trip to London for the 2nd day in a row to see a band that I’ve
been a fan of for quite a few years now, but never had the chance
to see them.
With a superb new album to promote, The Ghost Reveries…I
knew OPETH were going to be the only band in
town tonight to bring the city Of London down…
are one of the only bands that can take their own version on Death
Metal, Progressive Rock and Acoustic Rock, combine it to make
it work, and over the last 10 or so years, have really captured
a strong underground following.
Covering a career of some 5 or 6 albums now, and with a monumental
new album on their new label, one of the top labels for heavy
metal at the moment Roadrunner Records, OPETH
are ready to reach the levels of exposure they have been threatening
for years…no, ‘deserving’ for years.
It’s sad how some forums and people have slated OPETH
for signing to Roadrunner, saying that the label would insist
on changing the bands sounds, etc… My response is…
AS IF MIKE AKERFELOT WOULD ALLOW THAT!?!?!? Enough said…
we were late due to leaving work late and having to travel the
200 or so miles to get to gig, thus missing EXTOL…
who I’m assured were ‘ok… if you like that sort
of thing’ by a punter I asked.
lights went down…the roar went up…the band took the
stage… I just thought “Oh yes…here we go!”
With a brilliant
piece of metal arrogance, the brilliant Swedes kicked off the
show with the superbly epic Deliverance. A fantastic
song that really set the stage for tonight’s events and
for what OPETH are all about. Diversity, progression
and a good old-fashioned headbanging riff!
Bain Of The Hounds is up next from the new album, a stunning
prog journey through landscapes initially forged by bands like
Tool and King Crimson, both who’s influence on the new album
is very apparent. After the opening salvo, Mike graces us with
some amusing crowd banter including such classics as: “Hey
guys, you all drunk yet?” The crowd appropriately responds
with shouts and roars… “Ahhh…well, I’m
just tripping off some heroin, as ALL rock stars do…”
is his response. Great piece of deadpan wit from Mike, made me
and my fellow travellers laugh…some people didn’t
get it… Then again…some people don’t get OPETH…
think 90% of the crowd understood.
Next on the
set list: Harking back to 1996-ish from the My
Arms, Your Hearse album, OPETH
dug out the classic When. I was most surprised to hear them announce
this and it was even more of a surprise how I had forgotten this
album a little. It all soon came back after the 3rd bar of the
riff! Headbanging ahoy!!!
ballad tracks from the Damnation album
allowed me time to go to the bar and recover from the opening
25 minutes of continuous moshing. (Yes! 3 songs taking literally
25 minutes…that’s a real headbanging work out I’ll
have you know!) The diversity of OPETH is what
makes them so vital to music in general, how they transcend so
many guitar-based genres in one foul metal swoop. Great tunes
and it perfectly set up the mood as the majestic opening lines
of “Please remedy my confusion…” weeped from
the house PA system. Yes…a kick-ass tune in the form of
The Drapery Falls, sweeping and winding its way through
crystal clean sound (well done that soundman!) into the minds
of the assembled throng.
fave moment of came next with The Face Of Melinda, it
was a little heavy on the phaser effects they had on their guitars,
but no denying what a great and moving tune this song is. Had
me singing along for a start!
A couple more tracks from the new album graced us next, sharply
delivered and stunningly executed led us to the end of the show…
People started to leave, to catch trains, to catch buses, to meet
loved ones… We had none of this business to attend to, so
the stage for some 10 minutes, the band came back on to rapturous
applause and promptly silenced the crowd as Mike spoke his soft
Brilliantly done, how to calm a crowd…Speak softly…none
of this ‘speaking in my death metal voice ALL the time in
between songs’ malarkey that I suffered the previous day
at the Harvest Festival… though amusing, it got tired REAL
quick. Blackwater Park was the encore… I won’t
write about it as I’ll save that for myself and my memories.
Magical, mystical, splendid, divine and generally damn good! Best
live band I’ve seen since Meshuggah last year…