Thursday, April 28, 2011

Album 4 of 12

Here we are, the day of total and irreversible transformation has come.

Album that changed my life:
"Blackwater Park" by Opeth

Hell yes. It's hard for me to even know where to begin talking about this album, so I'll step back a bit and give some background first. At the time of this purchase, around late spring/early summer of 2006, I was living in the dirt hole known as Pahrump, NV. My best friend had recently moved into Las Vegas, which was about an hour's drive away from me. One afternoon he was going to be coming out to Pahrump, but on the way he stopped in at a Tower Records store. They were having a huge sale, clearing out a ton of their metal selection, so he called me and asked if there was anything I wanted him to pick up for me. Well as I've previously noted, Come Clarity had already prompted me to start searching around online for other good Swedish metal bands. In the course of those searches, after reading tons of reviews on Amazon and looking up lists by various people, there were two albums that I had seen named so many times that I decided I had to hear them. And so I told him to look for Blackwater Park and The Jester Race. He found both and brought them with him, and to this day I've never equaled that purchase in terms of sheer awesomeness. When I got my hands on it and popped it in the cd player, I was greeted by the magnificent opener The Leper Affinity, and my mind was officially blown. I had never heard anything so amazing in my life. I wanted to run around grabbing people and telling them how incredible Opeth were. And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had unlocked the door to a world of music that I absolutely had to enter and explore. How could music be so harsh and violent, yet retain a beauty that matched any classical symphony? It didn't seem possible that a single band could do so much in the space of one song. And there was more. It carried on, and before I knew it an hour had passed and I was left staring in total shock at the magnificence I had just witnessed. In the years since, I don't think any single listening experience has ever stood out to me the way that first play though Blackwater Park did. I had been teetering on the edge, I had been brought right to the brink by In Flames, but that album sealed it. No other record has ever changed the way I listened to music so drastically. On that day, I truly became a metal head.


  1. Amazing band. Amazing album. They had a similar effect on me, around the same time of that year, actually. They are definitely one of my top bands.

  2. My first exposure to Opeth was the Still Life album around 2001. I bought it Halloween night in fact. It's still my favorite release by the band, though Blackwater Park is up there.

  3. Still Life is great too. It would be a close second for my favorite Opeth album, but the personal impact Blackwater Park had for me was just too huge to let it fall from the top.

    And Kelly, it's cool that you had the same basic experience I did.