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Opeth - Blackwater Park



9.3 | 3217 votes |
Release date: 12 March 2001
Style: Extreme progressive metal

Owners:

3755 have it
148 want it
8 trade it


01. The Leper Affinity
02. Bleak [feat. Steven Wilson]
03. Harvest
04. The Drapery Falls
05. Dirge For November
06. The Funeral Portrait
07. Patterns In The Ivy
08. Blackwater Park
09. The Leper Affinity [live] [Legacy edition bonus]

[Limited edition bonus CD]
01. Still Day Beneath The Sun
02. Patterns In The Ivy II

[Legacy Edition bonus DVD]
+ 5.0 Audio Mix Of The Original Album
+ The Making Of Blackwater Park

Top 20 albums of 2001: 1
Top 200 albums of all time: 4
Featured in "Getting Into: Opeth"

Line-up
Mikael Åkerfeldt - vocals, guitars
Peter Lindgren - guitars
Martin Lopez - drums
Martín Méndez - bass

Studio musicians
Steven John Wilson - vocals, guitars, pianos
Markus Lindberg - egg shakers

Additional info
Recorded at Fredman Studios from August to October 2000.
Produced by Mikael Åkerfeldt
Co-produced by Steven Wilson
Engineered by Fredrik Nordström & Steven Wilson.
Mixed by Steven Wilson and Fredrik Norström while overlooked by Opeth.
Mastered by Göran Finnberg at the Mastering Room.
Photos by Harry Välimäki.
Cover and booklet designed by Travis Smith and Opeth.

"The Leper Affinity [live]" recorded by Brent Carpenter & Pontus Norgren and mixed by Pontus Norgren.
The 5.0 mix on the DVD was done by Jens Borgen for Northern Music Company.
The documentary "The Making Of Blackwater Park" was recorded, directed and edited by Fredrik Odefjard.

Guest review by
Rupophobic
Rating:
10
Passion. That's what Blackwater Park is all about. Pure, unadulterated passion. Forget that Opeth display musical ability and know-how that is rivaled by few. Forget that the ending to The Leper Affinity goes from what can only be described as one of the greatest jam sessions ever, to a beautiful, yet melancholic pianistic epilogue. Forget that Harvest is one of the greatest acoustic songs ever written. Forget that Blackwater Park contains the perfect metal riff. Forget that Mikael Akerfeld quite possibly has the best voice in all of music. Forget that every moment of this album will make you stand in awe of what you're hearing. Why should you forget all that? Because none of it matters.

Read more ››
published 18.09.2003 | Comments (162)

Guest review by
Storchillarn
Rating:
9.9
There are few bands that dare to continuously expand their musical sphere with each release, expecting their fans to accept the changes - even fewer succeed. Mikael Åkerfeldt, song writer and front man of Opeth, has pushed Opeth to do so since the band's inception and perhaps it's this constant change, not giving the audience a chance to adjust to one particular niche, which keeps them from ending up like so many metal bands before them: repetitive and uninspired. 2001 was the year Opeth opened the floodgates of creativity and released what many believe to be their magnum opus, an album so hyped you might doubt its brilliance. I'm here to tell you not to doubt. This is Blackwater Park.

Read more ››
published 19.06.2010 | Comments (15)

Staff review by
ScreamingSteelUS
Rating:
2.0
This charade has gone on long enough. It's time someone gave this crappy album an honest assessment.

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published 01.04.2018 | Comments (42)

It's hard to believe that human civilization peaked on March 12, 2001, but we of Metal Storm are well aware of the fact that Opeth's Blackwater Park is the single most important and amazing work of art ever to grace our unworthy human senses - and today this pillar of sonic achievement turns 20 years old.

Now, iconic reviews aside, I don't actually believe that Blackwater Park is the greatest album ever released - in fact, it's not even my favorite Opeth album - but there's no denying that it is a milestone in its genre, easily one of the definitive recordings of progressive metal. It ranks among the most significant and influential works in its sphere, standing tall even within Opeth's discography; with a career practically founded on the production of successive magna opera, Opeth will likely never have a single, incontrovertible outlier to be crowned their best, but Blackwater Park does have something like a mythology surrounding it. Maybe you don't have to treat it like the apex of heavy metal, but it's still a damn good progressive death metal record that we can all enjoy, and what more reason do you need to give it a spin?

