Opeth - _Deliverance_
(Music for Nations, 2002)
by: Quentin Kalis (10 out of 10)
The best sign that Opeth is a unique entity is the fact that anyone who appreciates their music will cite a different CD as their favourite. Fans of say, Emperor or My Dying Bride usually near unanimously claim that _Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk_ or _Turn Loose the Swans_ as their finest moment – sometimes with a dissenting few claiming that another album, such _In the Nightside Eclipse_ as their best work. A few special bands such as Darkthrone might even have three albums competing for the title of their best work. But there is no consensus on what constitutes Opeth's finest work and for me, that is the most telling indication of the unique nature and consistently high quality of Opeth's music. All the familiar Opethian elements such as the complex progressive rock melodies and the sublime interplay between mellow and heavy sections are present. As they have done with their later releases, some sections are repeated, though this hardly detracts from their uniqueness and the songs have yet to follow conventional song writing structures. The album is split halfway through by an amazing instrumental, showcasing an awesome progressive melody; it seems a shame to waste this on what is really little more than an intermezzo. The delivery of the vocals at the beginning of the final tracks sound as if they would be better suited to some lame Cradle of Filth black metal band, rather than a band of Opeth's calibre. But I'm grasping at straws here; this is actually such a minor quibble it is barely worth mentioning. _Deliverance_ is an undisputedly excellent album and an improvement upon _Blackwater Park_, which can hardly be considered a shabby album. If this album is not deserving of 10 out of 10 then no album is.

[Pedro Azevedo: "_Deliverance_ shows a more death metal oriented Opeth than its more atmospheric predecessor, the excellent _Blackwater Park_. Overall slightly less accomplished as an album, _Deliverance_ nonetheless presents the listener with another fine collection of songs, and includes several superb moments as one would expect from this band. As part of Opeth's daring double release plan -- one metal, one acoustic --, _Deliverance_ provides a good metallic half, though overall it is not Opeth's best album to date."]

(article published 31/5/2003)

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