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Thread: Opeth - The Clean Vox Albums

  1. #51
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Essentially a Yesfan.
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  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Essentially a Yesfan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Makes sense to me

    You should give the new Oranssi Pazuzu a stab...it's bonkers and heavy and trippy in all the best ways. Hell, one spot in this tune even starts to invoke Magma:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScMbsZW3qn4
    Another rec for Oranssi Pazuzu. Excellent band. I'm also in the camp that the Opeth 'clean' albums have tempered my interest in the band. Weirdly, of these latter albums, I enjoy Heritage the most, which was not the case at the time of release. I like the albums from Heritage on just fine as if this is all you know of Opeth, you might think they are a very competent prog/psych band that borrows heavily from early 70's influence like Cressida. I'm good with this as Mike has a nice voice. The last time I saw Opeth live was for the 2005 Ghost Reveries tour and I thought Mike was having a slightly harder time with the death metal vox live than when I saw them in 2001 and 2003 (the latter with Porcupine Tree). I remember thinking at that gig that sooner or later Opeth was going to go all clean vox for the sake of Mike's voice, not unlike what Jonas had to do with his band Katatonia. I guess what I didn't anticipate how much less interesting Opeth's albums would become in terms of song dynamics. Even at the height of their progressive death metal days (watch the Shepherd's Bush DVD for reference from 2003) the band always mixed clean acoustic pages with the heavier death vox sections in these long songs that were incredibly varied. A lot of this has been lost in my opinion. Spin Pale Companion alongside Blackwater Park for example or My Arms Your Hearse. I still appreciate Opeth but man they used to be a uniquely great band whereas now I consider them just a very good band.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquatarkus View Post
    I guess what I didn't anticipate how much less interesting Opeth's albums would become in terms of song dynamics. Even at the height of their progressive death metal days (watch the Shepherd's Bush DVD for reference from 2003) the band always mixed clean acoustic pages with the heavier death vox sections in these long songs that were incredibly varied. A lot of this has been lost in my opinion. Spin Pale Companion alongside Blackwater Park for example or My Arms Your Hearse. I still appreciate Opeth but man they used to be a uniquely great band whereas now I consider them just a very good band.
    Exactly. Early Opeth is exciting, varied, and unique (at the time), I find the newer material bland and one-note. I can't listen to any of the "clean" albums because I know the discography before, I know what this band could do.
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  6. #56
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    Was Damnation the "turning point" album for them and have all their releases since then been or the "clean" variety?

    I have not listened too much of Opeth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camelogue View Post
    Was Damnation the "turning point" album for them and have all their releases since then been or the "clean" variety?

    I have not listened too much of Opeth.
    No, it was the anomaly at the time, but it signaled the change coming a couple of albums later. Beginning with Heritage in 2011, they've all been clean vocals. In between Damnation and Heritage, there was Ghost Reveries and Watershed, both with death metal vocals (although plenty of clean as well).

    Heritage
    is the one that should have been called Watershed, really.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

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    I currently don't have much by Opeth at all. As for the prog version of the band all I have is Sorceress. It wasn't bad but it seemed to lack cohesion or something. Not sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    I currently don't have much by Opeth at all. As for the prog version of the band all I have is Sorceress. It wasn't bad but it seemed to lack cohesion or something. Not sure.
    I would explore everything from Still Life on. Then you can go back to the first three later. Every album is worth hearing....think of the similarity with Rush albums - pretty different yet all having a certain sound and all worth a spin. There is no weakness in their catalog imo. My biggest beef is the production on Sorceress and In Cauda Venenum (their latest two) but musically they are quite good. Let me just leave this here: the true Opeth fan digs ALL of their albums

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I would explore everything from Still Life on. Then you can go back to the first three later. Every album is worth hearing....think of the similarity with Rush albums - pretty different yet all having a certain sound and all worth a spin. There is no weakness in their catalog imo. My biggest beef is the production on Sorceress and In Cauda Venenum (their latest two) but musically they are quite good. Let me just leave this here: the true Opeth fan digs ALL of their albums
    I couldn't agree more. Admittedly, though, both My Arms, Your Hearse and Heritage get fewer spins than the other 11. I very much prefer clean vocals. That being said, Blackwater Park is full of growling, and that is quite probably one of the best metal records, as well as quite possibly one the best records in any genre/subgenre ever made (imho).
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  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I would explore everything from Still Life on. Then you can go back to the first three later. Every album is worth hearing....think of the similarity with Rush albums - pretty different yet all having a certain sound and all worth a spin. There is no weakness in their catalog imo. My biggest beef is the production on Sorceress and In Cauda Venenum (their latest two) but musically they are quite good. Let me just leave this here: the true Opeth fan digs ALL of their albums
    Couldn't agree more! even if someone doesn't dig their albums, they should STILL see them live, they kick ass...tightest band live I've ever seen.
    And to the post above about the variation in clean and dark vocals, I agree here as well. The variation added to the intensity of the music for sure. And they do a brilliant job mixing them up live, too. Their newer work is more even, but they haven lost ANY of the quality of musicianship!

