Opeth Streaming New Album 'Pale Communion' Ahead of Release

Here's a hint - it's awesome.

Ultimate Guitar

Opeth decided to give their fans quite a treat by streaming their upcoming album "Pale Communion" in full ahead of August 25 release via Roadrunner.

Marking the group's 11th studio effort, the album sees Mikael Akerfeldt and co. heading down the same proggy path they ventured on with "Heritage." Described by the frontman as "more melodic" than previous records, "Pale Communion" was announced with two singles so far - "Cusp of Eternity" and "Eternal Rains Will Come."

In related news, Mikael recently discussed how musical freedom gets little respect from fans these days. "Integrity is important, but people can dismiss me talking about integrity and talking about doing what we want to do. People can dismiss that and say, 'What you're doing is s--t.' And people have their own taste," he told Invisible Oranges. More on that here.

In the concert domain, Opeth have announced a three-week North American trek with In Flames and Red Fang. Details here.

Back to the album, you can pre-order it on iTunes, or stream it over on Team Rock. Since the stream is limited to UK only, we've included a YouTube link below. Let us know what you think!

"Pale Communion" Track Listing:

1. Eternal Rains Will Come
2. Cusp of Eternity
3. Moon Above, Sun Below
4. Elysian Woes
5. Goblin
6. River7. Voice of Treason8. Faith in Others

UPDATE: The record was since globally streamed by Roadrunner via SoundCloud, give it a spin below.

