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Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.93 | 719 ratings

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4 stars Raw, unpolished diamond that drags you deep into the depths of anguish.

Opeth's first epic record 'My Arms, Your Hearse' offers us the heaviest of all Opeth records. Gone are the overly repetitive slow riffs from 'Morningrise' - the album opens with 'Prologue' to setup the dark mood and immediately after one minute as 'April Ethereal' drags us deep into the void. I would argue this is the first time we are introduced to the "Opeth riffing" style as the song progresses through many stages and going through extremely pressuring atmosphere. ?kerfeldt definitely had aimed to develop his screams here (and clean vocals as well, although they're now quite stellar here yet) and it shows. They are raw and have a nice raspy style of tone in them. The ending of 'April Ethereal' is one of Opeth's finest moment.

If you thought the previous song is heavy, it was Disneyland heavy compared to 'When' - after the intro clean guitar we are dragged to deepest hell as a magnificent riff starts to to drive the song forward while the growls push the mood to extreme. While the start of this song (and ending) are superb, the middle section is unfortunately not Opeth's best songwriting moment.

'Madrigal' serves as a cool opener for 'The Amen Corner'. 'The Amen Corner' is probably the heaviest song on the album and again it offers some superb moments and some not so great moments. My biggest gripe with this song is that it's mostly more of the same that was introduced in the first 2 epics.

'Demon of The Fall' requires no introduction. Opeth has made some outstanding songs in their long career, and this song remains in the top 5 along with 'Blackwater Park', 'Godhead's Lament' or 'Ghost of Perdition'. The songwriting is superb, the riffs are outstanding and the growls - the first time you hear the chorus you will most likely wet your pants. At the intro the growls are downtuned to increase the effect of 'the demonic voice'. Outstanding song, period.

Credence is a fantastic continuation for 'Demon of The Fall' as Mike gets to sing here the first time. I'm not aware if this song is ripped off from some other artist like 'Benighted' is from the next album - but this is a fantastic clean song with many changes and emotions.

Unfortunately 'Karma' has never kept my attention, as this song is much more the same as in 'Amen Corner' - the riffs aren't as good as in 'When' or 'April Ethereal' and simply fails to keep my full attention for the whole song.

The album is closed with 'Pink Floydish' epilogue, it's a nice tune that closes the story very well and the guitar harmonies are fantastic.

Conclusion: not a masterpiece in terms of songwriting and coherence, but it is still essential for anyone to venture to darker side of progressive metal. This album is followed of course by the masterpiece 'Still Life' that has many of the same elements as here, but executed better.

The production is decent, however the overall spectrum is very thick and sometimes it's hard to separate the instruments from the overly distorted guitar.

4+ stars (whatever that means).

RuntimeError | 4/5 |


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