Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another Day, More New Music: Opeth's 'The Devil's Orchard'

The first (and only) time I saw Opeth live - on Gigantour 2 - I thought it was interesting how different this band was from anyone else playing that night, and the crowd reactions the group received as well.

There were obviously the fans loving every minute of the show, but then there were those people who looked bored out of their minds during many of the songs, some of which could run into the 10+ minute mark.

I have always been somewhere in the middle with Opeth, enjoying a lot of the group's music, but feeling like there was something missing to really grab my attention.

Don't get me wrong, Blackwater Park is a masterpiece, however, it can be hard to listen to Mikael Ã…kerfeldt's ever-shifting clean-to-growling vocals, alongside an insanely high level of musicianship that leans dangerously close to sensory overload for long periods of time.

In fact, every album after this started to feel like more of the same (just take a listen to 2008's Watershed). My favorite Opeth album of the more modern era would have to Damnation, featuring all-clean vocals and mellower tracks.

The whole record was a breath of fresh air from the band's regular format and one of the best albums of that year (2003) and the decade.

With the new track released today, "The Devil's Orchard", it feels like Opeth is taking the melodicism of Damnation and combining it with the aggression of its back catalog (without the use of death vocals). And man does it sound killer.

Have a listen below. This is one of those tracks you can just get lost in and not even realize six minutes just went by (not sure if the actual album version will be any longer).

Heritage will be released via Roadrunner Records on September 16.

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