63 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I promised I'm gonna wait until I'll get my physical copy and listen to it properly, at my living room with a nice, cold beer. This won't help me at all...
    I'm actually enjoying this a lot, but I've always been a big fan of prog. There were definitely a few moments on this album that I thought some death metal vocals would have been awesome, but I enjoy his clean singing well enough and the music is spectacular. Dat organ sound.
    I guess I am of a minority opinion here but I really dig this style and they play it well.
    Mr Winters
    I love Opeth's heavier stuff and I also like their new style. I don't care that it's not innovative, that's it's been done before or that other bands do it better. It's not a goddamn competition.
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this "new Opeth" that started with Heritage is a band that brings nothing new to the table, and it's creating a sound that other bands have been doing for years, and doing it better. For me, Opeth used to stand for something truly unique. A mix of extremely engaging death metal with insanely gorgeous and delicate passages? Hell yeah. Then they take it a step further with Damnation, which was an INCREDIBLE album. Now, it's run-of-the-mill prog with hints of eastern influences here and there. Big whoop. And the lack of Peter Lindgren, Martin Lopez and Per Wiberg in the band is massive. They might not have the technical prowess of the current members, but they had passion, and that's much more important to me. Peter's solos are much slower than Fredrik's, but they're much more interesting. Fredrik's tend to be fretboard wankery. And how I miss Martin Lopez's exotic touch on drums... Axe is a fantastic drummer, but he's more clinical and precise, while Lopez had an incredible groove. I'll just keep hoping that someday they return to the pre-Heritage sound, since these last 2 albums don't satisfy me musically at all.
    Agreed completely. Heritage was boring as hell. Pale Communion is a lot better, like, it's actually good and interesting for what it is, but still just nowhere near what they used to be. And before anyone makes the whole bullshit "you just miss the cookie monster growls! death metal sucks!" argument"... Absolutely not. I (along with many other Opeth fans) miss the variety. The fact that growling death metal style vocals was part of that variety is purely incidental. Opeth's style up through Watershed was amazing, and landed them countless fans, because it was constantly fresh and interesting. The range of sounds you'd hear in a single song was what made them great. I personally know dozens of people who can't stand death metal, and won't listen to anything else with growls, but they love Opeth because they brought the variety around the death metal. Now, with Heritage and this new album, the variety is gone. Sure, it's still good music. Well written, well performed. But all the songs are entirely in the same style, and there is a severe and undeniable lack of dynamics compared to their old style. THAT is what people like me, and so many others, are disappointed with. Also, on a personal note, I don't think Mikael's clean voice is actually all that great. It's kind of... plain, I guess. He sings well, hits the notes just fine, and writes good vocal melodies, but his voice is just.. dull. Very little dynamics. Like he should be part of a choir, or singing backup for a more dynamic lead singer. I loved his clean voice when it was used as a counterpoint to the death metal growls, again, because it was part of what made the music so dynamic. Entire albums of his clean voice all by itself, though? Doesn't do it for me.
    Mr Winters
    Why does everything have to be super unique and innovative?
    Everything doesn't have to be. It's just disappointing when a band that WAS unique and innovative ceases to be.
    I can't demand from an artist to have inspiration throughout his whole career.If you think the new material isn't unique and innovative that's because Akerfeldt doesn't have inspiration.He could still try to write death metal songs,but they would propably sound mediorce too.If anything,changing styles and spicing things up a bit is a good way to make inspiration strike again.
    The lack of uniqueness and innovation isn't the problem so much as it is that they changed their sound for the worse in many people's opinion
    The problem isn't that they aren't unique or innovative. The problem is that they aren't as good at what they're going for as the innovative/unique bands. Even Opeth at their best (which IMO was Watershed) is just less interesting than the likes of a band like Mastodon or Between the Buried and Me. Less exciting. Opeth broke boundaries in the 90's, but people caught up and surpassed them so thoroughly that Opeth has to re-establish dominance in order to matter anymore. In an age where Opeth has to live up to the standards set by bands like Mars Volta, BTBAM, Mastodon, etc, they're just obsolete. The reason why everyone looks forward to a Tool album is because they are the best at what they're going for. Opeth hasn't been the best at what they're going for since 2005. They'll never catch up at this rate so it seems to be a downward slope from here.
    Opeth less interesting than Mastodon and BTBAM? You're on your own there.
    I mean that's all up to opinion. I personally love Opeth and think they're very interesting, but I don't think they're as interesting as BTBAM myself.
    BTBAM is good for like a song or two for me until I have to put on something else. Opeth has more versatility imo.
    Yeah, Heritage bored me terribly. I've heard the same thing from tons of '70s Prog bands (and their copycats). It was disappointing to hear Opeth do that kind of thing. Pale Communion feels like less of that, but it still doesn't feel like Opeth. The lure of Opeth has always been that mixing of Death Metal with delicate/gorgeous lighter passages. While I can understand that the band may want to mix it up a bit, ditching it altogether feels like a disingenuous move to me.
    In the words of Brann Dailor: "I understand the stance, I feel that way towards some bands. Especially when an artists career is long. People gravitate to specific albums. But, being in a band you have a different take. You can't be too concerned with the outside world. If we appease the fans of our earlier albums and made a record that sound like them and the fans hated it, we'd be frauds. It wouldn't be rewarding for anyone."
