OPETH — Morningrise

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OPETH - Morningrise cover
3.82 | 93 ratings | 8 reviews
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Album · 1996

Filed under Death Metal


1. Advent (13:44)
2. The Night and the Silent Water (10:59)
3. Nectar (10:09)
4. Black Rose Immortal (20:14)
5. To Bid You Farewell (10:54)

Total Time 66:06

2000 bonus track:
6. Eternal Soul Torture (1992 rehearsal recording) (8:35)

Reissue Total Time: 74:37


- Mikael Åkerfeldt / vocals, electric and acoustic guitars
- Peter Lindgren / electric and acoustic guitars
- Johan DeFarfalla / bass
- Anders Nordin / drums and percussion

About this release

Full-length, Candlelight Records
June 24th, 1996

Reissued by Candlelight with a bonus track in 2000.

Thanks to CCVP, UMUR, Pekka, Unitron for the updates


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The Crow
I think that Morningrise clearly surpasses its predecessor!

This was the most acoustic Opeth's album before the Damnation's coming. Some songs from this album are half metal, half not, like the beautiful The Night and The Silent Water. To bid you Farewell is the first attempt of Opeth to make something more relaxed and in a classical style from the 70's, and they made a great song, in that style that they will follow more deeply in the future. It reminds me of Face of Melinda.

Black Rose Immortal deserves a place of honor in the Opeth's career, their longest song, and it has brilliant moments, especially in the center of the track, with a wonderful mix of relaxed and strong parts. But in the opposite side, this song has some moment not very good, with a weak sound. Although that doesn't mean that it isn't a great song.

Conclusion: really, a great work, for me the best of their three first releases. I think it's the best Opeth's album to know the early years of the group. The production could be better, and the songs aren't too different between them, but the romanticism and the gloomy feeling that this album inspires it's wonderful. Like the bass guitar of Nektar, the powerful riffs of Advent.

Best Tracks: The Night and The Silent Water, Black Rose Immortal.

My rating: ****
Opeth’s sophomore effort was released by Candlelight Records in June of 1996. It follows the groundwork laid by the debut, “Orchid”, and is very similar in style and sound. Basically, the same four musicians - Mikael Akerfeldt (vo/g), Peter Lindgren (g), Anders Nordin (dr), and Johan De Farfalla (bass) returned to Unisound Studios with Dan Swano as producer once again. As a year had passed between the recording and the release of “Orchid”, the band had already begun work on the material that would eventually surface on “Morningrise”.

Stylistically, both albums employ the same approach of composing songs of ten minutes’ length or more with the melodic heavy guitar riffs punctuated by acoustic guitar interludes and hoarsely screamed death vocals that occasionally permit clean vocal contributions. The songs tend to be more like journeys with the music of each song usually moving on to new territory rather than revisiting early riffs and melodies. The two differences that stand out the most for me is first that “Orchid” came with two short instrumental tracks while “Morningrise” instead delivers a 20-minute epic in “Black Rose Immortal” and the other is that the echoing reverb on the guitars of “Orchid” has been almost wholly dispensed with here. This reduced reverb makes the production sound cleaner and a bit more up to date as I felt “Orchid” came across more like a mid-eighties recording.

As with its predecessor, the songs on “Morningrise” follow a similar pattern of heavy-acoustic-heavy-acoustic so closely that you can almost set your watch to when the first acoustic break is going to come up. However, one subtle difference that I felt I picked up on is that “Orchid” tends more towards a simple and often sparse Mediaeval style most of the time while on “Morningrise”, it sounds to me as though the guitarists were more willing to let some beauty stand out front their plucking. As such, I found during my latest listen to the album that some acoustic parts offered more to enjoy. At first, a song like “The Night and the Silent Water” seemed over-burdened with acoustic passages but now I feel they serve their purpose more than I had first supposed. The final stretch of this song, from the 7:34 mark, reminds me a lot of Anathema’s “Alternative 4” and the final repeated guitar riff also brings to mind the 1970 album by T.2. “It’ll All Work Out In Boomland”, which I read that Mikael has in his drastically enormous record collection.

One of the things I like about this line-up of Opeth is that the bass guitar is often given a bit of spotlight time. Sometimes it takes a lead role over the acoustic guitars as in parts of “Advent” and other times the electric guitars just stop for a moment while the bass continues with the riff for a couple of bars. You can hear this at the 3:12 mark in “Nectar”. Another thing I noticed once again is how the two rhythm guitars will play harmonized riffs with one guitar playing a simple riff while the other follows the riff but with more emphasis on melody, utilizing other notes in the chords. Both albums feature this kind of melodic riffing and it shows that this death metal band are not content to simply churn out searing riffs for the sake of speed or sonic brutality.

