OPETH — The Roundhouse Tapes

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3.99 | 31 ratings | 3 reviews
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Live album · 2007

Filed under Progressive Metal


Disc 1
1. When (10:28)
2. Ghost of Perdition (10:56)
3. Under the Weeping Moon (10:27)
4. Bleak (8:39)
5. Face of Melinda (9:57)
6. The Night and the Silent Water (10:28)

Total Time: 60:58

Disc 2
1. Windowpane (8:01)
2. Blackwater Park (18:59)
3. Demon of the Fall (8:13)

Total Time: 35:14


- Mikael Åkerfeldt / lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars
- Peter Lindgren / lead and rhythm guitars
- Martin Mendez / bass
- Martin "Axe" Axenrot / drums, percussion
- Per Wiberg / keyboards, mellotron, backing vocals

About this release

Peaceville Records, 2007. A live album recorded on November 9, 2006 at the Roundhouse in London, England.

Thanks to negoba, Pekka for the updates


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I've been lucky enough to see Opeth live five times, one time of them being among my favourite gigs ever and one among the very worst. The latter was at a festival in bright daylight without a soundcheck I'm confident to say, as the sound was perhaps the worst live sound by any band ever. Absolutely horrible mix of bass drums, low noteless bass humming, guitar static and some more bass drums. But if we take Opeth indoors and give them a decent sound, then they're absolute killers live, combining their unique material tightly performed with the stand-up comedy of Mikael Åkerfeldt.

The one problem they, or let's say the audience, have left is the song choices. As the average length of an Opeth track is about ten minutes, they don't have time to play that many, and of course everyone wants to hear their favourites. This concert luckily offers a great selection of material from every one of their albums except Deliverance, which was well represented on Lamentations, and despite the tour still being theoretically in support of Ghost Reveries album we only get one track from that album. Ghost of Perdition is a great choice, as that's a track that has always been among the favourites of mine, but during the four shows I saw on that tour they never played it.

My Arms, Your Hearse and Blackwater Park each get two songs on the list and Still Life the very good rendition of Face of Melinda, but the gems of this release are the early tracks that get revisited. They hadn't touched the material from the first two albums in a long time, but for this date they dug out one song from each of them. The biggest problems I have with Orchid and Morningrise are the sound and the drumming department, and with both of them taken care of, it's a great joy to hear this material. The softer parts also very much benefit from the improved clean vocals of mr Åkerfeldt. And in case you were wondering, yes he pulls off all the transitions from growls to cleans and back pretty damn seamlessly. One point of interest is the addition of Per Wiberg's keyboards, and while especially on Watershed he is an essential part of the band's sound, these older tracks were composed without keys in mind, and most of the time he's reduced to just providing some background hammond and mellotron. Still an improvement, but it would be interesting to hear them completely rearranging some of the earlier material for live performances.

Great tracks, great performance, good sound. Overall an excellent live album.
Conor Fynes
'The Roundhouse Tapes' - Opeth (9/10)

Having been lucky enough to see this fantastic band live in concert, I naturally compare any recorded live material this band has to offer to the actual performance I witnessed. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the band is one of my favourites (at the time of writing this review; third favourite band after Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree) I was a bit dissapointed with the live concert I went to see. The sound was not that great, their setlist was a bit harsh (skipping great songs like 'Serenity Painted Death' and 'Ghost Of Perdition' for less memorable songs such as 'Wreath') and while Mikael Akerfeldt's performance was fantastic (his humourous banter with the audience was among the most memorable parts of the show) the band's performance as a whole sounded a bit sloppy.

As a whole, it was a bit dissapointing to see one of my favourite bands live and realize that they are only 'fantastic' as a studio band. As well, the 'Lamentations Live' CD I have also affirmed my belief that the band isn't too great live. Keeping all of this in mind, it came as a suprise that 'The Roundhouse Tapes' actually turned out to be a fantastic recording of a great performance.

The band is in top-gear for this show. I must have missed the band at their peak when I went to see them live, but 'The Roundhouse Tapes' is a real treat for any fan of the band's work. There is everything you can hope for in an Opeth concert, including Akerfeldt's famous wit.

While there's still alot of stuff here I prefer in studio (I am rating this from a live-album perspective) there's actually stuff here that sounds alot better live than it EVER did in studio. In particular, 'Under The Weeping Moon' is a fantastic Opeth song, but it was hindered at the time of it's studio recording by rather lacking production quality (a burden that the entirity of 'Orchid' suffered from, unfortunately...) but live, one can appreciate the composition to it's brim. 'The Night And The Silent Water' is another gem from the performance; the epic finale in particular. The build-up is complimented greatly by the reverb that the venue gave the instruments; an effect that can't be replicated in studio without sounding contrived and lame.

While this isn't 'essential' in the overall kingdom of progressive music, as far as live progressive music goes, this is one of the best live albums I've listened to in the genre, or even metal for that matter. Great renditions of a great set-list.
A Very Nice Taste of Live Opeth

Anyone who has seen Opeth know what a great live act they are. They play their complex music note-perfect, and if anything the energy is better live. Mikael's growls are spine-numbing live and the crush of the guitars is immense. Mikael has a great extremely dry, dark sense of humor that offsets the serious music quite well. My biggest beef with the band live is that the softer parts sometimes seem a little weak. Luckily, this has been fixed in production on The Roundhouse Tapes. So we get Opeth in their full live glory.

This album was recorded after the Ghost Reveries tour, with Per Wiberg on keys as a full time member by this point. His presense makes "Faces of Melinda" actually better than the original (I always thought the production on Still Life was a little weak anyway.) He also provides some atmosphere during the interludes and harmony vocals. Martin Axenrot is behind the drumset and though not as jazzy as his predecessor, is still very heavy. This is the last album featuring guitarist Peter Lindgren.

The track list features a nice variety, with "Ghost of Perdition" clearly taking center stage. Other standards like "Bleak," "When," and "Windowpane" are well done, but the treats are the less played songs like "Under the Weeping Moon," and "Demon of the Fall." The version of "Blackwater Park" is crushing and brutal, just as it should be.

The jokes are typical Mikael, but you also get the sense that he really enjoys what he's doing and is genuinely grateful to the audience. The sound on the album dances the line between the live rawness and being cleaned up quite well.

Bottom Line: Great Live Album. No weak moments, and at least one song substantially better than the studio recording.

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