Being one of the best known death metal bands in the world, Ghost Reveries is already their 8th release. Forever experimenting and expanding their musical boundaries, this album again has some surprises up it’s sleeve. And with Opeth, that is always a good thing.
With Ghost Reveries we take of where we were left at after the release of both Deliverance and Damnation. The biggest new issue combined with these two albums is a high amount of Pink Floyd space stuff and progressive rhythms. There now actually are intermezzo’s, like in the end of “Reverie/Harlequin Forest”, that are almost impossible to follow.
The addition of Per Wiberg on keyboards I must say was a brilliant decision. He joined after the acoustic Damnation tour which absolutely could not do without a keyboard. He really adds something atmospheric to the songs and makes them breathe a bit more, and sometimes even takes the lead, like in the beginning of “Beneath The Mire”. That track ends by the way with a spacey part that could have been recorded by Pink Floyd in Sid Barret’s worst acid trip.
I must say that I was kind of anxious when I first read that Mikael Akerfeldt was going to produce the album himself and not Justin Wilson, who did a splendid job with the previous three records. But the difference is not even noticeable, an excellent job has been done by the Opeth frontman. A perfect balance between ambient and rough has been created, not even disturbing the listener when one goes to the other.
The clean vocals sound even better than before, so pure and clear. It raises the hair in the back of my neck when he sings the parts with the distant telephone effect on it, like somewhere in the end of track 1. His grunts remain the same, brutal as always but with a high dose of emotion in them
Yet again Opeth have surpassed themselves and proven that songs with a length of ten minutes don’t have to be boring at all. Their mix of acoustic/ambient/space/progressive/technical/death metal has reached yet another level and I entrust that they will keep doing so.