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Album Reviews

Opeth: Watershed

By Azeem Banatwalla | August 20, 2008

Split Magazine: OpethSo, Opeth are this progressive-ish, mellow, acoustic-yet-heavy, death metal-ish band. Right? Well, honestly Opeth’s music is just so mixed up, tossed about and varied that it’s next to impossible to classify them under a specific genre. Their latest studio album, ‘Watershed’ completely exemplifies what you just read.

It starts off with the side of Opeth that I’ve grown to love, and get, to an extent, addicted to: the mellow, melancholic, acoustic composition with that oh-so-soothing voice, in “Coil”. The album proceeds to get heavier, progressively, with distortion and death growls, with a few haunting keyboards thrown into the mix, in “Heir Apparent” and “The Lotus Eater”, the latter with more a clean and ‘progressive’ sound.

“Burden” is one of my favourite tracks on the album, with some beautiful keyboards, acoustic guitars and thoughtful lyrics; you could be forgiven for thinking that the song was lifted straight from ‘Damnation’. “Porcelain Heart” follows in much the same vein, though there are heavy patches throughout the song.

I suppose fans of Opeth have grown accustomed to double figures in terms of the length of their songs, though “Hessian Peel” is the only song on this album that breaches that barrier, measuring up to just under eleven-and-a-half minutes of ‘Damnation’-esque acoustic stuff, followed by a much heavier climax. “Hex Omega” is another fabulous song, one that’s on the heavier side again, and wraps up a very well-composed album at just under 55 minutes.

On the whole, ‘Watershed’ is an album that won’t disappoint too many fans at all; it’s got plenty for fans on both sides of the Opeth coin, with a good mix of mellow and heavy music, that is just, so typically, Opeth.


1 Comment. Post Yours Here.
  1. September 21, 2008, 9:44 pm Alok Meshram

    It’s a good album if you look at it without any preconceived notions about Opeth. I find that it is aptly title “Watershed” which means a turning point, and indeed this is a turnng point in theri music. “Ghost Reveries” reminded me of “Blackwater Park” (I love both these albums) but this one is something totally new.

    However, I must say I miss Martin Lopez’s drumming. The drums on this album are not as enchanting. Overall it’s a good album (but not as great as their previous albums).

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