Sound — 10
The sound, on it's own, is a unique blend of all of Opeth's great predecessors, Blackwater Park, Ghost Reveries, Still Life, and Deliverance. With the bland of the eerie, Watershed manages to convince the listner that Opeth has not forgotten it's ways, despite the success of Ghost of Reveries. From the misleading intro, Coil, to the beautiful finale in Hex Omega, Opeth proves once again they are the best metal band going today. 01. Coil - a beautiful acoustic introduction with vocal performances by a Swedish singer and Mikael Akerfeldt. Coil contains a beautiful chorus and does what it's suppose to introduce Watershed 02. Heir Apparent - perhaps the heaviest Opeth song written thus far. With the combination of keyboards, frantic guitar works, and manic growls from Akerfeldt, Heir Apparent manages to take the throne as one of the best songs Opeth has ever written. Truely a wonderful highlight of album. 03. The Lotus Eater - Akerfeldt was reported in saying that this was his favorite song of the new album, and I can understand why. If people want to try and grab a taste of the direction where Opeth is headed for, listen to the Lotus Eater. With eerie jazzy keyboarding and a spectacular chorus delivery, Opeth manages to be 3 for 3 here. 04. Burden - like Harvest, A Fair Judgement, Reverie/Harlequin Forest, Burden fills the emotional side of Akerfeldt/Opeth. By the acoustic end you will smile, due to the showing off guitar work expressed in the song. The last two minutes of this song is perhaps the most beautiful I've ever heard Opeth sound. 05. Porcelain Heart - the first single, and perhaps the weakest of the new album. Despite it being my least favorite of Watershed, that doesn't make it a bad song. On the contrary, it's a very good song. "Rest your head now, don't you cry, don't ever ask the reason why" is some of Akerfeldt's best clean vocal performance. 06. Hessian Peel - the main even in the album. There is not much to say about this song other then the word Breathless. From the misleading clean guitar work to the manic growling, Hessian Peel has potentially taken the throne of my top 3 Opeth songs of all time. A true Opeth classic that never becomes dull with the 2nd, 3rd, 100th listen. 07. Hex Omega - the closure of the album and it's an impecabble one at that. The final chords to watershed alone destroy anything that is playing in radios today.
Lyrics — 10
Akerfeldt never disappoints his fans with cheesy lyrics or bad vocal performances. In fact, Watershed is Mikael at his best. Though not as dynamic like Still life or eerie like Ghost Reveries, I like to think Watershed is in a category of its own. Watershed combines the darkness of Deliverance and the beauty of Blackwater Park and turns it into one dynamic gem of its own form.
Overall Impression — 10
I must be honest, I listened to this album before it was released. With its first play on my Ipod, I vowed on June 3rd I would be at my local CD store to support the best band going today. Watershed is not just music, it's an experience.