• Opeth's Watershed - Have Opeth Finally Lost What Once Made Them Great?

    10 juin 2008, 10h50m

    Well, Opeth's new album Watershed has been out for a while now, about a week, and with my extensive listening tendencies to new albums I think I can make an informed decision on whether their new album is any good.

    First off was I excited about the new album? Well sort of. I wasn't too fussed and just bought it the day it came out because after all it is Opeth, one of my all time favourite bands. I was more excited when Ghost Reveries was released back in 2005 however for a couple of reasons I could not muster the same excitement for Watershed. was it the title? Was I over Opeth? Or was it the extensive line up changes over the past 3 years? The latter was an issue - Peter and Martin were now gone. I was very upset when each of them announced their departure and thought to myself that Opeth will never be the same again, even though at the end of the day Opeth is Mikael Akerfeldt.

    Enough time wasting, is the album any good? No, it is brilliant. The album has got me back to loving Opeth, it is just what the long time Opeth fans needed, something original, fresh and exciting. The changes in the lineup were clearly for the better adding new dynamics and new freedoms to the music that Opeth play.

    Going through the tracks:

    Now, I had my doubts when I heard that the opening track of the album was going to be an acoustic one - I feared that Watershed would have even less growling than that on Ghost Reveries. Nonetheless a stunning piece of music that could be easily be on an Anathema album. A good way to open the album, an original track that may pay slight homage to Damnation but at the same time is fresh and delivers something Opeth fans have not heard before on the bands previous efforts - a female vocalist.

    Heir Apparent
    So, are Opeth still writing heavy songs with growling? You better believe it! Absolutely brutal. A vicious assault on the listener. I personally split this track into three: the first part being a clear Wreath / Deliverance influence going on. Then the mid section an extreme case of the break down of Bleak finally finishing up with a beautiful outro, reminding me of Epilogue. This is the most brutal Opeth have been in a while, at least since Deliverance

    The Lotus Eater
    Now the opening vocal line of this song, took a while to grow on me. I could not stand it at first but I do like it now. A great song where the vocal line does dominate all the melodies throughout. This song could easily have been on Ghost Reveries. Which is not a bad thing, as it sounds similar to Reverie/Harlequin Forest and a sprinkle of Hours of Wealth thrown in for good measure with a very surprising Dream Theater inspired breakdown near the end.

    With Burden, I can't really compare it with old Opeth tracks, as it is 100% difference and really utilize Per's skills on the keys for the first time. A fantastic song, with one hell of a keyboard solo and as always, supreme guitar playing. Great vocals, with great lyrics

    Porcelain Heart
    Now, the first single off the album hmmmm. Not the best Opeth track by any means and in my opinion the weakest on the album - there has to be one, right? I did hear this before the album was released and I think that's where my fears about Watershed manifested from. Not a bad song, but not a classic either. I think the riff with the bend in it really puts me off. But the vocals are fantastic and I love the first vocal line - sublime

    Hessian Peel
    Another centrepiece on the album. An epic no doubt. After the intro, the melody that kicks in is what I love Opeth - the ability of their playing to send shivers down my spine. A beautiful piece of music with fantastic vocals throughout. After a build up of musical brilliance, we get to what we all know is coming. A Master's Apprentices style death metal assault on the ears. Reminiscent of A Fair Judgement and By the Pain I See in Others Absolutely brutal. My favourite off the album, without a doubt.

    Hex Omega
    Not the best album closer from Opeth. In fact, probably their weakest. A great song of course but does it hold up to Isolation Years, Weakness, Blackwater Park? No, I don't think so but it does remind me of BWP and does have a grand finale-Esq feel to it right from the get go. An awesome end to an awesome album

    I really think that with the new drummer and new guitarist, Opeth now have the freedom to finely tune their music. They were in danger of stepping into super prog territory - i.e perhaps a bit more prog than death instead of finding the right balance. With the new members who are both experienced death metal musicians, when Opeth do write the more extreme ends of their music, they can go all out - be as extreme as they want to, and this is apparent here, with the drumming, the shred solo and the overall heaviness. A change for the better no doubt not forgetting Mikael's beautifully written music. Bring on the next album.
  • Peter Leaves Opeth

    20 mai 2007, 14h51m

    Peter Lindgren has stepped down from his guitar wielding duties after 16 years in Opeth. Below is an open letter from Peter addressing the issue:

    "It is with sadness I announce that Opeth and I are going separate ways after almost 16 years. The decision has been the toughest I've ever made but it is the right one to make at this point in my life.

