I love the blog MetalSucks and frequently check them out to keep up with metal news. However, I can't help but point out all the shameless ass-kissing going on in this fucking article. Perhaps it is due to the fact that Opeth may have sweetened the deal with their "exclusive worldwide premiere" arrangement in order to get favorable words written, but personally I'm having a problem with it on this one for how thickly it was laid across the article.
I know it could just be a matter of tastes. That's certainly very possible. Also, we all like some non-metal bands - good music is good fucking music and transcends little petty things like genre labels, which are really more indicators and descriptors to help people searching for new music to find things they might like.
This song, though... to me, it was just totally uninspired. It was like they were clinging on to little bits of themselves and throwing them into a world they were not altogether familiar with. You know how a good song gives you either those deep-down awesome feels, or it chills you out or puts you in a state of mind that is unreachable without music? Yeah, I got nothing from this. No goosebumps, no zen. It was like the track had flatlined when it began.
It wasn't even that impressive on a technical level, for those who rate their music based on complexity or inventiveness. It was simple, dissonant, and rather unfulfilling. Quite a few others agree - except for the guy who wrote this piece, apparently.
The author begins with a gripe before he changes tune and gets his nose nice and brown:
Fans hoping for a “return to form” — in quotes because Opeth never lost form to begin with — in the vein of Blackwater Park or Deliverance can look elsewhere. Death metal? Growled vocals? Been there, done that, completely conquered it and moved on. What’s so amazing and exciting about Opeth’s metamorphosis from death metal heroes into Yes and King Crimson-worshipping modern prog revisionists isn’t just that they do it so well, but that it still sounds unquestionably like Opeth. Sure, there’s Mikael Akerfelt’s sultry, sweet voice, recognizable anywhere. But it’s something else, too: how best to describe that quality other than simply “Opeth-ness?” It’s unmistakable when you hear it.
Opeth never lost form? Seriously? A band that started out doing incredible metal and billing themselves accordingly suddenly changes their approach entirely resulting in a completely different sound and expect not to alienate fans of their formerly metal ways. That's just a stupid assumption to make and it was pretty much a big "fuck you" to all who loved them as they were.
Here's my problem with how they conducted this "evolution" in their sound. If you're going to such extremes, and it's such a far cry from what you've done in the past, do your beloved fans a favor and please just change the name of the band and call it a new project.
That way, you can keep growing, changing, and evolving in whatever way you see fit and give closure to the fans that favored your past works - as opposed to just staying under the same moniker (presumably to capitalize on its popularity to more easily promote your new material) and pissing off a large portion of your loyal fanbase, thanking them for their years of love and support with a big fat middle finger and a reminder; "We aren't making this music for you. Not even partly because of you. No, it doesn't matter that you are why we have all the resources to make more of it now. We do what we want."
The fact that the author goes so far as to speak down to all the fans that are a little peeved with them for doing this is just fucking absurd. So is his statement about them being "modern prog revisionists" - he is just attempting to classify them in a label that will be more accepted by the metal community at large. It wasn't proggy. It wasn't even experimental-y. It was just... bleh.
I'm all for some good prog, and they have recognized a few awesome prog bands before, but this one missed the mark by miles.
I suppose, though, that what bothers me the most is that I can't shake the feeling they were possibly persuaded to speak so highly of the track using some sort of financial coercion. Can we just determine if music is good by listening to an honest review of it, not by who can pay the writer the most money or buy him the most beers to curry favor?
Then again, I could be totally off and that could totally not have been the case. Even taking away any genre-influenced bias, this song was total poo in my opinion. Perhaps I'm just finding it hard to accept that someone actually liked the song that much.
Whatever the case, it's still not cool that he got all douche-like on the fans of old Opeth like that. Maybe I just wanted to stick up for them. Sorry, dude. No hard feelings. I just can't agree with you.
The full article referenced in this one is here, and you can stream the new track here.