ScreamingSteelUS's picks | More picks ››

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Comments page 8 / 8

Comments: 236   Visited by: 4728 users
04.08.2021 - 12:18
Zap
Guest
I've always been really impressed by how well produced this album is. So many little details, some obvious, some hidden. After about 13 years of listening to Opeth I can still find new things. Recently I have been looking for isolated tracks on YouTube for various bands to figure out guitar and bass parts to some songs. I came accross this vocal (and lead guitar) track of The Funeral Portrait, which turns out was pretty much the only way anyone was able to figure out those hidden lyrics in the part at the end with clean vocals (7:02). I just think it's neat how those details aren't immediately noticeable but when you hear them isolated it is instantly recognizable and you realise what an impact something small like that can have on the overall listening experience. I hope someone else finds this interesting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNPsrpGQ8nA&t=422s
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05.08.2021 - 13:47
Rating: 9
X-Ray Rod
Skandino
Written by Zap on 04.08.2021 at 12:18
The Funeral Portrait - Bricks were shat

YOOOOOOOOOO This is incredible! Thanks a lot for sharing this. That ending puzzled me since the very first time I listened to it haha. Feels like I can finally have a good night's sleep. The best thing is that after you check that video... You can totally hear the lyrics once you listen to the song again.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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05.08.2021 - 14:43
Zap
Guest
Written by X-Ray Rod on 05.08.2021 at 13:47

Written by Zap on 04.08.2021 at 12:18
The Funeral Portrait - Bricks were shat

YOOOOOOOOOO This is incredible! Thanks a lot for sharing this.

That was my first thought as well! Glad you got the same kick out of this as I did. And yes, afterwards you can finally listen to the song and make out those lyrics, haha. It's these little details that can add so much and turn a great production job into something incredible.

As a bonus, check out the vocal only track for Ghost Of Perdition. It's hilarious to hear Mikael intensely scream about ghosts with none of the accompanying music...
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25.11.2021 - 22:05
Rating: 9
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
While listening to Still Life, the opening riff of "Leper Affinity" suddenly appeared in my head. I decided to revisit Blackwater Park.... and I've got to say that I've massively changed my opinion on it. Originally I had commented here that I prefered Edge Of Sanity and didn't find this album anything special.

Well, after listening to some of Opeth's other albums, I must say that this one is by far their best. And yes, it is extraordinary compared to not only the rest of the band's discography, but also compared to other extreme metal bands. (It's not necessarily better than Edge Of Sanity, but it's still really good!)

The mixture of heavy, groovy, and catchy riffs with melancholy acoustic guitar or piano playing thrown in - all accompanied by a great vocalist who can do raspy screams, death growls, and clean vocals that are as sweet as honey... it's fantastic!

When I listened to these songs again, I instantly recognized all of the main riffs again and it hit me that I actually really like this album
So, I'm giving this album a well deserved 9 rating. It's among the best metal releases ever. I don't think it should be as high as 5th place , but it definitely should be treasured as a phenomenal work of art
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02.12.2021 - 23:47
Rating: 6
Alucard63

Opeth...I'm supposed to be THE target audience for this band, progressive death metal, exactly my kind of music...

Still I tried, again and again, and I can't get into it...

It's not bad, but, to me, it looks more like a collection of random (good) riffs than a really coherent artistic work...

Sorry for the lovers but it doesn't work on me...no matter the album...
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03.12.2021 - 03:32
Alakazam
spendin' cheese
The hate this album receives makes me like it more. I don't find it envious at all when haters struggle looking for its flaws.

I was someone who never clicked with it for years aside from sections initially yet contrastingly understood Still Life completely as it was my intro to them. Blackwater is a refined formula of that album, akin to what Anthems was to Nightside. I never seriously was intertwined deeply with Opeth's better catalog which in the long-term has turned out only positive and upwards.
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I may not have the largest collection but I certainly have the absolute best

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03.12.2021 - 19:50
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Somehow I don't think I've ever listened to this album.
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14:22 - Marcel Hubregtse
I do your mum
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03.12.2021 - 19:56
Rating: 8
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by Boxcar Willy on 03.12.2021 at 19:50

Somehow I don't think I've ever listened to this album.