    The reason behind this is that I feel that I simply have lost some of the enthusiasm and inspiration needed to participate in a band that has grown from a few guys playing the music we love to a world-wide industry. The love of music has always been, and still is, our motive, but I personally have lost something along the way. The massive amount of touring has taken its toll. Opeth has worked extremely hard to get where we are right now and in order to persist and maintain the quality of the music, it is necessary that we continue to work hard and always stay focused. But in doing so, it means that we nowadays spend 18 or 19 months on the road and I don't feel the same enthusiasm for the upcoming world tour that I have felt earlier. I have come to a point where I realize I won't be able to give the band 100%, and from both sides this will not be good enough for what Opeth stands for. I will always love playing, listening to, and living music, but I will do it differently from now on.

    These years has easily been the best of my life and I will always cherish the memory of what we have experienced together. I would like to thank the band, our management, record label people, all the bands I've made friends with for everything. Most of all, I would like to thank the fans from the depth of my heart for the support throughout the years.

    I wish Mikael, Martin, Per and Axe all the best and I am confident they will continue doing the greatest music in the world!! /Peter"
  • Bruce Dickinson vs. Sharon Osbourne

    21 août 2006, 12h14m

    In his only interview for Swedish media in support of Iron Maiden's new album, "A Matter of Life and Death", vocalist Bruce Dickinson talked candidly to Close-Up magazine about last year's Ozzfest and the infamous egg incident.

    Immediately after Iron Maiden's triumphant show at Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg on July 9, 2005, Dickison told Kerrang! magazine, "I'd like to go to America and say 'You're very good, but you're not as loud as 56,000 fucking vikings in a football stadium.'" The following week, the band went to America to play at Ozzfest, but the outspoken vocalist didn't have a lot of nice things to say about it.

    "It was my usual love/hate relationship with corporate America," says Dickinson. "Ozzfest is a corporate rock event at which they sell the front 10-12 rows to corporate seats and not to kids. Most of the bands pay a lot of money to be on the Ozzfest, they get paid next to nothing. The whole way it's being portrayed as being some kind of altruistic holiday for all the bands is absolute nonsense, it's complete bullshit. Most of the bands are there because they paid to be there. That's the way it's run. We went out and we were like, 'Okay, why aren't there any people down the front?' Well, because it's restricted seating and because they don't have tickets. 'What?!' That's fucked, so we said so. I said so every night. Some fat cunt with greasy hair sat eating his hamburger with 50 seats empty all around him. Where are all the kids? They're held behind the barrier and they can't get any closer, because that's the way the venue is run. That sucks."

    Close-Up: Did you expect Sharon Osbourne to take the measures that she took?

    Bruce: "No, I think they were extraordinary, weren't they? Childish and uncalled for, and quite dangerous, really, when you consider there could've been a riot among the rest of the audience. Extraordinary! She is obviously completely mad!"

    Close-Up: You kept quiet. Weren't you dying to fight back in the press?

    Bruce: "There's no purpose of starting a soap opera. I mean, she IS a soap opera. That's what she does, that's what 'The Osbournes' is, that's what this 'X Factor' and all this reality TV bullshit is. Iron Maiden is Iron Maiden, we don't participate in that kind of crap. We don't do [MTV show] 'Cribs' or the celebrity garbage that is everywhere, that pervades people's lives and they think is important. We don't do 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here', 'Big Brother', or any of that shit. So doing any more than stating the facts and let people make up their own mind is just playing to the press. It's just gonna create more crap. There was so much stuff on the Internet, there were so many people who saw exactly what happened. Let the people tell the story, we don't need to say anymore than 'Okay, this is what happened. If you don't believe us, you can find out.'"

    Close-Up: An hour ago I was surfing the Net and did a search on Google on "Iron Maiden + Sharon Osbourne" and this comment from Blabbermouth came up: "I fucking hate Iron Maiden, but fuck Sharon Osbourne." You must've loved the aftermath of the egg incident. All of a sudden everyone, even people that weren't into Iron Maiden, were rooting for you.

    Bruce: "I see what you mean. I think the key is that this was a collision between two completely different worlds. The world that Sharon lives in is of world of... She goes to fashion shows and her daughter (Kelly Osbourne) is the new face of whatever it was, some make-up bullshit or something you put on your face. Vogue magazine and all that kind of crap. She's put herself in that world and done that by choice. And lots of people do [that] and they're supermodels. All those people have their picture taken on red carpets and appear in fashion magazines. That's not our world, that's not my world. I don't ever go to places like that. I'd rather have all my teeth pulled out and have nails hammered into my gums than go there, to a fashion show and hang out with supermodels!

