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Review by Adam M on November 5, 2019.
Opeth has gone through a weird progression to being a progressive rock band and this album came out before some of their new inventions. It is also a fine moment in their discography and one of the last times they used heaviness to their advantage. Instead of the somewhat bland one-dimensional style they utilize now, one can sense a nice use of dynamics to make some heavy portions stick out.
The song Ghost of Perdition is a great intro to this album because it is one of the very best ones on here and goes through a number of changes to showcase its brilliance. The rest of the album is very good too and far superior to what they are currently involved with. Compared to albums like Morningrise and My Arms, Your Hearse, there could still be a greater use of dynamics, even though there are a ton present. The chilling atmosphere this band creates is once again in fine form and needs to be heard by all. Since this is one of the last recordings in which they use such a heavy style, it is absolutely a mandatory listen for fans of the band. Opeth would go on to put out one more heavy album and then tone down their sound to remove the death vocals and much of the impact they once had. It’s not that recent albums are bad, they just don’t have the amount of dynamics and force used to make albums like Ghost Reveries so special.
There is just so much of a great discography to hear before we get to the new progressive rock style of Heritage and onwards. This is just one example of the excellent early material the band was able to create. It’s also one of the last times the band has been truly worthwhile and a must listen to the progressive death metal audience.
Rating: 8.1 out of 10