Will Come
02. Cusp of Eternity
03. Moon Above, Sun Below
04. Elysian Woes
05. Goblin (instrumental)
06. River
07. Voice of Treason
08. Faith in Others


Mikael Åkerfeldt – guitars, lead vocals
Martín Méndez – bass guitar
Martin "Axe" Axenrot – drums, percussion
Fredrik Åkesson – guitars, backing vocals
Joakim Svalberg – keyboards, synthesizer, backing vocals, percussion

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Cover Picture

opeth palecommunion


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Extras: -
Total: 9 / 10

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