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About Literature / Hobbyist Member Dan Kuburoglu18/Male/Cyprus Groups :icon365daysofmusic: 365DaysofMusic
Music makes the mind move.
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Perhaps one of the most talked-about bands in the progressive rock / metal scene, Opeth recently took a rather large step in a different direction with their 2011 release Heritage, which was met with rather mixed response. 3 years have passed since then, and Opeth have once again returned to the spotlight with Pale Communion - an album that manages to address almost all of the issues held against its predecessor, though still maintaining a few problems of its own.

 

If you ever ask a well-informed metal fan to talk about Opeth, then you better get ready for a mouthful. Ever since the mid-to-late 90s, the band has become increasingly well known for releasing some of the best material to ever hit the scene, with albums such as Still Life, Blackwater Park, and Ghost Reveries being commonly placed among the top metal albums of all time. This being said, they recently stirred up a lot of controversy within music circles due to their rather noticeable shift in style on 2011’s Heritage. Fans of the highly-acclaimed progressive death metal group were now being treated to Opeth’s take on 70s progressive rock, and this stylistic shift to a much softer, ethereal sound caught many off guard and split opinions on the work heavily.

It seems, however, that Opeth have taken many of the criticisms held against Heritage to heart, because Pale Communion addresses a lot of them in stride. Most importantly, the band has managed to execute their newer, more delicate style with much more coherence than their previous work. The sound they created with Heritage has been taken and used as a foundation on which they have now crafted a far more tactile and recognisable identity. Tracks like the opener ‘Eternal Rains Will Come’ carry a signature sound to them that, while different from their previous works, is undeniably “Opeth-ian”. They maintain that vintage flair of 70s prog rock that the band seems to love, yet also bring a rather full and emotive production to the table (courtesy of Steven Wilson) which manages to add a modern flair to the music, as well as enhancing the ominous intensity of the work, a feature that seems to be Opeth’s bread and butter, no matter what style they perform in.

Pale Communion also happens to be one of Opeth’s more unique releases, with the group adding a good number of different songwriting and performance features that not many would have expected from the ominous proggers. For example, this is the first time fans really hear vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt trying to go “all the way” with the clean side of his voice, pulling off highs that few saw coming. This being said, whether or not they really work is debatable; at times it feels like Åkerfeldt is straining his voice far more than he should, making these moments feel rather forced and inorganic.

However, the biggest and most noticeable difference noted throughout Pale Communion, from both a songwriting, performance and production standpoint is the emphasis placed on the drumming of Martin “Axe” Axenrot. Simply put, if this album was a mosaic, the drumming would be the golden centrepiece that shone gloriously in the sun. Whether it be backing the heavier riffs of ‘Cusp of Eternity’, the jazzier interludes of ‘Goblin’ or the moody and melancholic strings of ‘Voice of Treason’ and ‘Faith in Others’, the drums breathe life into every essence of Pale Communion.

Still, for every little detail that Opeth’s latest release gets right, it suffers from one crippling fault – its lack of remarkability. While almost every track could easily be considered “good”, there’s very little that happens throughout the 50+ minutes that this album runs which will really stun or impress listeners. The only example throughout the whole collection of songs that ever seemed to invoke this feeling came at the end of ‘Voice of Treason’, with Åkerfeldt’s vocals soaring over an incredibly grandiose combination of the entire band performing alongside a full string orchestra, singing “Have you ever had the feeling of a sorrow inside?” and making this track easily the best on the album. However, unfortunately, every other track seems to range from “pretty good” to “mediocre”, a feature most noticeable on the track ‘Cusp of Eternity’, which feels like it was written using the guidelines from the Metal 101 handbook.

Conclusion

Pale Communion
easily improves upon the new sound offered up by Opeth over their latest releases. The band feels much more comfortable and in control of what they’re doing, while still remaining unafraid to take risks. However, at the same time, this sense of comfort also seems to stem a little too much into the core songwriting, leading to a lot of songs being rather unremarkable and unmemorable, easily hampering the experience of any music listener looking for something “more”. A pretty good album, but hardly a shocker.


Eternal Rains Will Come - 8/10 (A promising demonstration of Opeth's newer prog style)
Cusp of Eternity - 3-4/10 (Astonishingly bland)
Moon Above, Sun Below - 6-7/10 (A pleasant experience that shows off the band's full sound, though rather unremarkable for a song its size)
Elysian Woes - 6/10 (Contains that Opethian melancholy, but does little with it)
Goblin - 8/10 (A surprising instrumental from Opeth. The drumming makes this track special. Solidly done.)
River - 7/10 (Odd to hear Opeth start a song on a major chord. Good stuff)
Voice of Treason - 9/10 (The strongest track on the album. Great build for an incredibly satisfying conclusion)
Faith In Others - 8/10 (A beautifully mournful conclusion to the album, brought to life by the backing string orchestra)


Production: 8/10
Performance: 8/10
Songwriting: 6/10
Originality: 7/10


Pale Communion by Shuriken95


Overall Score: 73%






Music Review: Opeth - Pale Communion
Opeth continue on their journey into their new style, continuing to split opinions in the process.
So let's see what Pale Communion has to offer.

