OPETH — Ghost Reveries

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OPETH - Ghost Reveries cover
4.36 | 159 ratings | 11 reviews
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Album · 2005

Filed under Progressive Metal


1. Ghost of Perdition (10:29)
2. The Baying of the Hounds (10:41)
3. Beneath the Mire (7:57)
4. Atonement (6:28)
5. Reverie / Harlequin Forest (11:39)
6. Hours of Wealth (5:20)
7. The Grand Conjuration (10:21)
8. Isolation Years (3:51)

Total Time: 66:48

2006 bonus track:
9. Soldier of Fortune (live Deep Purple cover) (3:28)

Reissue Total Time: 70:01


- Mikael Åkerfeldt / Guitar, Vocals
- Peter Lindgren / Guitar
- Martin Lopez / Drums
- Per Wiberg / Keyboards
- Martin Mendez / Bass
- Martin Axenrot / Drums (on Soldier of Fortune)

About this release

Full-length, Roadrunner Records
August 29th, 2005

Special Edition released in 2006 with a CD containing the original album backed with a bonus track, and a DVD containing a 5.1 surround mix of the original album, video for the track The Grand Conjuration and a 40 minute Making of Ghost Reveries documentary. The release also featured new cover art and liner notes.

Thanks to UMUR, Pekka for the updates


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It used to be that me and Opeth and me didn't get along, despite the fact that I've given them more chances than usual. With so many prog and metal fans lauding their work, I kept feeling as though I should give them another spin, but each time they just left me cold again. Ghost Reveries was a case in point: even from an early listen, I had to admit that it was an impeccably performed album, with crisp production and solid performances from the band, but at the some time it didn't quite speak to me.

It was only after going right back to their debut and working through their discography patiently that I came to really get where Opeth were coming from, and to sniff out how Ghost Reveries stands in their discography. You see, what now makes it stand out for me is the playfulness: this is an Opeth album with a sense of fun.

I should put that in a little more context. They've hardly become bubbly pop-metal here, after all. But the dark, brooding atmosphere of earlier Opeth albums, whilst still very much present here, seems to be shot through with traces of a more hopeful, the music getting an occasional bit of extra pep to its step.

Opeth's previous two albums - the twinned pair of Deliverance and Damnation - had them leaning on the extremes of their sound, with Deliverance by far the heavier and harsher of the two and Damnation teasing out their gentler acoustic prog side more than ever. Ghost Reveries is the sound of those two halves of their sound coming back together again in a new configuration - Opeth having taken the chance to analyse the two separately and get a new angle on them. What's more, in the process they seem to have found space to expand their emotional pallette and even produce sections which are rather upbeat, or at least upbeat in comparison to the often dour tone of much of their prior discography.

As such, Ghost Reveries seems to herald a new maturity in Opeth's sound. It's not that they've abandoned their proggy death/death-ened prog roots so much as they feel able to stretch out a little further; they know where their centre of gravity is and can return to it with ease, so they can explore just a tad further away from it and still trust that they can make it all make sense within the framework of their sound. The pulsating electronic vortex which opens Grand Conjuration is a case in point, as indeed is the soothing and almost ballad-like concluding movements of Isolation Years.

In short, it took me a while, but Ghost Reveries has finally clicked with me and I now see it for what it is: Opeth simply embracing the joy of making music and following where their muse takes them, regardless of the expectations set by their prior albums.
My first Opeth acquisition was "Heritage" which I really admired for its bold take on retro-prog. But I knew this was not the Opeth known to most and I stepped in a got "Blackwater Park" and "Still Life". Thanks to these two albums, I started to enjoy and even appreciate death growl vocals. Then came "Pale Communion" and now I had two albums by the old Opeth and two by the new. It was time to reach in between and bring home "Ghost Reveries".

Now while the newer albums impressed me for their creative arrangements and explorative song construct, the older albums had a rich power with blast beats, ominous riffs and those vocals that could give Beelzebub the shivers. Though the old albums included some acoustic guitar, piano, and clean vocals, I often felt there was still such an extreme between the light and the heavy dark. How did Opeth make such a huge transition in style and sound from way back then to now? Yes, I heard about "Damnation" but that was more toward the "Heritage" extreme (maybe?) and not so much the middle ground between the two. But "Ghost Reveries" answers my question.

