Sound — 10
Opeth sounds nothing like other death metal bands. They're ridiculously melodic and have tons of contrast. I've never heard so much acoustic guitar on a metal album before, let alone on a death metal album. Peter Lindgren's guitar solos are amazing. While showing his obvious skill, he refrains from shredding, which to many people could be considered a treat. While I have nothing against shredding, Lindgren is quite modest in his playing, and refrains from overdoing his solos. They're still ridiculously melodic, don't worry.
Lyrics — 10
At first I was going to give the lyrics a rating of 4, but changed my mind and decided to give them a 5. While the Cookie Monster vocals may be very difficult for some people to get used to, and are often the only reason people dislike this band, they should be listened to with an opened mind. If you are open-minded enough to look past the harsh vocals, Opeth is sure to please you. Those of you lucky enough to be open-minded enough to listen long enough through the album will notice that not only does Mikael kerfeldt use clean vocals often, he uses them ridiculously well. The clean vocals on this album are superb. Opeth's lyrics are often very poetic and cryptic, a nice contrast to the common stereotype against death metal lyrics about things like raping dead babies.
Overall Impression — 10
I got this album three days ago and have been listening to it over and over. This is one of the best metal albums I've bought in a long time. There is so much contrast.