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Old 10-04-2008, 11:54 AM
tzschoi tzschoi is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 1
Opeth -- Vancouver, Canada -- October 3rd, 2008

Opeth -- Vancouver, Canada -- October 3rd, 2008

Setlist (in order):
Heir Apparent
Grand Conjuration
Serenity Painted Death
Hope Leaves
The Lotus Eater
The Night and the Silent Water
*(metallica covers)
Demon of the Fall
The Drapery Falls (encore)

Tonight, a Swedish progressive-death metal band, Opeth made a stop at The Commodore Ballroom to play a sold-out Vancouver gig of their tour in support of the new album, [Watershed(2008)], a follow-up to their excellent [Ghost Reveries(2005)]. Oakland stoner metal dudes, High on Fire opened, and man, those three guys can rock hard! Nachtmystium were also to appear on this tour but for some reason dropped out shortly before the tour began.

After the sound check the headliners appeared on stage and began the show with a BANG of "Heir Apparent" off the new album. Recent additions of permanent members, Fredrik Akesson (Arch Enemy) on guitar and Martin "Axe" Axenrot (Witchery, Bloodbath) on drums, have brought arguably the strongest line-up in the band's history. The next song, "Grand Conjuration" from [Ghost Reveries], also showcased how well this new line-up is working together. It's a great track but whenever I hear it, it's impossible not to think of the horrible nightmare of a music video produced by their then newly-signed major label, Roadrunner Records. The label decided to shortened the original 10-minute opus into a five-minute radio edit and featured some creepy looking actors for a meaningless ensemble. More exposure may have brought the band a much-deserved broader fan base. Opeth in the public eye is definitely not the same, but I am glad their music hasn't suffered or become a sell-out yet. In fact, it only keeps getting better.

The band continued with "Serenity Painted Death", an "obscurity" from [Still Life(1999)], and "Hope Leaves" of [Damnation(2003)], to which many people sang along. If anyone is ever interested in finding about the music of Opeth, [Damnation] is the right place to start. Originally planned as a double album but released over the course of a year, [Damnation] is the mellow and bluesy side of the project, which compliments [Delivarance(2002)], possibly the heaviest and most experimental record Opeth has made. As the audience eagerly waited, some idiot set off the fire alarm, which went on for a while, delaying the start of their next song.

Ah, the old days of an ESL metal kid in a Canadian high school. [Blackwater Park(2001)] had just come out when I first started listening to Opeth. Back then, I thought that the vocalist/guitarist Mikael Akerfeldt's songwriting skills were perfected to the fine point in that album. I once thought that double d albums and [Ghost Reveries] were mere variations of that perfection. I was proven wrong with this monster of an obscurity..."The Lotus Eater". With this song, the current lineup really began to shine, with each member giving an excellent, professional performance. "Bleak" from [Blackwater Park], the first Opeth track I fell in love with, followed and proved to be a great crowd pleaser.

Mikael introduced the next song as a track from their second album, [Morningrise(1996)], the album he wrote when he was "still living with his mom". The brilliant "The Night and the Silent Water" sounded flawless until the fire alarm went off again during the quiet interlude of the song. It miraculously stopped at a great timing and some people found it rather amusing. Before the next song, Mikael asked the crowd of their thoughts on Metallica's new single and then pulled out a few old guitar licks of theirs. The new guitarist Fredrik had one as well...MASTER OF PUPPETS! After delivering their live favourites, "Delivarance" and "Demon of the Fall", the band walked off the stage until they came back to play another fan favourite, "The Drapery Falls", as encore.

A solid two-hour set at the sold-out venue not only lived up to the high standards for Opeth but also made a promise for even more exciting future from a brand new line-up at the start of a new chapter in the band's history. This was my fourth time seeing the band, and tonight's show was by far their tightest and most energetic.

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