Reviewed by MJBrady on 20 Nov 2002
Opeth is one of the most ambiguous and misunderstood bands in the progressive metal genres, one reason for that is the fact that sitting through a full cd by them is like a Jeckel and Hyde soundtrack. If they are not hamering out highly technical ambushes of progressive metal, led with death metal vocals, they are playing casual new age tinged acoustical progressive folk rock. An odd combintation, but that is what makes the band such a unique presence.
So this music doesn't just hammer you with the brutal stuff, they in fact do offer clean, quite pleasant vocals also, and then it's back and forth as if to exhibit a schizophrenic composer. Deliverance capitalizes on the bands best attributes, and it's this very formula that have gotten many people talking about them, even from the more unlikely progrock forums, who typically stray away from music of this style.
Some people are so turned off by growling vocals that they may have some trouble getting into the music enough to hear the beauty that is Opeth. If you can force yourself to get beyond your stigma about the vocals, you just may be astounded by what this band is doing. The band is combining the technical aspects of progressive metal, and the moods of progressive rock, all while integrating the vocals of death metal, progrock, and progmetal, it is an intriguing mix to say the least. All the vocals aside, the bands music is enough to attract fans from all the progressive musics.
It is apparent that Sweden is showing that as a country, it is offering some of the very best music, and musicians, and add Opeth to that list, these are outstanding players, and the concept that has resulted from the evolution of the band is something very special. I would challenge prospective listeners to give this cd a chance, giving the music a careful listen, you will find the music is very impressive, and surprising to digest the many alter egos of the bands personality.
Opeth's music is a summary of all things progressive, from the most melodic progrock, to the heaviest that progmetal has to offer, and all things in between. It's as if you were to take Death, Dream Theater, Camel, Pink Floyd and stirred it all together, and odd concoction, but very original, and innovative to be sure.
Reviewed by Nuno on 17 Dec 2002
There are still a very large percentage of progheads that overlook the Metal lobby in modern Progressive Music. I don’t want to be offensive, by any means, but the scene is changing or, better said, both scenes are changing and a new hybrid is being slowly built that congregates both sides of the barrier. So prog purists should stop reading this review and skip to the next.
I mean, listening to Deliverance, the new quietness killer by Opeth, I am driven to think that, in fact, Metal has an ever growing place in the Progressive world today, one that should not be overlooked at all.
In a recent interview, Opeth’s producer and well acquainted Progger Steven Wilson has said that the future of Prog Rock is in Metal. While not stepping so dangerous grounds, I still would say that a good part of Prog’s future may lay in that area, yes!…
Wreath opens this album as a window, showing in just one song, past, present and future of their contribution to the cause. Past for the main part of the track lays in clearly violent and wrathful Death Metal textures, taking me back to my early 20’s, when bands like Sepultura, Morbid Angel, Death, Deicide, Massacre and others were my daily dose of energy. Present and future for they incorporate complex structures in their distorted riffing, changes in rhythm, direction and approach within each song and between them.
Ok, so the growling vocals are not an easy task to deal with if you’re new to this stuff, but believe me they perfectly add the rebellious touch to the music, providing it with an extra set of raging vitamins. There are also clean vocals with a distinctive emotional tone, contra-balancing the violence and nihilistic growls.
Apart from one acoustic song with less than 3 minutes, all the others pass the 10 minute mark. In opus style, every one features a new and improved look over what is the perfect contemporary merging of Spacey/Pseudo-Acoustic Prog with Death Metal. It’s like if Porcupine Tree and Death would embrace a common vision.
Take the final minutes of the title track. The rhythm and drum sequence are simply mesmerizing. Dwelling in a game of shapes and colors. While maintaining the basic sequence, the music crosses both Prog and Death lands without the listener even notice the difference…this is what it’s all about.
The hand of PT’s Steve Wilson is obvious throughout all album, like in the transcendental A fair judgement for this song presents a very peculiar proximity with the mentioned band.
There is a feeling of evolution abounding inside the album, playing hide-and-seek with the listener while giving leads to be quickly discovered. It is this game that I most like to play when exploring the most extreme side of Prog. And Opeth sets the rules in a clear and innovative way, making the listener want to return to this hypnotizing maze.
I’m with Brady on this one, Opeth are one of the most misunderstood bands in Prog Metal today, perhaps because they dare to take actions where most bands are afraid to state something. And what Deliverance does is continue and even improve the speech of rebellion against the elitism and the building of boundaries in Prog Rock. Their message: “Let the light in, even if the light’s black!”