The review I am doing is for the Opeth album Deliverance. This album was recorded as the evil brother of 2003's Damnation. This is the heavier album between the two albums but it is also filled with so many mellow moments that you cant really say the album is all heavy at all. In matter of fact the songs "A Fair Judgment" and "For Absent Friends" should have been put on the super mellow album Damnation. Deliverance sounds like Morbid Angel meets progressive rock and jazz music. Keep in mind that the Opeth albums BlackwaterPark, Deliverance and Damnation are produced by Steven Wilson of PorcupineTree. He also does all the keyboards and additional back up vocals on the albums.
"Wreath" is a super heavy fast death metal track that has lots of melodies, tinges of progressive rock, and is completely death metal vocals. There are many different melodies and riffs that weave in and out of each other throughout the song. The clean vocals are sung back and fourth in some of the parts with the death metal vocals using a eerie vocal effect. This song rips your face off.
"Deliverance" is a great track and is played in the vein of a traditional Opeth song. It moves nice and heavy in the beginning but it quiets down and a mellow acoustic guitar comes in and there are jazz drums and jazzy guitars going and Mikael sings the lyrics very nicely. The song moves back and fourth between heaviness and mellow passages before the end of the song is 2 minutes of double bass groove drum beats and galloping guitars.
"A Fair Judgment" starts out with Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree playing a grand piano and then the song opens up with a very progressive psychedelic passage. The only heavy parts of this song are a heavy riff with a slow guitar solo moving nicely with the music. The highlight of the song for me is the middle of the song when you hear a acoustic guitar being finger picked and it sounds like you are listening to an old record player. Then the music flows into a beautiful acoustic prog part with jazz guitar and mellow clean vocals. Great song I must say.
"For Absent Friends" is a nice instrumental done on guitar using acoustic guitars and a Pink Floyd or Camel inspired jazz guitar sound. It is a very sad and mournful sounding song. For you Genesis fans out there it is also named after a Genesis song.
"Master's Apprentices" is a very heavy track at first with death metal vocals. It has many emotions to the song once the first 3 minutes are listened to then the song moves into a trippy heavy part with intense guitars, acoustic guitars in the background and clean and growling vocals singing each verse. Then the song moves nicely into a mellow prog part that is strummed on acoustic, has a guitar playing a solo with an e-bow effect and jazz drums and bass. Mikael Akerfeldt and Steven Wilson do the harmony vocals together. Then the song rips into heavy metal solos and more death metal.
"By the Pain I see in Others" is a very heavy track and it closes the album nicely. The mellow parts are not so mellow because they are dark and the vocals are growled. There are lots of double bass drumming, dark guitar solos and melodic riffs and harmonies in this song. There is a part that has mellow vocals but this track is dark, fast, melodic and heavy. At the end the time keeps going and after 5 minutes or so Mikael and Steven can be heard fooling around with a weird vocal effect.
This album is very good and if any of you like Opeth or heavy metal music with your prog, buy this album. Also, buy Damnation if you want Opeth's mellow side of the two album recording sessions.