The centrepiece of this five-track album is the epic number, “Black Rose Immortal”. This song receives a lot of praise from Opeth fans with one review stating it was the one track that made “Morningrise” worth having. As to be expected, the song is a blend of heavy and melodic metal passages bridged with acoustic sections. I had concerns that this track might not just come off sounding like an extended version of what Opeth had already established as their song-composition style. Interestingly though, I feel this song has more emphasis on the heavier aspect of the band towards the beginning, and then more on the acoustic guitars in the latter half of the song.

Actually, even though this song has failed to impress me as much as it has some reviewers and critics, I cannot deny that it includes some terrific music. There’s a Celtic-inspired riff around three minutes and the lead guitar at around 8:20 sounds like an eighties thrash band with an Iron Maiden influence. At 9:20, the band even reprise the volume dial guitar playing that I enjoyed so much on “The Apostle in Triumph” from “Orchid”. The instrumental sections in this track also carry on for longer, giving them a place in the track as a part of the lengthy composition rather than just a moment of repose before the next heavy segment. My one complaint is that the final minutes of the song go from acoustic stretch to short heavy sprint and then back to acoustic stretch and back to heavy sprint, the song wrapping up rather unexpectedly and unceremoniously with the final riff being reduced to a repeated melody on electric guitar that gradually fades into its own echo.

The true surprise for me is the final track, “To Bid You Farewell”. To start with, it plays through some simple but beautiful acoustic guitar melodies with the bass guitar following the six strings and the drums playing a simple snare drum rim tap. The acoustic guitars continue well beyond the beginning of the vocals and I am left wondering when the dual heavy guitar riffing will suddenly take over. Yet contrary to expectation, around the 2:50 mark and before the vocals come in, the acoustic guitars establish a new melody that begins to make the song sound more like a track from an early seventies folk/rock fusion prog band. This is no surprise as by this time in Mikael’s life, if I understand correctly, he was working in a record shop and his boss had turned him on to all kinds of seventies prog. By 6:11 a dreamy wah-wah guitar enters and we are really into the seventies’ trip. In a way, I almost feel like this was an early Iron Maiden number that never made the debut because “Strange World” took its place instead. At 7:05 the guitars at last become electric and the vocals are double tracked for a harmonized effect. The track wraps up peacefully and it is then that you realize with a degree of astonishment that the death vocals never turned up once!

I had initially pegged “Morningrise” as slightly less interesting than “Orchid” but now I feel both albums are equally strong and to a much lesser degree equally weak though the two don’t share the same weaknesses. These two albums are very different from everything and anything else Opeth would put forward thereafter; however, they do have a lot to offer for the curious music lover. I enjoy them both as the completed first chapter in Opeth’s album history.
Phonebook Eater
Opeth’s second studio album, “Morningrise”, has been surprisingly highly regarded among fans or even critics. Considered one of the best death metal sophomore albums, this album before listening to it seemed really, really good. But I’m overall disappointed with the result, which could have been easily more ambitious than how it tempted to be.

This album is part of the first Opeth period, keep that in mind; like every progressive metal band, the first albums have a very rough production, very influenced by thrash and doom metal. “Morningrise” is no different. Frankly this is an element that always annoyed me, even though the sound might have been very much intentional. Mikael Akerfeldt, the lead singer and one of the best metal singers ever, here doesn’t bring at all his immense talent in both songwriting, singing or guitar playing. His vocals are always put into the shadow of the noisy guitars, whether they are clean vocals or growls (very blackened in this album). The acoustic guitars are the only thing that sound really good and not lo-fi in any way. Anders Nordin’s drums are a little too rigid, but the bass playing is outstanding in some points, played by Johan DeFarfalla.

Musically the album is very basic blackened death metal, with some acoustic interludes. In fact, in each of these five songs, the rough metal moments, where the guitars always use counterparts instead of simple power chords (another thing that I do not like much), are immediately followed by acoustic, folky passages, somewhat tense and ready to open up another violent part. These constant alternations definitely give the label to the album “Progressive”. The thing that mostly disappointed me is that this structure is repeated in every one of the five, extremely long songs, without one of these tracks being different or more experimental from the others if not for the change of melody. It definitely gets monotonous in many points. But I never said that these melodies can't be gripping in the best moments. “Advent” has really good melodies, and it is with “To Bid You Farewell”, the song that features no growls and is for a good half of it acoustic, the best song of this record. “The Night And The Silent Water” however Is a little dull, and didn’t move me in any way. The twenty minute epic “Black Rose Immortal” had much more impact on me, and you can definitely feel the progressive influences here.

