OPETH — Morningrise (review)

OPETH — Morningrise album cover Album · 1996 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Conor Fynes
'Morningrise' - Opeth (9/10)

Opeth have proven themselves over time to be one of the most innovative and quality-consistent bands out there in the metal world. Even as early as their debut, Opeth was writting some pretty great material. However, it was not until 1996 when this band from Stockholm, Sweden released the first album that was truly representative of what the band could do together.

'Morningrise' is best described as a 'flawed masterpiece.' There are some of Opeth's best ever songs on here, and the acoustic work on this album has never been topped on any other Opeth album. This album also has the first song that makes primary use of Mikael Akerfeldt's clean singing abilities. The ballad 'To Bid You Farewell' is the best ballad Opeth has ever done, and it builds up to a great, dramatic climax that is both intense, emotional and moving.

The highlight of the album is the epic 'Night And The Silent Water,' which is a masterpiece on it's own. It's possibly the greatest Opeth song ever done, and never gets old. It covers the entire spectrum of sound, going from heaviness, to a more acoustic sound, to a slow but steady buildup that erupts into a gut-wrenching finale that cannot be described as anything other then epic. Not only is it one of the best Opeth songs of all time, but it's one of the best progressive metal songs ever written.

The 'epic' of the album, 'Black Rose Immortal' while it's definately good and interesting for the most part, is a little bit of a dissapointment. When thinking of a twenty minute Opeth song, I thought of something that could possibly rival 'A Change Of Seasons' or 'Supper's Ready.' What 'Black Rose Immortal' ends up being is a song that while being a good song, doesn't meet up to my standards even close of what I thought it would shape up to me. Not to say it isn't good, and I know alot of Opeth fans who think that it's the greatest thing, but it's never hit me as being a mind-blowing song. Some of the parts in the song (after a few listens) get a bit sickening.

'Advent' and 'Nectar' are both songs that never hit me the first few times listening to them. The only difference is that as of writting this review, 'Advent' blows my mind, whereas 'Nectar' ranks as just being alright, and sort of forgettable.

This is still a work of a band that's growing and developing, and Opeth wouldn't find their perfect voice until the masterful 'Still Life' a few years later. But this album is the greatest of Opeth's early works, and while it might not have the flow or grace of a masterpiece, it's still a great album, from a great band. While some may have a problem with the production quality, and the 'black metal' feel of the music, it's a very intelligent work. Four stars.
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