Pale Communion

01. Eternal Rains Will Come
02. Cusp Of Eternity
03. Moon Above, Sun Below
04. Elysian Woes
05. Goblin
06. River
07. Voice Of Treason
08. Faith In Others

Mikael Åkerfeldt – vocals, guitar, production, art direction, engineering
Fredrik Åkesson – guitar, backing vocals
Joakim Svalberg – piano, keyboard, backing vocals
Martín Méndez – bass guitar
Martin Axenrot – drums, percussion

Orchid (1995)
Morningrise (1996)
My Arms, Your Hearse (1998)
Still Life (1999)
Blackwater Park (2001)
Deliverance (2002)
Damnation (2003)
Ghost Reveries (2005)
Watershed (2008)
Heritage (2011)


Dave Stewart – strings arrangements
Tom Dalgety – engineering, production
Janne Hansson – engineering
Steven Wilson – mixing, backing vocals
Paschal Byrne – mastering
Travis Smith – cover art

Released 2014-08-27
Reviewed 2014-09-09



Pale Communion, the title of the new album by Opeth. One that follows Heritage that was acclaimed by us and other reviewers, this album seems to be as well. That isn’t very strange considering that Opeth tend to make very exciting album and I was quite excited about this one when I saw it as well. The cover art looks a tad boring though. And I know that there is no new Blackwater Park to expect either since the band has long since left that direction much to the annoyment of some of their fans as anyone who watches a video from something of the band’s new stuff on youtube can see. For you who do not know youtube, it is a place where you can watch videon and there is a comments field where idiots who think their opinion mean anything tend to spend time writing idiotic comments. I doubt Åkerfeldt and the others in the band care even the slightest about what these people think.

Pale Communion can be said to be continuing where Heritage left off, no new direction rather a direction slightly westwards meaning somewhat backwards towards albums just before Heritage. Melodic, soft, not very heavy, very varied and only clean singing just as has been the case for the later works of this band. Not very metal some would probably say. It is quite hard to describe in words but it sounds like Opeth, kind of the way you imagine that Opeth sounds. Almost an hour of music with decent variation, of moods and clever ideas. Unfortunately I would say that all these ideas has been reused from earlier works by the band. Is it that Opeth has lost its drive to progress, to evolve, to take out a new direction for each and every album?

Well, it is too early to say from one or two albums taking a very similar direction but this album is not as interesting as any of those that has come before it. For an Opeth album it is very dull, maybe not as dull if you expectations are on something but Opeth. The thing is that with the twists and turns of Opeth you can only take it once, maybe twice before it feels repetitive and this is what happens with this album, it feels like it repeats the stuff that came just before it. The novelty of Opeth in the past is not really there anymore, I just hope this is a blip and that they will be back on some track with the next album.

Not the best of the Opeth albums but still it is a fairly good album and not as poor as some youtubers claim that it is. They all want the band to make a new Blackwater Park or Deliverance, conveniently forgetting things like Operation Mindcrime 2 which goes to show how bands fail when they try to live up to the expectations of fans (there are more examples of this). I think a return to Blackwater Park kind of music would yield a horrific Opeth album as that is not what the band wants to do and if an artist makes something they don’t want to do it tends to suck. So in the end, I think that anyone who likes Opeth’s recent works will probably find this quite good as well even though it lacks the excitement of what has come before.




Label: Roadrunner Records/Warner Music
Three similar bands: Porcupine Tree/Katatonia/Storm Corrosion
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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