  12. #62
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    I've been listening to Watershed recently, after Chalkpie was talking it up somewhere around here. "Hessian Peel" is playing now. What an excellent number! Also, the last minute or two of "Porcelain Heart" is intense! I need to listen more to this, and everything that came after. Heritage is the only one from after this that I have a physical copy of.

    I'd forgotten that my copy of watershed was a signed, I think limited, edition which is pretty nice! Also, I had put my ticket stub from the show at the beloved Nokia Theater. Pretty sweet, but ALL the writing in the booklets, and the track listing on the sleeve are freaking tiny, and the black metal typeface or whatever contributes to make it pretty much impossible to read! And do those pages of runes or watever have any meaning? "Hex Omega" is beautiful in parts!
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  13. #63
    I prefer the recent run of clean vocal albums to the earlier albums, but both Ghost Reveries and Watershed are an extremely good mix of heavier tracks and clean vocal tracks. The song-writing also is a step forward from previous albums.

    Even as a non-fan of growling vocals, I’d rank Baying Of The Hounds as one of the best tracks in Opeth’s entire back catalog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I've been listening to Watershed recently, after Chalkpie was talking it up somewhere around here. "Hessian Peel" is playing now. What an excellent number! Also, the last minute or two of "Porcelain Heart" is intense! I need to listen more to this, and everything that came after. Heritage is the only one from after this that I have a physical copy of.

    I'd forgotten that my copy of watershed was a signed, I think limited, edition which is pretty nice! Also, I had put my ticket stub from the show at the beloved Nokia Theater. Pretty sweet, but ALL the writing in the booklets, and the track listing on the sleeve are freaking tiny, and the black metal typeface or whatever contributes to make it pretty much impossible to read! And do those pages of runes or watever have any meaning? "Hex Omega" is beautiful in parts!
    Jed, are you familiar with Blackwater Park, Damnation, and Ghost Reveries? Throw Deliverance in there too ("By The Pain I See in Others" is a top 5 Opeth tune for me). Still Life is also amazing, just a tad lacking in the production department (SW didn't get on board until BWP) but not terrible by any means. Still Life is a bit thin and a bit too wet with reverb imo. The "Golden" era ends with Watershed but Heritage is also amazing...took me years to realize. Pale Communion just as good too imo. Its all fuckin great - Mikael has never written a shit tune afaic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    "By The Pain I See in Others" is a top 5 Opeth tune for me
    Wow, another fan of that song! I love it too, it's a shame Mikael doesn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Wow, another fan of that song! I love it too, it's a shame Mikael doesn't.
    It's very odd that he doesn't. He loves experimental stuff in his music, and this one has that in spades: the creepy black metal whisper demon voice, the odd time riffs, the crazy transitions, the creepy carnival section, the "mystery" ending, etc etc The instrumental theme after the vocal section is a fav Opeth moment for me too. I have actually been enjoying the remix version with the added vocal effects applied to both "Master's Apprentices" and this tune. It's seriously my fav track on that album and I love the whole album from soup-to-nuts. GRRRRRRrrrrrr!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    It's very odd that he doesn't. He loves experimental stuff in his music, and this one has that in spades: the creepy black metal whisper demon voice, the odd time riffs, the crazy transitions, the creepy carnival section, the "mystery" ending, etc etc The instrumental theme after the vocal section is a fav Opeth moment fort me too. I have actually been enjoying the remix version with the added vocal effects applied to both "Master's Apprentices" and this tune. It's seriously my fav track on that album and I love the whole album from soup-to-nuts. GRRRRRRrrrrrr!!!!
    Agreed on all counts - well, mostly. I've never really warmed to Wreath, it's one of the few skipper tracks in Opeth's catalogue for me (maybe the only one? I'd have to look more carefully). I don't dislike it, but it has never hit me the way the rest of their music does. But I love the rest of the album, and that 'creepy carnival section' (perfect description) in By The Pain is one of my favourite moments in Opeth history.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

    'The best stuff is really when Mick Pointer was a baby, banging on pots and pans. That was their most "out there" stuff.' - JKL2000

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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Jed, are you familiar with Blackwater Park, Damnation, and Ghost Reveries? Throw Deliverance in there too ("By The Pain I See in Others" is a top 5 Opeth tune for me). Still Life is also amazing, just a tad lacking in the production department (SW didn't get on board until BWP) but not terrible by any means. Still Life is a bit thin and a bit too wet with reverb imo. The "Golden" era ends with Watershed but Heritage is also amazing...took me years to realize. Pale Communion just as good too imo. Its all fuckin great - Mikael has never written a shit tune afaic.
    I have everything up through Heritage on CD, and I’ve listened to the later albums on Spotify a bit. I just hadn’t listened to Watershed in a LONG time, so it hit me on these listens and I realized how great it is!
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    In Cauda Venenum bonus tracks ripped from the vinyl Connoisseur set. All 6 tracks are here (3 in Swedish Fish, 3 in 'Murican).

