Review: Opeth — Pale Communion



Having already veered hard towards the shoals of early ’70s-style progressive rock on 2011’s ‘Heritage,’ Mikael Åkerfeldt practically runs the good ship Opeth aground with a prog-intensive album that often sounds closer to soggy Jethro Tull outtakes than anything in his band’s mighty back catalog. The playing is impeccable as always, and Åkerfeldt has certainly earned the right to follow his own muse wherever it may lead. But the loyalty of longtime Opeth fans—especially those already put off by ‘Heritage’—may be seriously tested. DAN EPSTEIN

Check out “Cusp Of Eternity” from ‘Pale Communion.’

  • Connar Pierce

    I like it. It’s not a freaking mess of noise like some of their old stuff.

  • The Maximalist

    I love it. It refines the sound they were struggling to find on Heritage and improves on it. Sure it has some weak moments in the form of Goblin and Elysian Woes, but as an overall package, it holds up really well in their diverse catalogue.

  • Alexander Simmons

    well that was a brief review. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the new album yet, but I like heritage, so I assume I’ll enjoy this one too.

  • SickDrummer2438 .

    The songs Eternal Rains Will Come, River, Moon Above Sun Below and Faith in Others already warrants this album around a 3 alone. Cusp of Eternity and Goblin are maybe a bit weak, but like the last guy said the album does overall hold up pretty well for the direction Opeth went for, especially compared to Heritage.

    • Mistr

      Goblin is weak?
      What the fuck? It’s an amazing jazz-influenced masterpiece with some of the most amazing Opeth riffs.

      • SickDrummer2438 .

        By Opeth-weak I mean like something that’s 7 or 8 out of 10 rather than their typical 9.5-10/10. I still think it’s a really cool experimentation song to put out, but at least to me it doesn’t really hold up to a lot of their other songs since the whole thing can be broken down into 3 or 4 riff ideas.

  • JoeyBagels

    This is a stupid review. Sure, many long-time fans might be put-off by Pale Communion– and though Opeth dives head first into prog, to compare it Jethro Tull “outtakes” shows a marked lapse in the reviewer’s critical faculties. This is an awesome album.

  • Scott

    You losers aren’t entitled to an opinion after you guys named Black Veil Brides album the best of the year.

  • Freejeff

    This is epic songwriting. One really has to sit back and relax and really listen to this record to enjoy all of its subtleties. Rarely heard something that good. Old Opeth fans may not like the direction they’ve taken, but this is merely a question of personal taste, and has nothing to do with the actual and undeniable quality of the album.