    You had to find a quote from Brann because Mikael's quotes are all kind of douchey. Not saying he's a douche, but he hasn't really gotten across the point as effectively or convincingly as Brann did.
    Funny that you quoted a member of Mastodon -- a band that managed to evolve and develop their sound without throwing away the particularities that define them and that make them awesome.
    I agree. Though people may hate, I honestly thought Heritge was a one off thing for Mikael to get flush the 70s prog out of his system. But now I see that this has become their style. It's nothing new and I have to admit it bores me. Whatever happened to the melodic acoustic sections with complex guitar riffery and haunting growls?
    I like what I hear so far but I agree completely. I miss the truly heavy songs that only Opeth could deliver. Last time I saw them with Mastodon and Ghost last tour and I was very impressed. Bummer heritage was missing a big element.
    Who are you to say certain people played with more passion then others? Were you ****ing there? Also you should know by now that Mikael writes pretty much ALL of the music, INCLUDING most solos and lead parts, whether he plays them or not depends on whether he can pull them off while he sings. Like Peter's smooth solos? Guess what, Mikael wrote it. Dislike Fredrik's fretboard wankery? Guess what, Mikael wrote it too, it has nothing to with whether it was Peter or Fredrik, statistically speaking, so it's a moot point.
    Yeah sweet melodic harmonies and musical maturity is so hard to listen to these days.I much perfer having some inaudible screaming/growling garbage instead. NOT!! These guys should have gone in this direction 10 years ago. I was worried that Heritage was just an experiment and that they would return to their former style but after hearing this I am really thankful this guys FINALLY woke up for real. Bravo Opeth!
    I love it, it takes a few listens but it's an absolutey awesome album. I'm calling this for album of the year.
    Finally getting around to see these guys, looking forward to it. Digging the old school feel.
    I get the whole inspiration thing right, but for me I liked hearing them sound like Morbid Angel not Jethro Tull. Almost positive this album will grow on me in time, right now I'm struggling. Exceptional artistic merit, I just don't know if it's my taste. but like David Vincent said, something like "If you like our heavy shit, listen to our heavy albums. We don't want to repeat ourselves, what's the point?". Nothing but respect for Mike though, pure integrity. No one is ever gonna tell that man what music to play or make, and that is a very seldom thing in this world. I just fear Roadrunner will cut him loose if it all flops because they want Opeth to sound like Machinehead
    Honestly, WTF with the start of Eternal Rains? Terrible. Sounds like it was supposed to segue from something else. It just falls into the song out of nowhere. Not a good intro whatsoever.
    I thought Heritage was better. I know some people can find it slow or boring, but to me it was much more innovative for them than this new album. Heritage was daring you to face the new style and was a bold move for Opeth. Pale Communion is like a watered-down Heritage, with certain elements that I don't think they will be able to pull live (Choir vocals in Eternal Rains, string section in Faith In Others). Some people say that Heritage was disjointed, but none of its tracks was as disjointed as is Moon Above, Sun Below, it really irks me a lot because right when one of its parts starts getting good or interesting it changes into something unrelated. To make it short, Heritage was superior and more daring artistically, this is more straightforward (except for MASB).
    Really dig the album. Could somebody suggest some other bands that sound like this?
    Check out the prog classics. King Crimson, Yes, Rush (Rush is usually much more upbeat than this, but do it anyway. Because Rush).
    What others already said, plus Riverside, Camel, Deep Purple... Especially if you go back to '70s prog, you'll easily find a few bands doing this kind of music, but many times better. I highly recommend the album "10.000 Anos Depois Entre Vénus e Marte ", by José Cid . It's the best portuguese prog album, and it's a masterpiece. Miles and miles ahead of "Heritage" and "Pale Communion".
    Look, the fact that I can spin this album (and Heritage) several times at several occasions and enjoy it means it's good enough for me. It manages to give me an Opeth-y vibe I can't quite explain but feels like a misty morning. Anyway, so that's great and makes it Opeth for me. I think a lot of people need to quit placing all [i]their musical aspirations on other bands and write them out themselves. Also, I don't really understand those who say this is derivative of 70's bands or current bands doing this style better... There are nods and vibes and the like, but this also certainly has modern touches, more than anything I've got, it's like a fusion of old and new. I tried looking through what I've got, but didn't find much, so just recommend me some! Come on, calling you out, produce it.
    I'm a fan of older, heavier Opeth albums, but this is sooo beautiful...
    Here is a preview: -Decent prog riff, nice atmosphere, decent prog riff then GWAAR GWAAR GWAAR -stupid cookie monster death metal hero worship "vocals"-
    You're a moron. There were no death metal vocals of any kind on the last album, and also none on this album. Opeth abandoned that years ago. Also, anyone who refers to death metal vocals as "cookie monster" does not possess a valid opinion on death metal music. You don't like it. Coolbeans. Enjoy whatever you do enjoy. Making fun of it just because you don't understand it, especially in this kind of context, where you clearly don't even know what you're talking about, since you haven't even listened to the music in question, and you're bitching about growls that aren't there, is just stupid and pathetic. Get a life.
    A preview of your preview: "Why do we hate what we don't understand?"
    Translation of Anjohl's comment: "I have no idea what I'm talking about, so I'll make a really bad joke and hope that at least my mother laughs."
    Lol, you have no idea who Opeth are, do you? Way to make yourself look like a total ****ing moron on a public forum.
    Which would be funny if it were actually true for this album. I guess you haven't been paying attention to Opeth this past couple albums, and that's forgiveable. But you really are wrong about this one.