So it is in the end a good album, with weak points that often are brought up, but generally it’s a decent metal album, recommendable to who is a big fan of the band and decided to look back at the first works.
Morningrise, second album by Opeth is one of the weirdest Opeth releases. Black/death metal growls, some parts of clean vocals (today we know how good Mikael's voice is), jazzy sounding bass, beautiful acoustic guitar parts and specific electric guitar harmonies with classical feel about them.

Art-medieval-extreme-prog metal I would call it if somebody asked me. It's a unique record, really. Harsh sounding and very long, complex compositions take the listener to the world of dark, cold nights and lonely moon. Very dark music, very emotional and therefore beautiful. It's fantastic manifestation of virgin genius of Mikael Akerfeldt, devoid of later acquired experience and composition skills.

If you value atmospheric music, aren't afraid of growling vocals or harsh sound and first of all you love genuine emotions, this record is for you.
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.
As Orchid had a very raw approach to the Opeth sound, this album, albeit I don't feel that they had achieved their perfect sound on this album, was still an amazing album, and is probabbly my favourite off the Candlelight Years.

The songs were alot longer, and the album had a more prog feel to it (over an hour of music and 5 songs, a bit too prog almost). Each song has an almost unique quality, there is alot more melody than in Orchid, the songs are more memorable than Orchid and the epic Black Rose Immortall is a masterpiece.

Being critical, I felt that there was very little hooks and some examples of poor production.

Opeth themselves feel that this album was their weakest, but I disagree. I felt the album alot stronger than Orchid & My Arms, Your Hearse, and even felt it better the slightly disapointing Watershed.

1. Advent - Intresting intro. The jazz inspired guitar riff gives a colourfull tone to the imminent death metal section. The clean acoustic pars have an almost dance like feel to them. The clean vocals and acoustic guitars are better produced and alot more melodic than those of Orchid. The acoustic sections are also a lot more stronger and prominent. This song also has a bit of eccentric influence. I love the ending acioustic section. Very eeire.

2. The Night & The Silent Water - The vocals seem to be more rapsy. I feel that the acoustic sections are quite random and need better links. The clean vocals are very melancholic. I like the almost doomy melodic death metal approach to the song. The folky acoustic section is very well crafted and effective to the whirlwind of emotions presented.

3. Nectar - The lyrics of this song are very imaginitive and there is a colourfull use of language used. More Iron Maiden like riffs are flung out. The production is a but muddy and the guitar sounds a bit weak. The acoustic section is very interesting. The funky discordant guitar is very cool and works well with the song...in a weird way, obviously.

4. Black Rose Immortall - This epic kicks off with an evil black metal sounding passage with a great vocal performance. The folky melodic section which follows is very cool. The weird time are changes are dramatically done well with weird sound effects to add to the atomosphere. the evil sounding growls are enhanced with a dark accompaniment. There is another weird funky prog bit, which again, suprisingly well pulled off and enjoyable. The guitar solo which comes up sounds like it was played by Dave Murray himself. The acapella section is very beautiful and reminds me of plainsong. The accompanying acoustic section is very sad and beautifull. The melodic passages are well presented and keep the songs intresting pace.The re occuring theme is presented beautifully before another intresting melodic instreumental section. The ending versw is very eerie and is very dramatic. Mikael deilvers proabbly one of his best screams ever at 19 minutes within the song. An absolute mammoth.

5. To Bid You Farewell - The instrumental which starts this song is almost predicting Opeth's later musical future. The first Opeth ballad song of many t come. There is also alot of instrumental sections within the song.

CONCLSION: As I said before, buy the Candlelight Years. This is the best one out of the 3.

Members reviews

Opeth was one of those bands that clicked with me oddly. For the longest time I loved them, then for a shorter time I hated them (I for one welcome our Encyclopedia Metallum overlords, end sarcasm) and then I loved them again and still do. While "Blackwater Park" is most definitely the magnum opus of the band in my opinion, "Morningrise", the subject of my review is another one of my favorites.

"Morningrise" is the first album when Opeth started really experimenting with their sound. It still has that glaringly obvious black metal feel to it, and it's definitely their most cold and wintery album (sorry for the supreme cliche, but there's not really anything else to describe it with).

