"Mikael Åkerfeldt is one of the best singers and guitarists at the moment, but strangely enough, he doesn't play that much guitar on Pale Communion. Maybe a bit more than he did on Heritage (which is Opeth's previous offering). I've always liked his well thought out guitar solos, so right off the bat, I'd like to hear more guitar solos.
That slight bit of complaining aside, Pale Communion shows that Opeth is not only Mr. Akerfeldt, since Martin Axenrot plays excellent drums on the album, and is one of my favorite drummers from 2014. PC is an album that grows on you, and I don't think that I'm at all through listening to it. Actually, it may rank even higher than it's current number five spot on my personal list (as well as this list) since I'm nearly done listening to my number 4, 3 and 2 picks. If I had to make the list in half a year, it might have ended in top 2. Opeth is definitely a band whose next album I will look forward to. I don't at all feel that they have reached their creative peak yet. Maybe that's one of the reasons why, although a terrific album, I'm not a hundred percent satisfied with PC. That's not a knock on the band, because I expect Opeth to release even better albums in the coming years.
Some of the absolute best Progressive Rock songs released this year come from Pale Communion. Eternal Rains Will Come" and "Moon Above, Sun Below", the latter being a real grower, could easily deserve a place among the 3 best Prog-tracks this year."
While this didn't end up in my top 10, it's still a fine album. However, this does not top albums like "Deliverance", "Damnation", "Ghost Reveries" and "Blackwater Park" all better albums in my book, even if there might be CM vocals.
Just not a band I've ever gotten into.
I'm glad they discarded the Cookie Monster and I hope that dude never returns. This is much better stuff.
Other than this album and "Heritage", how many other Opeth albums do you own?
I own Watershed. Listened to it today. Musically, it is fantastic. The first song is great. All of the parts where there are no CM vocals are terrific. But I don't have any interest in listening to CM vocals. It's just ridiculous to me that a band with a vocalist that sings as well as Akerfelt (however you spell that) ruins it's songs with that junk. We disagree on this point.
But where I'm coming is stating this album is "much better stuff" when you've listened maybe half of their output (I'm guessing you listened to both "Deliverance" and "Damnation" when they were posted a few years ago). To put it in perspective, here's a fan list of the top Opeth albums. Granted, it's your opinion, but that's like me saying "Return Of The Jedi" is the best Star Wars movie even though I've seen only one other.
I understand what you are saying. But you have to remember it is all relative (typically) to when you personally discovered the band. I may have listened to those two, but I definitely remember nothing about them. So even though I possibly heard those two albums a few years back, I essentially "discovered" Opeth with Heritage. And I liked it. And I like Pale Communion, possibly even better than Heritage (haven't listened to Heritage in a while).
Just like on Watershed (by the way, what is your opinion of that album?), the music is fantastic. The clean vocals are fantastic. But CM vocals hold zero appeal for me, therefore any album that features a fair amount of said vocals will overall not be something I would spin with any regularity. I've had Watershed for some time now, but today is the first time I listened to the complete album. And I will say that there are fewer CM vocals than I suspected, but still too many.
I love "Watershed", it is in my top 5 Opeth albums of all time. I had to dig up some old stuff and it was my #2 album from 2008.
My list has it two notches higher... a must have IMO