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Opeth - The Roundhouse Tapes (CD)

The Roundhouse Tapes
by Harry Papadopoulos at 10 January 2008, 12:34 PM

OPETH finally released their first live album called The Roundhouse Tapes; but, if you count the Lamentations DVD, then it's the second one. But it is the second one in only one year! Lets just see if this release is one worth buying it.
The history of OPETH is more or less known to most of us. Formed in 1990 by  David Isberg, it was then invited  Mikael Akerfeldt to join the band. All the other members had an argument over Mikael joining the band. Isberg left in early 1992 due to creative differences and since Mikael had experience as a vocalist from his old band ERUPTION, he became the new vocalist, and immediately began writing material. The rest is (more or less) known.
Ok, no one can deny the quality of OPETH's discography, especially the albums between 1998's My Arms, Your Hearse to their last studio album Ghost Reveries. Since the release of their new album is going to be, probably, during 2008, this double live CD is a smart idea for the band to do, in order to focus on making their new album and at the same time to have something for the fans and not being out the scene for a along time. Another reason may be that the band seriously could be so desperate to escape their contract with Roadrunner. Or just because they couldn't have any of their older material in a live album due to bumbledom. But if they wanted something like that, they could have done it earlier, without releasing Lamentations. And why playing the older stuff, when they think that some of them has lyrics that are absolute black metal nonsense, preambling Under the Weeping Moon? And the crowd is screaming!!!!! Mercy! To tell you the truth, I am not sure why The Roundhouse Tapes is out now.
As for the album itself, the sound is crystal clear. The only dissonance is that the vocals of  Akerfeldt are mixed a little too high. Moreover, the band is playing the songs exactly as they are in the albums. This is not bad, but I prefer listening to something different, for example in a solo or at the outro of a song. But those are easily overlooked, because the music is as solid as ever. So solid, that sometimes I think that I'm listening to a studio album, since you can listen to the crowd only between the songs. The choice, now, of the songs is a little bit of a surprise, except Bleak and - of course - Demon Of The Fall.

Overall, this is not a bad album for OPETH fans. A solid sound, some nice performance by the band, but at the end I don't feel that this album has a meaning of existence for non-OPETH fans. If you don't know anything about the band, it is time for you to buy their studio albums. I think that it is time, with their new lineup, to start recording their new album. And I hope that the release of The Roundhouse Tapes will provide them with the time they need to record an album at least as good as  Ghost Reveries. If not…

2 Star Rating

Disc 1

Ghost Of Perdition
Under The Weeping Moon
Face Of Melinda
The Night And The Silent Water

Disc 2

Blackwater Park
Demon Of The Fall
Mikael Akerfeldt - Guitars, Vocals
Fredrik Akesson - Guitars
Martin Axenrot - Drums
Martin Mendez - Bass
Per Wiberg - Keyboard
Record Label: Peaceville


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