Pale communion

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Roadrunner Records,
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When Opeth released Heritage in 2011 -- the wonderfully indulgent, somewhat unfocused exercise in prog rock aesthetics -- some longstanding fans were offended because the band had abandoned death metal. Truthfully, they had been exploring prog in fits and starts since 2005's Ghost Reveries. Pale Communion completes the transition, proving that Heritage was not only a next step, but a new beginning altogether. Vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt has obviously been listening to loads of prog in the interim -- ELP's debut, Deep Purple's In Rock, early King Crimson and Eloy, National Health, U.K., Bill Bruford's early solo work, Pär Lindh, and even jazz fusion. Produced by the singer and mixed by Steven Wilson, Pale Communion states its ambitions outright. Opener "Eternal Rains Will Come" explodes with knotty, labyrinthine organ (from new keyboardist Joakim Svalberg) and Martin Axenrot's skittering, propulsive drums. Åkerfeldt's and Fredrik Åkesson's serpentine yet raucous guitars and Martín Méndez's fat, humming bassline kick in immediately thereafter. They all stop on a dime to be replaced by flute and acoustic piano. After another few moments, they return to establish the song's vamp and melody. Åkerfeldt's multi-tracked vocals don't enter until three minutes in, then give way to a dazzling finish provided by a guitar solo and massive swathes of organ and Mellotron. Lead single "Cusp of Eternity" employs repetitive metal guitar and bass riffs, while the modal melody suggests Middle Eastern origins. "Moon Above, Sun Below" is the set's hinge piece and longest track. It contains no less than five sections in nearly 11 minutes. These are introduced variously by samples of Tibetan thigh-bone trumpet and vibraphones, as well as acoustic guitars, Rhodes piano, thundering organ, anthemic electric guitars atop cracking rim shots, kick drum, and a forceful bassline that creates dynamic textural passages illustrating the rage, loss, and acceptance in Åkerfeldt's lyrics. "Goblin" is an instrumental, a tightrope walk between hard rock and jazz fusion, and it's among the finest things here. This is countered by "River," with rich, multi-layered vocal harmonies, 12-string, piano, glistening cymbal, and snare, highlighted by a melodic electric guitar solo à la Argus-era Wishbone Ash. The metallic syncopation in "Voice of Treason" is dramatic with Eastern interludes via the primary instruments, painted by Mellotron as Åkerfeldt soars. The first half of closer "Faith in Others" is instrumentally sparse; it begins reaching for the skies about halfway through, but gets dialed back to allow the gorgeous melody prominence. Pale Communion is more focused and refined than Heritage. Though they readily display numerous musical influences here, ultimately Opeth sound like no one but themselves. This set is a massive leap forward, not only in terms of style but also in its instrumental and performance acumen; it is nearly unlimited in its creativity. ~ Thom Jurek
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016861757304 (sound recording : hoopla Music)
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID cc3dbc88-1cc9-b1d3-99d2-d02c666fdc9c
Grouping Title pale communion
Grouping Author opeth
Grouping Category music
Last Grouping Update 2019-06-20 03:55:28AM
Last Indexed 2019-06-20 04:31:11AM

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accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Opeth (Musical group),
author2-role hoopla digital.
author_display Opeth (Musical group)
detailed_location_broomfield Broomfield Music on CD
display_description Opeth follows up their critically acclaimed 2011 release Heritage with an album that sees the band continuing to challenge the boundaries of extreme music. Included is the single Cusp of Eternity.
format_broomfield Music Recording
format_category_broomfield Music
id cc3dbc88-1cc9-b1d3-99d2-d02c666fdc9c
isbn 0016861757328
item_details hoopla:MWT11152568||Online Hoopla Collection|Online Hoopla|eMusic|Music|1|false|true|Hoopla||||Available Online||||, ils:.b2218594x|.i26293778|Broomfield Music on CD|CD 781.66 Opeth|||1|false|false|||||Due Jul 10, 2019|May 23, 2019|mdmca||
itype_broomfield CD music
last_indexed 2019-06-20T10:31:11.152Z
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literary_form Unknown
literary_form_full Unknown
local_callnumber_broomfield CD 781.66 Opeth
owning_library_broomfield Broomfield
owning_location_broomfield Broomfield
primary_isbn 0016861757328
primary_upc 016861757328
publishDate 2014
record_details hoopla:MWT11152568|eMusic|Music||English|Roadrunner Records,|2014.|1 online resource (1 audio file (56 min.)) : digital., ils:.b2218594x|Music Recording|Music||English|Roadrunner Records,|[2014]|1 audio disc (approximately 51 minutes) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b2218594x .i26293778 Checked Out Checked Out false false true false false true 9999
subject_facet Heavy metal (Music), Rock music -- 2011-2020, Sound recording
title_display Pale communion
title_full Pale communion [compact disc] / Opeth, Pale communion [electronic resource] / Opeth
title_short Pale communion
topic_facet Heavy metal (Music), Rock music
upc 016861757304 (sound recording : hoopla Music), 016861757328