The Roundhouse Tapes: Opeth Live review by Opeth

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  • Released: Oct 23, 2007
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (39 votes)
Opeth: The Roundhouse Tapes: Opeth Live

Sound — 10
At the pinnacle of their immense run of touring, Opeth played a few shows in the UK that contained material spanning the bands entire career, from 1995's 'Orchid' to 'Ghost Reveries', released ten years on. The date chosen for this live recording was the Camden Roundhouse show in London, on November 9th 2006. The setlist is certainly a crowd pleasing one. Their previous live release, 'Lamentations' focused entirely on the 'Damnation', 'Deliverance' and 'Blackwater Park' albums, however this time, save 'Deliverance' there is at least a track from every Opeth album to date. The announcement of this release got a lot of people excited as it's a chance to hear some much older Opeth material with the added texture of keyboardist Per Wiberg. I must say, he adds a lot to tracks like 'Under The Weeping Moon' and 'The Night And The Silent' with atmosphere that was sometimes missing from those first two records. Aside from that, everybody is on top form, not a mistake made all night. New drummer Martin 'Axe' Axenrot has had a lot to prove after the departure of the greatly loved Martin Lopez, however his critics will be silenced after his first recorded release with Opeth. He performs every part perfectly and I expect that his contribution to new material will be just as strong as his contribution to their live show. As this is a live album, it will be mostly Opeth fans that purchase it so the quality of the music itself is not really worth discussing but the setlist features some of the bands best songs, including 'When', 'Bleak', 'Face Of Melinda' and of course the classic 'Demon Of The Fall'. The recording quality is top notch and the only minor complaint I have with the recording is the guitar tone on a couple of tracks, but of course that's more personal preference than anything and it certainly shouldn't stop anyone from giving this a listen.

Lyrics — 8
I feel that Opeth's lyrics have improved over time and so the quality of the lyrics on 'The Roundhouse Tapes' vary. Of course the lyrics are generally good but there are certainly some tracks with more professional and meaningful lyrics than others. Hell, Mikael kerfeldt himself said the lyrics to 'Under The Weeping Moon' were a load of black metal nonsense. Anyway, there's nothing new to talk about lyrically, but Opeth's lyrics are generally poetic, well written and will always accompany the mood of the music well.

Overall Impression — 9
Live albums aren't normally all that important to a band's fans (with exceptions being bands like Iron Maiden who are famous for their live show) but 'The Roundhouse Tapes' is certainly a very good release. I suppose it could be considered a good introduction to Opeth as the album covers all of their sounds over the years and the high quality of the recording doesn't take away anything from the excellently engineered studio albums. However, most people that do buy this will be existing Opeth fans and while it is certainly interesting to listen to and hard to fault, the coming release of the show on DVD will put a lot of people off buying this, instead opting for the DVD. I can't blame them, and I'd certainly recommend purchasing their studio works first but this is a quality live album and worth a purchase from any big Opeth fan.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Wow, sounds good. But, I am probably buying the DVD, I need to see Axenrot in action.
    Very good review! I don't think I'll get this though, Id rather get the rest of their LP's that I don't have and get the DVD when it comes out.
    This is a great album, but one of the things I find really annoying is the crowd noise... I think it's fair enough to keep it on the recording to keep the live atmosphere intact for the release, but there are so many times, especially during the quiet sections of the songs, that the audience not shutting the **** up just ruins it for me.
    I will eventualy buy the DVD,but for right now the cd's are fine. I just wish I had known it was going to be released on DVD when I bought the cd's,I'm an Opeth completist so I guess it dosen't matter.
    ReiDSaN wrote: "Jazzy emotional snare fills" ? I think you're going to have to explain what one of those is.
    You know, the short snare-drum rythms played between the different parts of a song. Lopez played these very jazzy and emotionally whilst Axe just plainly drumrolls. It's just not the same haha...
    "Jazzy emotional snare fills" ? I think you're going to have to explain what one of those is.
    =- WOW! Mikael's vocals are amazingly brutal on this live CD! BUT! I'm sorry but Axenrot just doesn't fill Lopez's shoes... On many occasions Axenrot replaced Lopez's jazzy emotional snare fills with just plain drumrolls. I was quite dissapointed not to find the song "Deliverance" on this live album but oh well. But at the end of the day: Akerfeldt is God. Between each song he just puts his comical genius hat on. Hahaha I'm also thinking of the 5-minute psychadelic classic rock "porn music" interlude after "Blackwater Park"... absolutely hilarious and actually quite a success at this music style! Any questions for those hesitating? =-
    I'll buy this album and the DVD too. It's a must for a true Opeth fan and collector!
    ..NEM.. wrote: Probably will buy their DVD instead. But the artwork is so orgasmic...
    Ha It is orgasmic. Opeth Owns. Buying This for sure.
    ill probably buy both anyway. you can listen to a live dvd in you car...i bet that dvd will be awesome thou
    "Symphonic Black Metal, Scandinavian Metal, Progressive Metal, Heavy Metal, Goth Metal", all metal in end....
    ever dying wrote: OPETH! Guys, just buy the album and the DVD.. Just for having em both
    Yep, will probably end up with both the DVD and album.
    I agree with CarbonDeath. I love Opeth, but I don't really see the point of buying a live album if I can buy the DVD.
    I'm going to be getting bothe the cd and the dvd. Their music is some of the best I have ever heard.
    Can't wait that it gets out here on Europe..! And now everybody who has criticized Axe's drumming can shut his or her ****ing mouth. Perfect job from him.
    they are definitely not black metal. Their earlier releases had influence of black metal and some parts may have been but thank God their sound has changed. And i'm going to agree with SilentGhost, I'm a huge Opeth fan but I'm going to get the DVD instead of the cd
    I would never classify Opeth as black metal... just very dark (rather than just brutal) and diverse death metal, hence the tag progressive metal. Anyway, screw genres, this album rules Great variety of Opeth songs from their whole career
    Probably will buy their DVD instead. But the artwork is so orgasmic...
    I think that the version og "the night and the silent water" fra this album is better than the studio version.