The opening track "Ghost of Perdition" is essentially one of Opeth's intense and dark death metal songs but blends in clean vocals and softer parts in a more natural way that flows well with the music and doesn't seem so obviously placed as an opposite extreme to the heavy side.

"The Baying of the Hounds" carries this thread by adding something typical from the old albums in the slower clean vocals segment but I feel there is a clear understanding within the band of how to shift from gruff and heavy to clean and slow to acoustic much more naturally. Overall I feel the musical creativity is on the rise and the band want to expand further than they went with "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park". Furthermore, the guitar sound in the heavier parts seems rich and bottom heavy (perhaps thanks to the bass and production) and Akerfeldt's vocals are as earthshaking as ever. You'll also notice the use of Mellotron in the "Baying" and if not then certainly at the beginning of "Beneath the Mire".

It's here in this third track that I feel the progressive death metal act known as Opeth are really building on what they had been developing. The exercise with "Damnation" must have taught them a lot about how to expand their non-death metal capabilities and develop the heavier parts as well.

"Atonement" avoids any metal contact entirely and could have been a precursor to "Pale Communion". Notice the hand drums which will show up more on "Heritage" and "Pale Communion". In particular, I find the percussion section is a key factor in the development of the band's newer sound as it's the drumming on "Heritage" that especially caught my attention.

Then follows "Reverie/Harlequin Forest" which returns us to the explosive metal sound but with clean vocals. There's an awesome riff that comes in shortly after the death vocals start. Both "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park" have one song with a killer riff that I love to hear and on this album that one riff for me is here in this song. This song (or song pair) is so far the most varied track on the album and though it doesn't resemble anything from "Heritage" in rhythm and is too heavy at times to be like that future album, this track really sees Opeth taking their music to new heights, blending a bit of everything they've been working on so far (as far as I can tell and I've since acquired "Orchid" and "My Arms Your Hearse" as well).

The track list continues with the very beautiful "Hours of Wealth" including some soothing acoustic guitar, piano, and Mellotron, perhaps a highlight in Opeth's softer side so far. By now, Akerfeldt and company are showing how capable they are of stretching out and away from their heavy dark side, though at this point they haven't really reached the point that "Heritage" would find them at. The latter half of the song is comprised of clean electric guitar and vocals, and it is here where I feel the album has shown its first weak moment.

Not a big deal though as the song is followed by the monster track "The Grand Conjuring". I get the shivers every time this song begins. For me, this is where Opeth have pulled it all together into one phenomenal song. The Mellotron, acoustic guitar, and hand drums appear alongside the crushing death metal side, at times in tandem, at other times they are there to enhance the tense and brooding atmosphere of the quieter but dark moments. This quickly became one of my favourite Opeth tracks.

The album closes with "Isolation Years", the shortest track at just under four minutes. It's another slow and clean number with some surprisingly beautiful vocal melodies from Akerfeldt. Not a highlight but not a weak point either.

I have to say that this must be my favourite Opeth record so far. I love the heaviness of the older albums but sometimes find the overall atmosphere miring. The newer albums have more texture, flavour, and interest but don't have that awesome heaviness. This album does very well to capture what it sounds like Opeth was striving to become while also hinting at the future to come.
The Storm Before the Calm

I'll put it bluntly, Ghost Reveries is the first Opeth album I've ever heard, back then in 2005, and the last one I truly love. As of 2013, Watershed and Heritage are amongst their least engaging albums in my book. Ghost Reveries was in a way a turning point in both Opeth's career and songwriting style. Even though from the perspective of their older releases the path they chose on the 8th record could already be slightly alarming to some fans, the songwriting is nothing short of amazing here and Ghost Reveries, while a bit more accessible, is one of the finest albums in all extreme metal.