Well it's a very popular album, so your certainly in the minority, not that it's a bad thing though. It's an album that's never really clicked with me as much as I hoped it would.
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16.12.2021 - 10:35
Rating: 10
mz

10ed this and still life, given how important they are for my musical journey and how much I still enjoy them after all these many years and the massive change in my musical taste since the first time I listened to them.
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Giving my ears a rest from music.
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15.04.2022 - 21:58
Rating: 10
Jeanne

20/10
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15.05.2022 - 21:07
Rating: 10
Jack_Torrance

Any number above 10/10
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17.07.2022 - 16:31
Rating: 9
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
So, I don't know any music theory, but maybe someone who knows theory can tell me if I'm onto something:

I've noticed in countless albums that during an instrumental part (not the chorus) a certain riff repeats exactly 4 times before the song moves on to the next "theme". This seems to be a common thing to do in metal songs, but I was reminded of it when listening closely to this album.

For example, in "The Drapery Falls" the intro riff/melody repeats 4 times, before a new riff is introduced. And later even the part where he says "pull me down again and guide me into - aaaahhhaaahh", he repeats "aahhaah" exactly 4 times before moving on.

It's a pretty reliable pattern that I've found, although I can't blame bands for using this - somehow the 4-time-repitition makes for a satisfying sound. I wonder who started this. Does anyone know about this?
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12.10.2022 - 20:46
Rating: 10
Bjamm

I find myself listening to the trio Harvest, The Drapery Falls, and Dirge For November more frequently than the other songs of the album. I never found the latter boring at all. The Drapery Falls is perhaps my favorite track of their whole discography; just when you think it cannot get any better, it "pours a caress on your shoulder'' and then the madness begins...
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02.12.2022 - 20:56
Brutalmen36

Why people love this album so is beyond me to understand!! I tried to lisen to it couple off times but i cant stand it! My life its facked up at the moment so ganna give it one more try! Im on nr 4 song. Fack this and fack Putin!!
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02.12.2022 - 21:12
Brutalmen36

This album can lik my asbestes ass!!
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11.02.2023 - 21:52
Rating: 8
Growing

Vocals: perfect
Instrumental performance: perfect
Production and atmosphere: perfect
Songwritting: less than good
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23.04.2023 - 15:08
Rating: 9
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
How much of the clean vocals are Mikael Akerfeldt and how much are Steven Wilson?
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23.04.2023 - 15:26
JoHn Doe

Written by F3ynman2000 on 23.04.2023 at 15:08

How much of the clean vocals are Mikael Akerfeldt and how much are Steven Wilson?


I think Wilson just did some backing vocals here and guest vocals on Bleak.
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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24.04.2023 - 08:55
Zap
Guest
Written by F3ynman2000 on 23.04.2023 at 15:08

How much of the clean vocals are Mikael Akerfeldt and how much are Steven Wilson?

Aside from Bleak, most of the clean vocals that you hear in the foreground are Mikael. Steven does some backing vocals on other tracks, but it's never as prominent as on Bleak.
The songs where he contributed any type of vocals are Bleak, Harvest, The Drapery Falls and The Funeral Portrait.

Edit:
If you want percentages...
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24.04.2023 - 09:23
Rating: 9
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
Written by Zap on 24.04.2023 at 08:55


If you want percentages...

Thanks! That's a really cool overview!
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30.09.2023 - 04:24
Rating: 7
24emd
Theory Snob
Written by F3ynman2000 on 17.07.2022 at 16:31

So, I don't know any music theory, but maybe someone who knows theory can tell me if I'm onto something:

I've noticed in countless albums that during an instrumental part (not the chorus) a certain riff repeats exactly 4 times before the song moves on to the next "theme". This seems to be a common thing to do in metal songs, but I was reminded of it when listening closely to this album.

For example, in "The Drapery Falls" the intro riff/melody repeats 4 times, before a new riff is introduced. And later even the part where he says "pull me down again and guide me into - aaaahhhaaahh", he repeats "aahhaah" exactly 4 times before moving on.

It's a pretty reliable pattern that I've found, although I can't blame bands for using this - somehow the 4-time-repitition makes for a satisfying sound. I wonder who started this. Does anyone know about this?

I know you said this ages ago so you might've figured this out since then, but since nobody replied, I'll do my best.

