Thursday, April 15, 2010

Battle Hymns Classics: Morningrise

Occasionally my small group of metal loving friends get together and have a "Metal Night". Metal Night generally consists of cooking and eating a bunch of food, burning each other's metal CD's, listening to Metal, and watching metal videos. It was at one such Metal Night, about six years ago that I first heard Opeth.

One of my friends played Black Rose Immortal for us and it was love at first listen. I'll never forget how at one thundering point in the song my brother pretended to charge into the room on horseback, shooting us all down with imaginary arrows. I think the fact that Opeth's music can evoke that from anyone, proves how fucking epic they are.

Generally I'm really bad at remembering names, but the song title Black Rose Immortal stuck in my head, and a few days later, I tracked this CD down at the record store. From there it didn't take long for Opeth to become my favorite band.

Even though this is their second album, I think it provides a great jumping off point for Opeth newcomers. With five epically long songs, all are at least ten minutes, (the album length is 66:06 in length total) the album might be a bit of an acquired taste for some. I enjoy the song length, each track has its own unique feel, but still gives you a great taste of Opeth's style: Heavy music and death-metal growls mixed with lighter progressive and acoustic elements. I think it is that unique blend that makes me love them so much.

Black Rose Immortal still stands out as my favorite Opeth song, one I've yet to hear them play live, (maybe because it is twenty minutes long), but thanks to that Metal Night, it has an unforgettable quality to it makes you want to run through a god damn brick wall. Another song that stands out is the last track, To Bid you Farewell, it features no death-metal growls, and is the lightest song on the album, but still packs quite a punch thanks to they way the song is structured. When they finally do crank things up at the end, it really feels powerful.

Morningrise is not Opeth's best album, but it stands out as one of my favorites. Through the years, Opeth has experienced line-up changes, the addition of a keyboardist, and has evolved musically as a band, and even though I tend to favor their Balckwater Park through Ghost Reveries sretch, early Opeth still rocks and is much better than 99% of all other music out there.

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