OPETH — Deliverance (review)

OPETH — Deliverance album cover Album · 2002 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Back in 2002, Deliverance was as a big disappointment to me after the stellar albums that preceded. I had come to know Opeth in 2001 and had devoured their entire back catalogue in no time. Resulting in playing "MAYH", "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park" on almost endless repeat. I thought Deliverance to be a few leagues behind but I’ve recently found my peace with it.

First of all, the tracks "A Fair Judgement" and especially "Deliverance" have been instant Opeth classics from the very start, 5 star stuff. But also "Wreath" is really impressing. Admitted, it sits closer to the death metal of Bloodbath then to regular Opeth but it is an entirely strong composition. I saw them perform it live in NYC (May 2009, in a nice package with Enslaved!) and it has kind of stuck ever since.

After the most impressive first 35 minutes, the level nevertheless decreases. "Master's Apprentices" has a rather monotonous start, both repetitive and gruff but not intense enough, just brutal without much emotion. It evolves into a nice piece once the clean vocals kick in. "By The Pain I See In Others" leaves a similar mixed impression. Especially the sinister vocal effect in the first verses and most of the grunting doesn't do much for me here

Opeth wanted to separate their heavy side from their mellow side with this album and its companion "Damnation". It led to magnificent results on "Damnation" but it reflected badly on "Deliverance". In fact, the only two tracks that entirely satisfy me have the typical heavy/mellow balance that we've come to like Opeth for. It's far from a disaster, but still far below the surrounding albums for me.
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