Opeth – Pale communion (2014)

…prove that he was ever there.

Ahhh…No, no, no

There is no help in the wake of our needs
There is no help to dispel the pain
There is no help still some cling to a phantom
There is no help

Only circles on the water

“Pale communion” is the eleventh studio album from Opeth and the third where no growling is used. What I love about Opeth? Their songs are super-complex and the dyncamic range of the music, from soft acoustic wooden music to hard black death metal is awesome. I love the lyrics that make make me feel like I am inside a fantasy story. I love those great song titles like “Voice of treason”. I love Mikael’s singing, what a range! I bask in the glory of the sounds the band makes, a wall of sound, small trinkets of lovely melodies and a lot of progressive symphonic music inbetween.

The best song on the album is clearly “Moon above, sun below”. It is like a classical piece with peaks and valleys in the music landscape. Opeth is maybe the natural evolution of seventies symphonic bands like Genesis and Pink Floyd, via the fabolous Marillion during the eighties, melted in a pot with the death metal they began at? Opeth feels fresh despite all the nostalgic influences that seep out of their music. “Moon above, sun below” must be among their best songs, all time.

The first song “Eternal rains will come” is also a long flowing materspiece. I love the last part of the song. Another song that comes to life in the latter part is “Elysian woes” with its lovely guitar.

“Goblin” is an instrumental song thay may be a homage to the great Italian progressive rock band that are known for their soundtracks for “Suspiria” and “Profondo rosso”. “Goblin” is yet another track that is musically interesting with complex drum beats and a nervous organ. A piece that could belong in a soundtrack. Oh, hey, would it not be great if Opeth would write music for films? It would work!

The second part of “River” is heavily influenced by early Genesis and songs like “The knife”, “The musical box” or “Watcher of the skies”. I cannot not love it.

The last side of the double album starts eerie and then heavy. The drums, love them! What a great ending to a stellar album. “Voice of treason” is dark, oh so dark. Pulsing, images of a swamp, trying to cross, trying to survive. Who is she? What is she? After the urgency of “Voice of treason” the last song “Faith in others” is a soothing balm for a stressed mind. Mikael seems to have taken a step back from the microphone but I can hear the desperation. Yet a calming voice, like a cure.

I have been here.

My rating: 9/10

Side A:

  1. Eternal rains will come
  2. Cusp of Eternity

Side B:

  1. Moon above, sun below
  2. Elysian woes

Side C:

  1. Goblin
  2. River

Side D:

  1. Voice of treason
  2. Faith in others

Best songs: “Moon above, sun below”, “Eternal rains will come”, “Voice of reason” and “Faith in others”

Released on August 25, 2014

Media: Limited Edition, 180 gram gatefold, 2LP

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