Opeth - Pale Communion review




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Reviewer:
8.7

778 users:
7.59
Band: Opeth
Album: Pale Communion
Release date: August 2014


01. Eternal Rains Will Come
02. Cusp Of Eternity
03. Moon Above, Sun Below
04. Elysian Woes
05. Goblin
06. River
07. Voice Of Treason
08. Faith In Others
09. Solitude [Black Sabbath cover] [live] [special edition bonus]
10. Var Kommer Barnen In [Hansson De Wolfe United cover] [live] [special edition bonus]
11. Atonement [live] [Japanese bonus]
12. Demon Of The Fall [live] [Japanese bonus]


My favorite band is Opeth; I was on the bandwagon around the days of My Arms, Your Hearse and have never jumped off. When it comes to an album like Pale Communion there is an important question I've had to ask myself: do I like Opeth because they're a metal band or do I like Opeth because of the way they play their music? Is it the heavy death metal growls that make them so great or the overall vibe they create with their experimentation? In the end, I find it is the latter that is true for me in both cases.

Heritage was the ultimate experiment, taking a band that was always sitting at the outer limits of metal and completely jumping out of the pot in one dramatic movement. Opeth is now a straight-up prog band and that is that. Pale Communion is a spiritual follow-up to Heritage, learning from the mistakes of its predecessor and trying hard to bring back some of the classic Opeth sound (while still keeping those pesky metal elements out). What has always made Opeth abnormal in the world of metal is that it is often their softer, more subtle moments that keep fans coming back for more and that remains true with Pale Communion. The acoustic guitar sound during the breakdowns in "Moon Above, Sun Below" are delicious and "Elysian Woes" is a stoner's dream track. The production on Pale Communion may be the best of any album Opeth has released so far and seems tailored to fans of Mastodon's Once More 'Round The Sun than to anyone into extreme metal.

= In Short = If you're a fan of metal and don't yearn for a return to the classic '70s acoustic sound then Pale Communion doesn't have much to offer you. If you're a huge prog fan and are always looking for that next album that pushes the genre forward then you may not find much to enjoy here either. Pale Communion has a few catchy moments, especially early on, but it mostly succeeds in its quieter moments and the open jam session feel to most songs. I don't play Pale Communion nearly as much as I have past Opeth albums but when I do take the time to sit down and listen I'm never disappointed.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 10

Written by WayTooManyCDs | 31.05.2016


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
R'Vannith
Rating:
N/A
Opeth have softened their sound. This is old news, and this is also an old sound. Pale Communion is their sophomore in a retrograde and vintage style of progressive rock, yet it remains poised with their distinctive craftsmanship. The question arises as to whether this record builds upon the band's efforts in Heritage. It does.

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published 20.08.2014 | Comments (61)


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 118 users
31.05.2016 - 19:44
SlaytanicBacon
I didn't like heritage too much so I got put off listening to this until just recently.
As much as I'd thought id dislike the softer sound Opeth have gone for, I agree with your review here.

I thought I was going to be disappointed since I loved the heavier side of Opeth, but there is some really good prog going on here and actually really enjoyed it.
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02.06.2016 - 01:11
Jaeryd
Nihil's Maw
Definitely not even close to their best album, but it's still pretty good. As much as I like old Opeth better, I still like new Opeth a fair amount.
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02.06.2016 - 14:40
Sturmulus
I love your review and agree. I love Opeth and miss their heavier side, but I love prog rock and they do not disappoint.
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05.06.2016 - 11:59
Metal Ninja
I was not looking forward to this release at all after buying the "Heritage" album, a album that I could not fully get into at all apart from two songs. But alas I bought the "Pale Communion" record when it came out and thought to myself "c'mon give them another chance" so I played it and on first listening impressions was liking most of the album! Slowly & strangely I started to understand the previous album(Heritage) so much more and liked it so much more too from then on!
I do think Pale Communion is a wonderful flowing album from start to finish , when hearing it makes me feel like I am taking a trip back to the 70/80s & the type of records that were forced upon me when growing up with my parents.
Thanks to "Pale Communion" I understood and finally appreciated the songs and music that appeared on "Heritage", so I am kinda happy they did not quickly resort back to do a prog death metal style album & instead stood their ground & did a continuation of the "Heritage" release!
I'm a huge fan since the early years of the deathly harsh Opeth style but sometimes its nice to have a little stroll in a different musical direction once in a while to test your own musical abilities.
But like so many of their own fans I do hope & wish that they take a return trip to their roots and bring some of the harshness back on a future album release, fingers crossed!
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06.06.2016 - 09:33
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Metal Ninja on 05.06.2016 at 11:59

Thanks to "Pale Communion" I understood and finally appreciated the songs and music that appeared on "Heritage"

I don't think that the release of "Pale Communion" made "Heritage" better. It still isn't too good in my opinion. The way I see it is that Opeth, having abandoned their metal sound, didn't feel completely comfortable with their new direction on "Heritage". That's why quite a few songs there are dodgy to say the least.
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10.06.2016 - 05:38
Metal Ninja
Written by Daniell on 06.06.2016 at 09:33

Written by Metal Ninja on 05.06.2016 at 11:59

Thanks to "Pale Communion" I understood and finally appreciated the songs and music that appeared on "Heritage"

I don't think that the release of "Pale Communion" made "Heritage" better. It still isn't too good in my opinion. The way I see it is that Opeth, having abandoned their metal sound, didn't feel completely comfortable with their new direction on "Heritage". That's why quite a few songs there are dodgy to say the least.


I was just saying "in my own opinion" that I appreciated the songs a little more on "Heritage" after hearing the "Pale Communion" album, it obviously differs with other fans and listeners opinions. Heritage is still my least likeable release by Opeth.
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