    "What we do is we are a heavy metal band and what we care about is our fans. That's it. So our strength comes from that simplicity. You know, what do I care if I never appear on reality TV? 'Fucking great, thank you! Can I have it in writing?' But in her world, that's really important. In her world, it's really important what you look like. In her world, facelifts are really important. In my world, I don't give a fuck. I get old and I get wrinkly. Who gives a shit?"
  • Music World Cup Final

    3 août 2006, 13h26m

    Here it is:

    Iron Maiden vs. Metallica

  • Dan Swanö Leaves Bloodbath!!

    2 août 2006, 20h13m

    "Dan Swanö is no longer part of BLOODBATH. The reason being restrictions on his behalf to devote more time and effort to the future of this project that it would require by taking things to the next level i.e. touring and playing live. Moreover, his future vision for BLOODBATH's concept proved to head in the almost opposite direction as his desire for death metal was to be of a less brutal kind, something the remaining members regard as musical differences not interesting to pursue, so at these crossroads, we'd like to wish Dan Swanö good luck with his future endavours and with the music that's closer to his heart. The audition for BLOODBATH is closed. We thank everyone who tried out, but it's with dashing hopes we have to announce there's no suitable replacement that matched our expectations. It was surprising, how so many applications could barely be listened to because of the extreme low quality in talent. We found it shocking to say the least, that same applicants would send us emails claiming they 'killed' both of our previous singers, but all they could achieve at the end of the day was our laughs or sighs. Well, one day we can maybe throw together a little compilation of those efforts and put up an exclusive mp3 right here and you'll be the judge, or have a good laugh or sigh, like us! But this doesn't mean all the applications were bad, actually a couple of them were damn fu**ing good, but criterias on other levels failed. Life goes on and so does death!

    "Wacken will soon release their annual DVD, but despite what was previously implied, the song 'Eaten' will not be featured on the 2005 edition. The entire footage of the show remains archived until there's been clearances by all parties, a subject to time."

    Bloodbath without Swano?? They might as well change the name....
  • Music World Cup 3rd Place Playoff

    2 août 2006, 9h15m

    Well here is the Third Place Play Off. Final to come soon

    Megadeth vs. Pantera
  • Music World Cup Semi Final

    31 jui. 2006, 10h38m

    Thanks everyone, here are the Semi Finals:


    Iron Maiden vs. Megadeth


    Metallica vs. Pantera
  • Music World Cup Quarter Final

    30 jui. 2006, 11h26m

    Thanks for voting guys. Here's the next round, same deal as last time:

    Iron Maiden vs. Opeth

    Amon Amarth vs. Megadeth

    Metallica vs. Arch Enemy

    Pantera vs. Cannibal Corpse
  • Music World Cup Round 2

    27 jui. 2006, 22h42m

    Bands with the highest scores:
    Iron Maiden

    Winners of each group versus the runner ups of others.

    Here we go with round 2, just post a reply to this with a list of the bands you want to win each matchup - 1 band per matchup. Here goes.

    Iron Maiden vs. Slayer

    Opeth vs. Nile

    Amon Amarth vs. Katatonia

    Megadeth vs. Nevermore

    Metallica vs. Vader

    Arch Enemy vs. Rage Against the Machine

    Pantera vs Kreator

    Cannibal Corpse vs. Killswitch Engage
  • Music World Cup

    25 jui. 2006, 21h14m

    Saw this cool thing, here is a quote:

    Here it is, with the football world cup still fresh in our minds, I've seen a lot of people do this with their music and who am I not to follow trends?

    Here's how it works:

    I've used a random number generator to split my top 32 artists into groups of 4.

    What I want you guys to do is vote like so, paste my list of groups into a journal reply but re-arrange them 1 - 4 in the order you vote for the bands, any bands who you vote at the #1 spot will be given 4 points all the way down to 1 point for the #4 ranked band in a group and at the end I'll tally up the points and we'll have a list of qualifiers for the last 16.

    Let's see how it goes. And one one last note, I've you've never heard of a band, automatically put them to the bottom.

    Here we go:

    Iron Maiden
    Dream Theater

    Black Label Society
    Hans Zimmer

    Amon Amarth
    Alice in Chains

    Porcupine Tree
    Lacuna Coil

    Rage Against the Machine
    Howard Shore
    System of a Down

    Arch Enemy
    Machine Head

    Fear Factory
    Killswitch Engage

    Vital Remains
    Cannibal Corpse