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Released: Nov 12, 2002
Styles: Symphonic Black Metal, Scandinavian Metal, Progressive Metal, Heavy Metal, Death Metal/Black Metal
Number Of Tracks: 6
Deliverance offers no great departure by established standards, but rather continues exploring the possibilities of this very fruitful relationship.
<<< Frantic >>>, on february 10, 2005 6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is arguably Opeth's heaviest album yet. It is Opeth's sixth studio album and my personal favourite. Still Life has some very heavy moments, yet on Deliverance the music, even the heavy riffs, flow alot better in comparison to Still Life, where the riffs are very disjointed and singluar, Deliverance's riffs go from one to the other with a very smooth transition. When first playing Wreath, the opening track, a listener is left with very little doubt that Opeth mean business with this album. There is still, mellow sequences, and a very beautiful instrumental that is a little over two minutes long, For Absent Friends. But, as this is a dual release with their completely mellow album Damnation, Opeth have indulged the heavier nature of their music on Deliverance.
As with most Opeth albums, Deliverance only holds 6 tracks, one of them being the two minute instrumental, so the other five tracks are all 10 minutes plus to bring this album to a little over an hour in length. There is enough diversity in each song to keep the listener interested and excited. Deliverance is also, a very experimental album for Opeth. With a mix of '70s-esque use of Wah pedals, going from fully blown heavy riffage and then all of a sudden the song changes to a beautiful acoustic passage complete with vocal harmonies, effects on Akerfeldt's vocals, and even a weird medieval sounding piano type instrument, in the middle of perhaps the darkest song on the album.
Wreath is the opening track, and is the most consistently heavy song for Opeth, with only short interludes of bongo/conga drum mixed in with a few guitar notes to add atmosphere. The title track, Deliverance, is very heavy, yet has parts with very soft and gentle acoustic passages, with Akerfeldt's beautiful clean vocals and etheral lead guitar. The outro riff to Deliverance really MUST be heard, it is jawdroppingly awesome. A Fair Judgement, the 3rd song, is primarly a mellow track, with beautiful piano work, with a very heavy and cool sounding outro, and in the middle there is a sequence where Akerfeldt and Co. sound more like Simon and Garfunkel than a Swedish death metal band. For Absent Friends is a very short, technical and mellow instrumental. Master's Apprentice, the 5th song on Deliverance, is the powerhouse of the album. This is a song that will get the whole crowd headbanging in unison with the music. Yet, in true Opeth unpredictability, switches to a very gentle 3 minute passage of acoustic guitar with vocal harmonies, and thunders back into the 2nd lead solo. By The Pain I See In Others is the closing track for Deliverance, and it is a very heavy track. Akerfeldt's vocals have a weird effect on them in parts, almost like he's an evil spirit talking from very far away. Complete with a medieval organ interlude, it is certainly a track packed with variety.
It should be noted that this album contains some of Opeth's best solo's, that are truly dramatic and theatrical and just downright awe-inspiring. This album really shows off Opeth's incredible talent, as we are assaulted by every member of the bands area of expertise. Mikael Akerfeldt and Peter Lindgren work around and bounce off each other with their guitars, Martin Mendez' bass keeps up with the guitars every step of the way, even on some of the very complicated transition sequences. Martin Lopez' drumming is, of course, superb. Lopez has really tapped into his Spanish/Portugese heritage on both Deliverance and Damnation. His excellent percussion brings a Latin flavour to almost every song, Deliverance, unlike Opeth's previous albums, has Lopez using lots of different styles of percussion, including some bongo and conga work in interludes. The groups musicianship is stronger than ever, and it shows in Deliverance. // 10
Lyrics: Deliverance, unlike Damnation, is very much like Opeth's previous efforts lyrically. I do not mean that in a bad way, or even in a way that means all the lyrics are very similar to each other, quite the contrary. It is Akerfeldt's poetic and abstract writing that returns, however I feel Mikael's skill as a writer has grown considerably since earlier works. In the title track, Deliverance, the meaning of the lyrics are not entirely known until the last few lines, where we discover the devil possessing the character of the song. Master's Apprentice is evidence of the evolution that Akerfeldt has made as a writer, it holds the same poetic and abstract form, yet it is alot more direct and listeners can relate alot better to the lyrics. Opeth's lyrics now are alot better connected to each other, whereas before Akerfeldt's style meant alot of deep thinking was involved to gain any kind of meaning, as they didn't flow together as well. This is not a bad thing in my mind, it is just an observation of his growth as a lyricist. The lyrics on this album are very much about pain, feeling lost, alone, unsure, afraid and just down right evil. Excellent writing. // 10