Note: This review was actually previously published by The Boar, but I thought I'd bring it here as well, so that I could also add my little bits at the end. They had quite a strict style going, so you may notice that this review is rather different to my usual ones. That being said, I enjoyed taking this rather different approach to writing this, and definitely considered it a fun little experiment. :)

Check out the original here if you like some fancier editing; the crew at The Boar are a great bunch and I'm definitely gonna write more there. :) theboar.org/2014/11/06/pale-co…

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Really hope you all enjoy this review, because I enjoy making them. :)
If you have a request for a review of an album or a video game (or even a TV show; I'm willing to experiment) just let me know.

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Opeth - Pale Communion © Opeth & Roadrunner Records
Those wanting to give it a listen can stream it here: prog.teamrock.com/news/2014-08…
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Over the last year or two, I've had a lot going on in my life, and as a result, my creative output has suffered drastically.

Be it extreme procrastination, mental blocks that I still fail to shake off to this day or the simple concept of self-doubt, I've let too much get in the way of what I once loved doing, and what I've hoped to look forward to doing yet again.

I'm coming back, or at least, I dearly hope that I am coming back. Be it my creative work, poetry or prose, my reviews or anything else that finds its way back into the sunken caverns of my mind, I'm going to try and bring my productivity back up to a standard where I can feel happy about myself again. I'm tired of constantly looking back at my past works and feeling sorry for what I am compared to what I once was.

I want to make a change in my life, and I'm hoping that this is one of the steps I'll take in making it.

Expect content from me. I don't know when it will come, or what it will be, but I just know that I need to be reminded of why I did this in the first place. I need to find the spark again, because I know that I still possess the passion at the roots of it all.

I haven't spoken with many of you in months; with most of you, perhaps even longer.
So I hope that I'll be able to once again. :)

(something something about a phoenix cliche)

Many thanks to those who have stuck with me, and who still pay attention to what I do.
Here's hoping I can live up to your expectations again.

Daniel

  • Mood: Hope
  • Listening to: Bent Knee - Shiny Eyed Babies
Over the last year or two, I've had a lot going on in my life, and as a result, my creative output has suffered drastically.

Be it extreme procrastination, mental blocks that I still fail to shake off to this day or the simple concept of self-doubt, I've let too much get in the way of what I once loved doing, and what I've hoped to look forward to doing yet again.

I'm coming back, or at least, I dearly hope that I am coming back. Be it my creative work, poetry or prose, my reviews or anything else that finds its way back into the sunken caverns of my mind, I'm going to try and bring my productivity back up to a standard where I can feel happy about myself again. I'm tired of constantly looking back at my past works and feeling sorry for what I am compared to what I once was.

I want to make a change in my life, and I'm hoping that this is one of the steps I'll take in making it.

Expect content from me. I don't know when it will come, or what it will be, but I just know that I need to be reminded of why I did this in the first place. I need to find the spark again, because I know that I still possess the passion at the roots of it all.

I haven't spoken with many of you in months; with most of you, perhaps even longer.
So I hope that I'll be able to once again. :)

(something something about a phoenix cliche)

Many thanks to those who have stuck with me, and who still pay attention to what I do.
Here's hoping I can live up to your expectations again.

Daniel

  • Mood: Hope
  • Listening to: Bent Knee - Shiny Eyed Babies

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Shuriken95
Dan Kuburoglu
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
Cyprus
Life's greatest miracle is the miracle of life. (Said it when I was 13, has been my... uh... "saying"... ever since. Even I'm not sure what meaning it holds now...)

A die hard Dream Theater fan, although I'll try to remain as a "fan" and not a "fanboy" as much as possible.

I write poetry, stories, reviews...

An experimentalist (is that even a word?) when it comes to form and structure of poetry. Concrete (shaped) poetry is my specialty though. I'll try out new fusions, and am not scared to try anything down to syllable, letter or word management.
I am, however, still trying to keep a high level of emotion and philosophy in my poems, and can end up becoming a little bit too much of a perfectionist. (So much so that I'll send out a poem as soon as it's "perfect" without even going through it to try improving for a second draft... *sigh*)


I was featured on DLD by caybeach Dream Theater Stamp by KelpyKrad:iconhonoredddplz::iconhonoredddplz2:
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:icontheandymac:
TheAndyMac Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014
Brother... We miss you...
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:iconshuriken95:
Shuriken95 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, I have occasionally tried to pop in, but the last few times I did so, the LRT wasn't on. Maybe I'll try again this week. :)
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:iconmistressmissingno:
MistressMissingno Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
Many thanks for the watch
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:iconshuriken95:
Shuriken95 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome.

And thank YOU for providing the great content. :)
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:iconmistressmissingno:
MistressMissingno Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014
No problem I have a blast making them
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:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much for the watch! I hope you like what you find. :huggle:

Also, is Coffee your dog? He or she is absolutely gorgeous! (I feel I should warn you now, get me started on animals and I'll turn into an "aww so cute" mess. ;))
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:iconshuriken95:
Shuriken95 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. :D

And yeah, Coffee was our dog, but we lost her a while back. She was a great inspiration for me though, so I wanted to keep her close by. :) We do have another dog called Archie though, and he's every bit as nutty as she was. :)


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:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. :heart:

Kisses to your Archie, though!
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:iconshuriken95:
Shuriken95 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconbloodshotink:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
Oh thank you for the watch! :tighthug:!
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