Opeth Still Life

Switching to a new label has done little to change Opeth; they remain one of the most consistently amazing bands around. Taking influences from both progressive rock and black metal, this Swedish quartet is one of the most exciting musical acts to wave the metal flag. The band is unafraid to soar into difficult extended passages and feels equally at home with acoustic guitars as they do with electric. Which may not seem like such a big deal from a distance, but when you realise just how blistering the band is when they are full on, it is a big deal. Still Life, as an album, is a little more dense than the band’s past few Century Media releases were, not as instant as Morningrise or Orchid, but repeated spins are rewarding. (Peaceville)