Opeth Ghost Reveries

Opeth Ghost Reveries
A new Opeth disc is irrefutably a cause for debate and commotion, and eight full-lengths into a prolific career, very rarely a disappointment. Vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Mikael Akerfeldt and company have managed to keep their heads above water through the tumultuous currents of heavy music, and the key to their formula is, above all else, superb songwriting and musicianship. Their instantly recognisable melting pot of death, black, doom and progressive metal takes a couple of interesting turns on Ghost Reveries, their first offering for mainstream metal giants Roadrunner Records. At first, the group’s inclusion of less mopey, strangely upbeat vocal melodies and progressions a la Dream Theater and Green Carnation will put off long-time fans, although this apprehension fades after the first handful of doubtful, cautious spins. The production is quite literally flawless — every instrument is augmented perfectly by the squeaky clean mix, and the drum sound will be the measuring stick for all future releases to come. The addition of keyboardist Per Widberg adds a volatile new dynamic to the band; while his additions occasionally come off as contrived and distracting, there are moments where the ambience and progressive flourishes Opeth are known for are thickened considerably by his presence. In conclusion, Ghost Reveries is a solid, admirable release from an always respectable and entertaining act. (Roadrunner)