Ghost Reveries is the ultimate proof of Akerfeldt's unrivaled craftsmanship and talent for creating multi-layered epics. I could complain about the more straightforward approach to atmosphere and melody compared to their previous releases, but in terms of songwriting Ghost Reveries is flawless. The band delivers their unique branch of extreme eclectic metal with staggering passion and top-notch performance. As a very open-minded music lover, Mikael is a rather unpredictable songwriter and for listing his influences I'd probably need a separate essay. With its atmospheric and dynamic blend of folk, jazz, gothic and progressive rock, Ghost Reveries is certainly varied enough to be called eclectic. What matters the most, though, is that Opeth is most of all about playing good music. Only art with heart and soul put into it is good and consistent. It's as simple as that, really. No need for light-speed solos and breakneck complexity. Experimentation or virtuosity should be a mode of artistic expression, not a goal in itself. Akerfeldt is one of those rare and precious musicians who know that.

Even though Ghost Reveries is more accessible than harsh classics like My Arms Your Hearse or Deliverance, it redeems itself with some amazing songwriting, ambiance and flow. Somewhat similar to Still Life in terms of atmosphere, Ghost Reveries stands out as another masterpiece of eclectic metal. An absolute must for all you progheads out there.
Opeth's third best album!

Wow, this thing is getting 5 star reviews and gushing praise from the respected prog community so I suppose I better check it out. With a renewed interest in the band, after some horrible albums, I was pleased to revisit Opeth with such a progressive album. So here are my reactions to the tracks. Okay, let's see, 'Ghost of Perdition': very dark lyrics and brutal death vocals. The cleaner vocals are well sung as always, especially "Dedicated hunter, Waits to pull us under, Rose up to its call In his arms she'd fall, Mother light received, And a faithfull servant's free". Very strong riffs that are rhythmically akin to Tool. Very heavy guitars and growls balanced with gentler vocals and acoustics. A genuine Beauty and the beast, and I love the innovative structure and killer riffing.

'The Baying of the Hounds': the gravelly vocals sound like Morbid Angel, I actually remembered parts of Sacrificial Rites which I haven't heard for about 10 years. The cleaner sections are awesome. The riff is a bit boring at first, same as other Opeth songs. Great lead break with twin guitar solos from Mikael and Fredrik. Per's chiming keyboards are a great embellishment, and Steven Wilson style vocals set off the atmosphere admirably; "Drown in the deep mire, With past desires, Beneath the mire, Drown desire now with you." Powerful song

'Beneath the Mire': continues the theme of previous lyrics. It is basically an album about the ghosts that rise after death or some such twaddle. I was never into Opeth's themes but the music more than makes up for any atheistic tendencies. Once again this begins with brutal vocals and then we have the cleaner style eventually. This seems to be a trademark of Opeths, moving from one style to another suddenly. The piano is very nice on this with gentle guitar. The actual structure is again inventive and progressive. I was expecting more brutal vocals but most of this is actually the opposite. More death metal vocals do return though. The guitar playing is incredibly complex. One of the best tracks on the album.

'Atonement': the East Indian melodies and guitars are striking. The vocals are processed through a voice vocoder that makes them sound psychedelic and phased similar to Sabbath's Planet Caravan or Beatles Blue Jay Way. I love this song and rank it among the finest the band have produced to this point. This is more like the latest Heritage's feel than anything else on the album.

'Reverie / Harlequin Forest': this is another track I heard first on the live Albert Hall DVD. It is a great track with very solid vocals from Mikael; "A trail of sickness, leading to me, If I am haunted then you will see." The melody is excellent with inspired manic drumming from Axe and complex time changes. The acoustic section is terrific, and the section at 5 minutes including wonderful melodic vocals and a divine twin guitar solo.

'Hours of Wealth': an ambient intro with Per shining bright. Gentle vocals are so peaceful here, with a sweet melody and soulful reflective lyrics; "Looking through my window, I seem to recognize, All the people passing by, But I am alone, And far from home, And nobody knows me."

'The Grand Conjuration': an unforgettable haunting melody and certainly dark brutal chorus. Great shredding lead break and crunching rhythm metrical patterns. I heard this first on the metal TV show with a bleak clip with a man tortured by a maniac and a girl disappearing down the toilet bowl. The album version is better, twice as long, more complex, and with extra lyrics.

