Opeth “Pale Communion” review

Let me start by saying that this album is not what I was expecting. Or was it?  What I mean is that I should have seen this coming with Heritage.  I absolutely love Opeth,  I mean they have put out some of the greatest metal albums in the history of metal.  Blackwater Park is in my top 5 metal releases of all time and Still Life is yet another masterpiece.  What makes this musical genius of a band turn away from the core sound that they mastered?  Boredom? I have no idea.  Creatively speaking, musicians go through changes, loose fans, gain fans, etc…I can’t say this is a bad album.  Because it’s not.  Just not what I wanted from Opeth, that’s all.  I have given Pale Communion many, many spins and yes there are songs that are very memorable.  Album flow is smooth and the music is really good.  I wish that Mikael would have considered putting Opeth on the back burner and let it simmer for a few years and taken this journey under a different moniker.  Vocally I enjoy Mikaels harder tones much more than his softer tone but once again he has hinted to this stylistic change for a long time.  Little did I know Damnation would be the root to this tree that has grown Heritage and Pale Communion.  Who knows? Maybe this album will grow on me.  The one thing I will admit is that I wanted the Akerfeldt growls so badly that I finally broke down and purchased Brave Murder Day from Katatonia.  I can’t believe that I had not purchased that album in the years past.  That album has given me the vocal style from Mikael that I had wanted to be on Pale Communion.  Overall, Pale Communion is a great album, just not the album my heart was desiring from the once untouchable Opeth.  You really need to listen to this album with an open mind and give it a chance.  You also need to realize that Opeth has gone far away from the original wastelands they once roamed and ruled. Opeth future is purely retro-prog and I can honestly say that it is also the end of a great chapter in big metal book of history.

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