Like all Opeth albums *cough sans Heritage cough*, Lift Your Skinny Fists - I mean, Morningrise is long as fuck, clocking in at about 66 minutes with only five tracks, and about 74 minutes counting the nine minute bonus track. Yeah, five tracks, over an hour, you know the drill with this type of music. Oh, and there's one song that lasts about 20:15 on this record as well, so that should be a red flag to any discerning listener.

"Advent" kicks off the record and, while it's probably the weakest song on this album overall in my opinion, it's still great, and captures the essence and style of the entire band in one 14 minute sitting. The song begins with a light tapping of the guitars and cymbals, before suddenly a blazing fast KVLT riff comes hissing in at you in all it's glorious venom. It goes all pretty (and bassy) again, before it explodes into yet another blazing riff yet again, and by this point you know that with this album, you know it's gonna alternate between soft passages and heavy as a fucking ten tonne brick passages.

Following "Advent", "The Night and the Silent Water" kicks off and is a great song, and while unlike Advent it doesn't capture the full essence of Opeth's music throughout it's 11 minute duration, is still a pretty sick song in it's own right. Again, stuff changes between soft and heavy, heavy and soft, and as always with this album it always leaves that great black metal taste in your mouth as well. Oh, and did I mention the bass is great in this song also?

Speaking of badass bass lines, "Nectar" (probably the heaviest song here) kicks off with a kickass but way too short bass intro followed by a fiery guitar riff and some once again brutal vocals by Mikael Akerfeldt. This song just kicks ass on all levels (not my favorite song here, though - I'll get to that next for a bit of foreshadowing) and it's absolutely ball crushing (or tit crushing, depending on your gender) in it's brutal intensity and triumphant stature. Also, like any song by Opeth, the lyrics just destroy on every fucking level:

"And guide me inside your warped labyrinth To the well of sin I swear I will always love you Leave me speechless"

And, and, THAT BASS that follows right after that fucking scream...Dear LORD.

So Nectar is done, and finally, my all time favorite Opeth song ever, and perhaps one of the greatest songs I have ever fucking heard in my entire life time (okay, that's maybe a bit of a stretch, but YOU GET THE JIFT, it's my favorite Opeth song ever) rolls in: the magnum opus mammoth "Black Rose Immortal". This song towers over the rest of Opeth's individual songs by a massive time span, clocking in at 20:15. It will surround and grip you, it will leave you speechless, and it will most definitely leave you with a "HOLY FUCK WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST HEAR" look on your face. I could go on and on all day about this song, but I'm just gonna cut to the chase - the heavy parts are terrifying, viking-like, and frostbitten, and the clean parts are among some of the best things the band has ever done in the entire span of their career. One of the best death metal songs ever written, /thread.

...That's not all, though. "To Bid You Farewell", while a let down compared to the mammoth song that preceded it, is still an absolutely excellent song in it's own right. While there's a couple heavy parts, there's no growling, and Mikael's passion really, really shines here. This is a band that genuinely, passionately cares about their music and lyrics, and it shows - in "To Bid You..." Mikael spills his heart out over his cheating girlfriend (I think). It's not some false emotion, it is well concentrated and experienced emotion. For a person like me specifically, who has been wracked with terrible depression all his life, it's really heartwarming to see people who understand your pain - even if it's just through sound.

Overall, this is definitely DEFINITELY one of Opeth's best. Also, don't forget to get the reissue featuring Eternal Soul Torture, the nine minute bonus track. If you're not convinced, get Blackwater Park first, then this album. If you're still not convinced, download "Black Rose Immortal".
For the life of me, I can't figure out why this album is rated so low. This album is a masterpiece. It may be a little rough around the edges in the production department, but don't let that put you off, this album is brilliant. I can't say that a single song on this album is bad, (although my version of this album has Eternal Soul Torture as a bonus song, and thus I will not consider it part of this review).

Advent is an excellent intro song to this album. Perfect for setting you up for the rest of the disc. The Night and the Silent Water is great, unique and beautiful. Nectar is probably the weakest song on this album, and I think it's great. Certainly grew on me over time, and fits in well with the album. Black Rose Immortal is fantastic. This may be Opeth's longest song, so it may take some digesting (like any other progressive piece). But it is very rewarding and a great track, especially the ending! To Bid You Farewell is an Opeth classic. Utter brilliance, and a song that you would want played at your own funeral.

Buy it...love it, this album marks the start of the classic era of Opeth albums.

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