'Isolation Years': a paean to lost love as the protagonist discovers a suicide note; "There's a sense of longing in me, As I read Rosemary's letter, Her writing's honest, Can't forget the years she's lost." The quiet atmosphere is bleak but still wreaks of beauty thanks to the pretty acoustics and sentimental melody.

There is something haunting about this album; it balances the brutality with beauty as all good Opeth albums do. This album is up there with Still Life and Damnation for my tastes. Now that I have heard all of their progressive albums I rank it as Opeth's third best (1. Heritage, 2. Damnation, 3. Ghost Reveries) - 4 stars.
Phonebook Eater
Opeth is one of the most highly regarded metal bands of all time. They have radically changed the genre since they’ve been around making albums. “Ghost Reveries” is one of their latest albums, released after the two big masterpieces, “Still Life” in 1999, which was the perfect definition of a death metal album widely veiled with progressive, and 2001’s “Blackwater Park”, their most accessible and solid album, keeping the heavy riffs and the prog influences. “Ghost Reveries” is the perfect follow up to BP; Saying this, I can add that this album is one of the best and most solid Opeth albums.

Akerfeldt and his band bring everything they had put up so far to a new, more advanced level, and in every way they try to bring everything up a notch under every point of view. All the heavy riffs are heavier than the ones from the past, all the softer songs have never been softer, the experimentation is used much more frequently, sometimes even utilizing some unusual instruments, bringing up the shadows of Pink Floyd, King Crimson and such. With all this put together, you can’t expect anything else but a brilliant album. Almost everything about this is great, the songwriting, the musicianship (I never noticed it before, but that Martin Lopez can really bang the drums), the at times quirky arrangements in the middle of the songs.

Stylistically, this is the most representative album by the band, the album that perfectly synthesizes their sound. The violent and strong riffs are enriched by Akerfeldt’s amazing growl vocals, the more melodic parts are beautifully dressed with clean vocals, the instrumental parts very open, like I mentioned earlier to experimentation and progressive influenced. Almost all the songs, except the two soft ballads, are long, from six to ten minutes, and all of these have, even though each one is extremely unique, a very similar song structure. “Ghost Of Perdition” is very possibly my favorite Opeth song, the ten minute track opener, which is always able to surprise and move, regardless of the completely different moods that form this song. “The Baying Of The Hounds” is another ambitious song, with the most experimental part in the middle of the track. “The Grand Conjuration” is a grandiose and spooky masterpiece that will soon become an Opeth classic, “Reverie” is the longest song, probably the most ambitious song, thanks to the many calmer parts. “Atonement” a tense but somewhat beautiful with always in the air a tragic sense of loss and resign. All these songs are compositions that, if you appreciate any type of metal, will sink in you subconscious, to never be forgotten.

“Ghost Reveries” is one of Opeth’s greatest and most original albums, a major piece in their highly praised discography.
Conor Fynes
'Ghost Reveries' - Opeth (10/10)

At first spin of this album, I was quite taken aback by it's unique blend of heaviness and progression. However, I wasn't quite in love with it just yet... In fact, it took me almost a year and a half to completely let the album sink in, long after Opeth had become one of my favourite bands, and I was an owner of a considerable portion of their repetoire. Then one day, I decided to take it back out and give it another few listens. To say I was 'blown away' is only the beginning. From then on, 'Ghost Reveries' has since become one of my favourite albums of all time, and arguably my most enjoyed Opeth release yet.

This album has everything that could be asked for in a Progressive Death Metal release... There is a sufficient level of weirdness to maintain interest for many, many listens, and there are parts that can only be described as earth-shatteringly heavy. However, despite these heavy leanings, Akerfeldt still manages to sneak in some more mellow, melodic ballads (such as the vocally powerful 'Hours Of Wealth' and the ever beautiful 'Isolation Years') into the album's tapestry.