Overall Impression: This album is excellent, and a must have for metal fans, although in reality the same could be said about all of Opeth's albums. This album may not be the most accessible of Opeth discography, Still Life and Blackwater Park seem to be the most accessible. Yet it is in this album that we see Opeth's progressive and unpredictable song writing take off and run wild. Being the dual release with Damnation that it is, Opeth did not automatically restrict themselves to making an entirely heavy album out of Deliverance and that is to be applauded. The mellow passages are essential to Opeth's formula and they have not forgotten that side of themselves. Use of effects (both vocal and guitar), am almost entirley piano song, aside from lead guitars of course and a heavy outro, weird medieval sounding organs and theatrical and dynamic guitar solo's all add to a very experimental album for Opeth, and it has paid off, it is fantastic. Any Opeth fan who doesn't have Deliverance, must get it. Any metal fan who is curious as to what Opeth are all about should look into this album, as it is very heavy yet gives good insight into the unpredictable nature that is the phenomenon of Opeth. // 10
jet black, on november 21, 2005 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: One of the most truly ingenious scandanaivian bands of today is unarguablly Opeth. The thrive in their unpredictable, melencholic atmospshere, sometimes thrashing, sometimes crying. The smooth integration of the two extremes highlighted by Opeth (agressive and passive or brutality and beauty) are what really show the skill and effort that went into this insanely technical and emoctional album. Opeth has mannaged rip up its previous albums' flaws and replace them with more brutatlity than showed before on any of those albums. // 10
Lyrics: One of Opeth's greatest signitures in their ability to move from a crushingly brutal passage into a emotionaly heart-wrenching passage. Opeth would not be complete without one or the other. The words themselves imprint themselves within your conciosness for hours after. These haunting lyrics are masterfully wrought into the music accompanying them. // 10
Overall Impression: This is without another name into a growing list of masterpieces by Opeth. Their songs haunt your mind, thrash through your soul, and tear at your heart. Not many other bands can even get close to a release as powerful as any Opeth has done. This record will never completely be deserted by those with any small idea of how rare a album like this is. Do not let this album be! Listen to it over and over again and more of the intricatly played song will display itself. You will never be unamazed. // 10
CarbonDeath, on august 28, 2007 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: This band is my favorite band on the planet, and I have yet to find a bad Opeth anything. They created this album along with the Damnation album at the same time, this one heavy, Damnation slow and steady. They seemed like they were going for a Blackwater Park or Still Life feel on this record. When I first opened it and listened, I was happy, lets leave it at that. // 9
Lyrics: Again, this is Mikael kerfeldt we are talking about here. This man is up on the list with the likes of Chuck Schulinder, Dave Mustaine, Isahn, and well god. The lyrics are as Opethy as usual, dark, deep, depressing, but yet beautiful. They match up so well with the music, he could be a poet, and rightfully is. The only problem that I have with the whole CD is this; Mikael's voice on The Pain I See In Others was too deathly scary for the clean guitars. It just made it too eerie and just didn't sound good. // 8
Overall Impression: This album ranks as my second lowest on the Opeth CD list. It is still worth buying by an Opeth fanatic or death metal fan, but did not have the overall deepness that usual Opeth CDs give out. It seems like they sort of stuck some songs together, which one is just amazing! The Master's Apprentices track is one of the most heavy songs I have ever heard. The clean break near the end just top it off. All I know, is that this was the last Opeth CD to go into my Opeth collection, but I don't know what lies in the future for Opeth. // 8
ARMAGEDDON_IT, on november 24, 2011 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: On the back of what many considered to be their greatest musical achievement, 2001's "Blackwater Park", Opeth returned a year later with the first half of what was originally conceived to be a double album, the other half subsequently released the following year as "Damnation".
