My Arms, Your Hearse cover

Pros

-Good production value
-A great mixture of death metal and clean acoustic songs
-Amazing lyrics
-Great melodies/harmonies
-Interesting arrangements
-For Iron Maiden/Celtic Frost fans, there are 2 bonus songs which are covers of some classic songs: "Remembering Tomorrow" (Iron Maiden) and "Circle of the Tyrant" (Celtic Frost)

Cons

-None

Full Review

Perhaps my bias is setting in towards a few of my favorite albums. I suppose in some ways, this is not a bad thing; especially for those of you who have not heard these albums. Today I am reviewing Opeth's "My Arms, Your Hearse" and I must say it is truly a masterpiece!

If you have read reviews of this album found on other sites, they may mention that this was truly the "turning point" for Opeth. That is not to say that their albums prior to this were "bad", they are just different in many regards.

The album's mood is very melancholy and is comparable to a walk in a foggy park by a river. For those of you who enjoy atmosphere in music, look no further. Vocalist/guitarist Michael Akerfeldt is an incredible musician with a talent that would force an individual to consider the existance of a higher power. There are many beautiful songs on this album.

The album opens with the quiet, rainy texture aptly named "Prologue." All of the songs on this album from here on out are great. There are no fillers. Even the interlude "Madrigal" is beautiful and adds to the album! There are also three (yes, three) staple, classic Opeth songs to be found on this album: "Demon of the Fall", "Credence" (the one clean, acoustic song on this album with a beautiful outro I might add), and "When."

The arrangements and mixture of the instruments is also incredible. Throughout the album looped sounds such as rain can be heard, as well as instruments ranging from organs and piano to electric and acoustic guitars. It is a fairly unique blend that works excellently.

To add, from a lyrical standpoint alone this album excels. I have found myself reading the lyrics in the booklet, all sprawled across two booklet-pages in one huge paragraph. How the song lyrics flow together is nothing less than amazing. This is also a "concept album", which means that their is a story to be told amidst all of the tracks. I am not entirely sure of the story though, and it could be left up to each individual to decipher it for themselves. If you decide to buy this album, read the lyrics carefully and be amazed at how the songs titles fit into the writings. It is very unique and clever.

In Closing

At this point in Opeth's musical career, they were truly progressing a dull genre of music. The very concept of this album and the atmosphere each individual song conveys just makes it a classic on so many levels.