The most recent of the albums by Opeth, Watershed seems to be like an intermediate album. The objective behind this could also have been to get people out of the bubble of Damnations and Blackwater Park. Either way it is an album worth Opeth.
They have only grown since their last album “Ghost Reveries”. The music is distinctive of Opeth, progressive with hints of death metal. The album starts with Coil featuring a female vocalist, Natalie Lorichs (surprising touch, I thought). A smooth acoustic beginning to an album which has the potency its predecessors possessed. 55 minutes of bliss and malignant elation is what this album would promise you.
The tracks following this prelude have a classic Opeth feel to it, melodic and creative compositions featuring Akerfeldt’s cleans vocals which coalesce into guttural lyrics and heavy riffs and double basses. Even though I keep repeating about how the music is typical of Opeth, the tracks are as refreshing as any other on any album of theirs. (Even now Hessian Peel is playing my headsets and the keys have been used creatively) Tracks like Porcelain Heart and Burden bought a new yet familiar sensation to the album. The bass line to both songs were very impressive and the vocals as always impeccable. The album ends with Hex Omega, an apt end which shows exactly how versatile this band can be.
There’s no point in praising this album, for it offers almost everything that a true Opeth fan would have hoped for. Coming to the berating, negation about this album is that it isn’t the revolution the other albums I fore mentioned were. It hasn’t created the hype that damnations or Blackwater did, nor are any of its tracks as legendary as Benighted or Harvest, although I’d say that Heir Apparent has awesome switches between progressive elements and the death/thrash ones, not to forget the neat riffage. So basically the crux of the matter is that, the pro of the album – it being exactly what you’d expect out of Opeth, is actually its con too. This band is meant to lead and create new ways and it has, I wouldn’t go as far as to say failed, but certainly has disappointed fans. That’s why I hinted my theory of it being an intermediate or something like a trailer to what is coming up, for Mikael Akerfeldt has announced of a release of a yet unnamed album in the year 2011.
Let’s hope so. Till then enjoy the video! Porcelain Heart…
Rating – 7/10.