Rarely, if ever, have Opeth sounded as tight as they do on "Deliverance", a credit not only to original member & songwriter Mikael Akerfeldt, but also the truly formidable rhythm section of drummer Martin Lopez & bassist Martin Mendez, both providing a formidable backbone for the guitars of Mikael Akerfeldt & Peter Lindgren. True to form, "Deliverance" is at times a long, if not exhaustive listen, especially to those unfamiliar with the band's output, featuring no less 5 songs stretching out past the 10 minute mark, two over 13 minutes. Lone instrumental piece "For Absent Friends" is the only track not reaching the 10 minute mark, acoustic guitars instead offering two minutes of respite before the band launches into the album's twin closing epics.
Album opener "Wreath" sets the pace for most of the album, Martin Lopez's signature drum rolls the most immediate start to any Opeth album before or since, giving way to some of the heaviest riffs of the bands career, the intensity never letting up once until nearly 8 minutes in to the song. Next in order of tracklisting is the epic title track, featuring the first real clean sections of the album so far, though still very much the second metal dominated song in a row. Martin Lopez's mastery of double-kick drumming is showcased throughout, none more than the song's pummeling, almost hypnotic outro, further enhanced by the appearance of a booming piano chord or two in the bass register during the climax, courtesy of returning producer & Porcupine Tree songwriter Steven Wilson. Wilson's influence can be felt throughout the album, much like on the previous year's "Blackwater Park", also produced by the Porcupine Tree frontman.
In the tradition of previous epics "Face Of Melinda" & "The Drapery Falls", from "Still Life" & "Blackwater Park" respectively, stunning third track "A Fair Judgement" showcases the entire range of the band's extensive musical palette, from the opening piano chords of producer & collaborator Steven Wilson to the trippy, almost jazzy leanings introduced by frontman Mikael Akerfeldt when the songs first vocals are heard, right through to the full-bore doom metal riffing that ends the song. Also of note is the song's stunning climax about midway through, when axemen Akerfeldt & Peter Lindgren launch into a heart wrenching dual guitar solo, surely the highlight of a stunning album so far.
Next, we have the aforementioned instrumental "For Absent Friends" (a homage to the Genesis song of the same name, perhaps?), which leads us into many a fan favourite, the multifaceted epic "Master's Apprentices". The first half of the song finds the band treading on Morbid Angel territory, and once again finds stickman Martin Lopez at his best, laying down a steady, if not speady double bass pattern to provide the perfect backdrop for the rest of the band. The song then takes a drastic left-turn as the band trade in the furious metal guitars & guttural death vocals for acoustic guitars and warm, achingly gorgeous melodies, before, in true Opeth style, doing a complete 180 before the song has run its course.
Last song on the album, the overly drawn out "By The Pain I See In Others", is a bit of a mixed bag, containing as many dull moments as it does highlights, and is slightly amateurish in it's arrangement for a band as consistently brilliant as Opeth. Nonetheless, despite being the weakest song on the album, it is by no means a bad track, and it does not affect the overall flow of the album.
Much like their previous efforts, "Deliverance" only reveals the true scope of it's artistic vision as the album goes along, demanding multiple listens to fully appreciate, and ultimately, it's many subtleties. // 8
Lyrics: Death and despair is presumably never far from Mikael Akerfeldt's mind come time to pen the lyrics for each of his albums, and "Deliverance" is no exception. In the title track, the presumably metaphorical act of drowning someone in the sea depicted me in the song's lyrics ("Face down beneath the waterline gazing down into the deep") conjures up an atmosphere as dark as the music itself.
The vocals themselves are superb throughout, every guttural growl and delicate melody delivered with conviction and sincerity, another career highlight for Akerfeldt.
Overall Impression: Despite being arguably the band's heaviest collective effort, "Deliverance" is all the while more subtle than it's predecessors, it's dark-to-light musical transitions executed with a technical precision only Opeth possess. It also showcases the Mendez-Lopez lineup at it's blistering best, something not to be taken lightly given their other consistently high-quality releases. // 8