This doesn't align as much with musical theory, but the way the mind perceives the music, with what is comfortable and expected to the ears. Usually 4 or 8 repeats of a riff or chord progression feel about right, usually an unspoken rhythm rule, as the same does not apply to melodies because they have the freedom to not stick to a pattern. I find that 4 repeats of an instrumental riff gives it just enough time to stir without being under or overdeveloped. 8 works better when underneath a verse or chorus.

It's a similar principle to playing a B in the key of C, because B is the major seventh in Cmajor, and therefore the final note in the scale before it repeats itself, the mind automatically wants it to resolve back to C. Even if you don't know a lot about musical theory, you would've heard this before, usually in the way most people know what chord they want a song to end on, aka resolve to.

In the end I wouldn't say someone started it. Overall it's just what seems natural when listening/writing music. Though styles of 1900s art music tried to break away from 'tropes' like this, if I'm not mistaken Schoenberg did a lot of this (Serialism).
----
"I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense." - Proverbs 30:2
"Music? Well, it's just entertainment, folks!" - Devin Townsend

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30.09.2023 - 07:19
Rating: 9
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
Written by 24emd on 30.09.2023 at 04:24

Written by F3ynman2000 on 17.07.2022 at 16:31

...

I know you said this ages ago so you might've figured this out since then, but since nobody replied, I'll do my best.

This doesn't align as much with musical theory, but the way the mind perceives the music, with what is comfortable and expected to the ears. Usually 4 or 8 repeats of a riff or chord progression feel about right, usually an unspoken rhythm rule, as the same does not apply to melodies because they have the freedom to not stick to a pattern. I find that 4 repeats of an instrumental riff gives it just enough time to stir without being under or overdeveloped. 8 works better when underneath a verse or chorus.

It's a similar principle to playing a B in the key of C, because B is the major seventh in Cmajor, and therefore the final note in the scale before it repeats itself, the mind automatically wants it to resolve back to C. Even if you don't know a lot about musical theory, you would've heard this before, usually in the way most people know what chord they want a song to end on, aka resolve to.

In the end I wouldn't say someone started it. Overall it's just what seems natural when listening/writing music. Though styles of 1900s art music tried to break away from 'tropes' like this, if I'm not mistaken Schoenberg did a lot of this (Serialism).

Yo! Thanks a lot for the explanation! I hadn't really researched further even though I kept noticing it in songs. I didn't know if I was supposed to conclude that pairs of things are satisfying, so pairs of pairs (4) of repetitions would be ultra-satisfying(?). So your explanation of 4 and 8 repetitions was really good to read.

That B and C stuff is still foreign to me. Like I said, I'm a total noob at music theory... which reminds me of a really relevant (and relatable) meme:
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30.09.2023 - 09:02
Rating: 7
24emd
Theory Snob
Written by F3ynman2000 on 30.09.2023 at 07:19

...

I'd say keep a lookout for another commonly used riff pattern which can be found in virtually every genre - 4 repeats, but a variation on the 3rd (AABA) which gives the music a statement, development, climax and resolution in just a small amount of time.

It was these types of things that my music professor spent ages reiterating to me and fellow students, so I'm glad it's paying off
----
"I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense." - Proverbs 30:2
"Music? Well, it's just entertainment, folks!" - Devin Townsend

Best 2024 Albums
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30.09.2023 - 17:34
Rating: 9
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
Written by 24emd on 30.09.2023 at 09:02

Written by F3ynman2000 on 30.09.2023 at 07:19

...

I'd say keep a lookout for another commonly used riff pattern which can be found in virtually every genre - 4 repeats, but a variation on the 3rd (AABA) which gives the music a statement, development, climax and resolution in just a small amount of time.

It was these types of things that my music professor spent ages reiterating to me and fellow students, so I'm glad it's paying off

Sounds interesting. Thanks!
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31.10.2023 - 08:13
Adolf_Sax
Account deleted
"Extreme" Metal for people who collect Nintendo games.
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26.01.2024 - 18:23
Rating: 10
Mastodon74

This album has left its mark on me for the better. From "The Leper affinity" I knew it would be one of my favorite metal albums forever.
A great work within an unparalleled atmosphere.
I'm not going to sell the product to anyone, it's enough for me to like it.
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