'Ghost Reveries' has very few, if any 'boring' moments. The result of which is an album that is in no way a chore to listen to from start to finish. Songs like the grandiose 'Ghost of Perdition' and the depressingly romantic 'Isolation Years' stood out for me as being truly worthy of brilliance.

A great album to start your Opeth fanhood with, and one of the few modern classics of metal.
Ok, I may have said that Still Life is my favourtie all time Opeth album, but to be honest, after hearing this album again, I have to again consider this album. I can't really choose between them, but I have to admit, there was a certain quality to Still Life that I still love, and since it was my first Opeth album, it will probabbly always be favoured.

This album is just as good I believe. The songs are absoulte progtastic, the growls are some of the best I've ever heard, the lyrics are incredibly poetic, the artwork is amazing, the songs are kickass and catchy...could you really want more?

This also sadly was the last album to feature the classic Opeth line up, and even with added key player Per Wiberg.

This album seems to have a concept, dealing with someones mother, ghosts, cults, Satan himself, trees, dogs and forests. I can't really piece one together, it is still a bit ambigous.

This song also deals with 4 epic songs. If anything, they stand out amongst the others, but the other songs are amazing too, it's just these 4 songs are beyond compare.

1. Ghost Of Perdition - The intro is quite scary, especially when this is one of the first ever Opeth songs you ever hear. The rest of the song is a mammoth, with lovely melodies, scary growls, amazing musicianship, and even some remerable catchy segments. Also a proud welcoming for the use of organs and mellotrons in death metal, who knew that they work so good together.

2. The Baying Of Hounds - Apparently Mike Portnoy says that this song is, "one of the greatest metal songs ever made," and I kind of agree with him. This song (like my other choice for the greatest metal song...Machine Head's Imperium) takes all the things about metal which makes it such a good genre, melody, power, brutallity and at times beauty. A force to be reckoned with.

3. Beneath The Mire - The intro of this song is very kickass. The organ does make the riff seem bery eerie and cold. A perfectly composed piece of music, with enough to keep you interested for 8 minutes.

4. Atonement - A more droney song that reminds me of Weakness from Damnation. Very effective, indeed.

5. Reverie/Harlequin Forest - This song only gets better with every listen. The power of this song mixed with clean vocals is very effective (almost as effective as blast beats with clean vocals, like in The Lotus Eater). This song is so dramatic and the lyrics are very desricptive and taught me alot I didn't know about trees. The end is incredibly amazing as well.

6. Hours Of Wealth - A more laidback song. Takes you down before being punished by the next song.

7. The Grand Conjuration - The first ever song I had ever heard by Opeth. The music video for this song is very good, very scary and very perverted. This song does have an almost seance like vibe to it, which is perfectly moved by the vocals. The main riff is also a great riff. Classic song, and very different than what is expected off of Opeth.

8. Isolation Years - A beautifull ballad. Mabye a song that didnt make on to Damnation.

CONCLUSION: Buy both this album and Still Life...and then the 3 albums in between them. Those albums are Opeth in their prime. Although the first and last are the majour landmarks.
Prototypical Opeth..this is the one to buy first

This album is the balance point where you get much of the best of the band in its many aspects. Many point to Blackwater Park as THE Opeth album, but I actually like this one better. The high points are higher, the track order is better, and there are fewer lulls. Like BP, it sees both the production and songwriting a bit sharper than the classic Still Life.

Ghost of Perdition - This is Opeth in a song, probably their best ever and certainly top three. It contains Mikael's perfected growls, harmony vocals, folky acoustic guitars, multiple 3-time melodic riffs and of course crushing death metal syncopation. It's a true prog epic, in that there are many different sections that weave in and out with clear purpose and intention. Where many bands have chord beds for improvisational solos, this song is obviously carefully composed. One of the best headbanging moments of all time (the "Devil cracked the earthly shell.you got to live before you die young" section) appears early in two repetitions, and is never seen again. That's songwriting maturity. Rather than milking a good riff, this section serves a purpose within the whole song and nothing more. The solo is relatively brief and simple, and again, is perfectly placed. If you wanted one song to exemplify the entire genre (Prog Death Metal), this is it. 11/10