    00:00 Cirkelns Riktning
    05:28 Frihet & Tyranni
    10:02 Pöbeln
    14:35 The Width of a Circle
    20:02 Freedom and Tyranny
    24:35 The Mob
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Agreed on all counts - well, mostly. I've never really warmed to Wreath, it's one of the few skipper tracks in Opeth's catalogue for me (maybe the only one? I'd have to look more carefully). I don't dislike it, but it has never hit me the way the rest of their music does. But I love the rest of the album, and that 'creepy carnival section' (perfect description) in By The Pain is one of my favourite moments in Opeth history.
    Deliverance (the album) was one of the first things I had ever heard from Opeth....I think I saw the video for The Grand Conjuration, and then subsequently ordered GR, Deliverance, and Damnation blindly from BMG cd club. This was after GR was released, I think in late 2005. Anyway, "Wreath" was one of my first Opeth tunes so I dig it. I do love the very Opethian 6/8 section starting at 1:47. The live RAH version kills too except for the growls imo.

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Deliverance (the album) was one of the first things I had ever heard from Opeth....I think I saw the video for The Grand Conjuration, and then subsequently ordered GR, Deliverance, and Damnation blindly from BMG cd club. This was after GR was released, I think in late 2005. Anyway, "Wreath" was one of my first Opeth tunes so I dig it. I do love the very Opethian 6/8 section starting at 1:47. The live RAH version kills too except for the growls imo.
    The song Deliverance, especially the back half, remains one of my personal top Opeth tracks.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
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    Buddy of mine recently turned me on to Heritage. Spun an Opeth album years ago (don’t recall which). To say I am not a fan of heavy metal in any of its sub-genres is an understatement. I absolutely hated it! So I was skeptical, but he told me they had changed a lot in recent years. OK, I trust his judgement and I’m actually a pretty open minded chap. Wow! I’m really enjoying it. Going to have to explore their albums post H; maybe even Watershed.

    This is kind of a long thread. Any specific suggestions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post
    Buddy of mine recently turned me on to Heritage. Spun an Opeth album years ago (don’t recall which). To say I am not a fan of heavy metal in any of its sub-genres is an understatement. I absolutely hated it! So I was skeptical, but he told me they had changed a lot in recent years. OK, I trust his judgement and I’m actually a pretty open minded chap. Wow! I’m really enjoying it. Going to have to explore their albums post H; maybe even Watershed.

    This is kind of a long thread. Any specific suggestions?
    Well, if you like Heritage, you have four other albums to choose from that are entirely non-death metal: Damnation, Pale Communion, Sorceress and In Cauda Venenum. My favourite of these is Pale Communion, but you really can't go wrong with any of them IMO. I would avoid Watershed for the time being based on how you describe your tastes.
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    Much obliged for the quick reply. I shall order those four.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post
    Much obliged for the quick reply. I shall order those four.
    As an Opeth fanatic, I second those recommendations

    I would add if you dig those, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not ignore their back catalog. If I had to relate this band to say Rush (whom everybody loves ), you are sort of getting the albums from say Permanent Waves through say Power Windows (all great, right?). But if you ignore their back catalog through Watershed, you are sort of missing Fly By Night through Hemispheres (if that makes sense). In other words, you should try to hear their classic albums with an open mind. The key here again is an open mind. Reading the lyrics on the classic era will help you understand WTF Mikael is saying, and you may enjoy the whole experience more. PLEASE ignore the growl/scream haters - they bring nothing to the table except their closed minds to a different way of expressing one's self. It doesn't matter if its Opeth, Cannibal Corpse, Meshuggah, Death, Darkthrone, etc etc - they don't like any of it. Yet the same folks will order the same Genesis or Crimson album 13 different times? Hmmm....is that the spirit of progressive?

    Operatic vocals, bluegrass singing, death/black metal screams/growls, English punk aggression, Beefheartian space blues, Krautrock weirdness, clean acapella singing, robot vocals, even German Schlager - it's all valid and it's all artistic. People aren't forced to like extreme vocals, but they shouldn't spoil the party for others who actually may. It's just like getting used to Geddy's harsher 70's vocals in a way. I am pretty passionate about this subject as you can see. This band has completely and utterly opened my mind and heart up to the extreme metal scene, and I am so fortunate as I LOVE this genre now.

    Good luck
    Last edited by chalkpie; 01-08-2022 at 04:12 PM.
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