Baying of the Hounds - This song pushes things further into adventurous territory, opening with a riff more grooving than is typically heard in an Opeth song. Along with plenty of storytelling done in dragonvoice (a frequent but strange Opeth element) this song brings in various keyboard sounds from vibes to mellotron to strings. This song doesn't pull you in like the opener, but it has some great sections, and multiple monster riffs. Akerfeldt also begins to introduce some serious dissonance, prog sound, and weirdness that will fuel Watershed (esp Lotus Eater). 8/10

Beneath the Mire - Opening with a simple groove, a staccato guitar riff backing a violin key melody takes into a slide-y section a little reminiscent of Drapery Falls, but thicker. Harsh vocals enter, as melodic as they can be, breaking through the thick layers at just the right time. Multiple solos also punctuate this piece, and while none are as memorable as track 1's guitar break, they are perfectly placed. This song is a good example of apparent harsh breaks in the music actually making melodic and thematic sense. It takes multiple listens, but is worth the effort. I especially like the classically proggy outro. 7/10

Atonement - This is a mid-tempo song with clean electrics and plenty of keyboards, effected vocals, strummy guitars and a fairly straightforward lead over some laid-back drums in four. The 70's prog influences allow the repetitiveness of the song to stand-up, but is a let-up in creativity. Not as poor as the closer, but a still a little weak. 6/10

Reverie / Harlequin Forest - The most epic song on an album with several epic-length pieces. This one has some great moments and some overlong sections, but the overall structure is that of classic prog, a multi-section narrative with a unified theme. Much of the storytelling here is done in a low clean voice, with good melodic content which maintains the listeners interest well. When the growls come in (8:30 is a great example), they make sense and contribute to the song. 7/10

Hours of Wealth - The best quiet piece of the album, this song contains both clean electric and acoustic guitar, mellotron and does evoke Damnation to some extent. However, it's actually a little quicker and, if possible, warmer than the chill of Opeth's all-clean album. There are near a capella parts with just keys, nice harmonies, a tasty solo in Akerfeldt's jazz-bluesy style. A very nice transition piece, though certainly not a highlight in itself. 7/10

The Grand Conjuration - The album closes in more listener-friendly fashion, first heavy and then light. This song, which was not surprisingly chosen for a video, is based around a simple 3 note/chord pattern that gets varied and twisted in many different forms, but provides a very simple anchor that makes this song much easier to understand on first listen. Similarly, the light whispered vocals, slow addition of instruments and angry chorus border on formulaic. Interestingly, this light touch hides the fact that this song has the most blackened lyrics of the album. The guitar solo section has a fairly straight tapping section and more standard metal sound than Mikael usually employs. At midpoint, the song shifts to a much more proggy section starting with keys and then hitting full blast death metal. This song is a live favorite and it's easy to see why. It pulls you in easy, slowly grows and then releases energy in a sweet angry release. The outro, a return to the main theme, is probably not needed, and seems a little too long. It does work well in the live setting and had it been the end to the entire album (it should have been), I would have also agreed with the choice. 8/10

Isolation Years - the low point of the album for me. Many fans lump Opeth's clean vocal / guitar works into a Damnation bin, but they actually vary widely in quality, adventurousness, melody, and emotion. This one is perhaps the weakest of the entire catalog. The lyrics, the melody, the harmonic structure are simple-minded (almost pop), somewhat repetitive, and seem out of place on an Opeth record. The vocals are well performed but the songwriting is below the band's standard. For me, a disappointing close to a strong record. 4/10

So we have a masterpiece song, one throwaway, and a variety of 6-8/10 songs showcasing the different faces of the band well. Again, I think this is a perfect introduction to the band, perhaps the best example of their typical sounds. The following album, Watershed, is moving in a new direction, Damnation is the equivalent of a side project between Steven Wilson and Akerfeldt, and other works are simply more uneven than this record. Not a masterpiece, but very good extreme prog metal.

I just got this album today, so i'm gonna do a quick little review on it. Ghost Reveries is pretty much your allround Opeth album. It has the Death Metal songs, it has the acoustic songs on it, it's just all you want on 1 disk. Mikeal's voice is just amazing. His growls are deep and full of power, and his clean singing is beatifull and makes me very emotional. The guitars sound as they should sound, heavy, powerfull, only the acoustic guitar sounds a bit thin to me on this album. Bass and drums are just fine, there are some cool drums parts on the album that blow my mind. Overall, a good solid album. Would recommend it to anyone that likes his metal a bit heavy!

(Written for MetalMusicArchives.com by Bas Weijenberg)
Ghost Reveries was my first Opeth album, and I really can't imagine a better way to get into the music of Opeth. This album is much more melodic than the previous releases of Opeth. Many melodic passages can be heard throughout the album. Also, Ghost Reveries combines the heavy growls and death metal riffs with softer music, which clearly is influenced by the 70's prog bands. This album might as well be Opeth's most progressive up to date. The album starts out with the heavy growls of "Ghost Of Perdition", a very diverse and progressive song. The sng takes us through many changes and passages, and really is a brilliant piece of music. The second song on the album, "The Baying Of The Hounds" starts out, just like the opener, very loud. Heavy growls and distorted riffs make this song one of the most striking songs I know. The song has a softer middle section though, but after about six minutes becomes just as powerful as the way it starts. "The Grand Conjuration" is another heavy song, though it is much less good than the previous two. It still is very enjoyable though.

The album has several softer songs, like Hours Of Wealth and Isolation years. The songs give the album some nice atmosphere, and make the album a very diverse thing. Another soft, atmospheric song is Atonement, of which the final minute is called "Reverie". Though the final minute is included in track 4, your CD player will tell you it's track 5 already. "Harlequin Forest" is probably my favorite Opeth track ever. The song starts out hauntingly powerful, though nowhere as loud as "Ghost Of Perdition". The second half is much more melodic though, and really is brilliant. Another great song is "Beneath The Mire". It opens with an eastern riff, but soon turns into a heavy masterpiece in the vein of "Baying Of The Hounds".

Ghost Reveries is a brilliant album, but I don't think it really is a masterpiece. The album definitely is worth four stars, but it just comes a very slight bit short to get five stars. Songs like "Baying Of The Hounds" and "Reverie/Harlequin Forest" are among the very best of Opeth though.

Members reviews

After the disappointments of Damnation/Deliverance, Opeth needed to deliver here, at least in my eyes, and to an extent the band certainly did. Gone now is the production and occasional mellotron and guitar work of Steven Wilson but in comes the bands first full time keyboard player, in the shape of Per Wiberg. Ghost Reveries would also prove to be the final studio album that Martin Lopez will sit behind the drum kit for Opeth and the same goes for guitarist Peter Lindgren.

In the main, there are two major differences between Ghost Reveries and previous albums that the band has released. The first is the production, its immediately apparent that the crystal clear and highly defined production of the albums Still Life through to Damnation is gone in favoure of a more muddy and blurred sound to it, the instruments don't seem to quite have the individual space in the overall sound that they used to. The second is that the overall feel of the album is bizarrely far more upbeat than on any other album of theirs. Its this last change that is so perplexing because the dark, melancholic atmospheres of previous albums was their towering strength. Extreme music of this variety doesn't really work too well when you try to inject an up-beat feel to it, it would appear.

There are two problems here, though. The first being that Per Wiberg seems to be something of a none-entity, with his keyboard playing well and truly buried and contributing little to the overall sound of the album. Secondly, the tendency to extend songs past their lifetime on Deliverance has been kept here, though to not such a crippling degree. The worst offender being Reverie/Harlequin Forest as the last 4-5 minutes could have been cut down to less than 2, and The Grand Conjuration and Ghost of Perdition could have done with a little pruning as well. Having said that, this is definitely not a bad album and certainly a big improvement over the last two, with the band making full use of its trademark style of contrast. The Baying of the Hounds is an exceptional song and stands out as one of Opeths best whilst the eastern influences of Atonement make for an unusual track.

In the end, though, Opeth can, and have, done better.

Ratings only

  • waka
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