|Studio album by Opeth|
|Released||February 27, 2001|
|Recorded||August–October 2000, Fredman Studio, Göteborg, Sweden|
|Genre||Progressive death metal|
|Label||Music for Nations/Koch|
|Producer||Opeth, Steven Wilson|
Blackwater Park is the fifth studio album by Swedish progressive death metal band Opeth. It was released on February 27, 2001 through Music for Nations and Koch Records. The album marks the first collaboration between Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson and the band, as Wilson had been brought in to produce the album, which led to a considerable shift in Opeth's musical style.
Blackwater Park did not chart in North America or the United Kingdom. The album had two singles released from it: "The Drapery Falls" and "Still Day Beneath the Sun". Blackwater Park was highly acclaimed on its initial release and has been praised by critics, with Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic stating that the album is "surely the band's coming-of-age album, and therefore, an ideal introduction to its remarkable body of work."
Following a few live dates in Europe, Opeth's guitarist and vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt went to an old friend's house in Stockholm, Sweden to record some demos and develop ideas for the new album. The album is named after the German progressive rock band of the same name and was the first album for which the group had a title before they started recording. A few months later when Åkerfeldt was having dinner with Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson, Åkerfeldt discussed the idea of Wilson producing the next Opeth album. After Åkerfeldt sent Wilson the demos he had recorded, Wilson agreed to produce the album.
Opeth entered to Studio Fredman to begin work on Blackwater Park on August 10, 2000. The band had no previous lyrics written and had only rehearsed three times before entering the studio. The band's engineer Fredrik Nordström had arranged for the group to stay in a small room in the studio that had four beds. Opeth stayed there for around two weeks and then later rented out Dark Tranquillity member Mikael Stanne's flat. After recording the basic drums, rhythms, bass and acoustic guitars, Wilson arrived to produce the clean vocals and add some guitar leads. Åkerfeldt wrote that Wilson had an "immense impact on the recording" and after working with him the group entered "a new phase".
Åkerfeldt described the recording of the album as "rather smooth". Soilwork was recording in the studio at the same time as Opeth. Åkerfeldt wrote that Opeth felt like "a bunch of amateurs in comparison. They were working all the time. When they came into the kitchen for a break, we're still there, on the same break we took 3 hours ago. We don't want this to become a 'job', or something you do because you have to. We wanna have a good time, and thus we only work when it feels right."
Release and reception
|Chronicles of Chaos|||
Blackwater Park was originally released on February 27, 2001. This was the first Opeth album to be released in North America at the same time as it was in the rest of the world. It has been released on compact disc and vinyl record formats. A special edition of Blackwater Park was issued in 2001 with a bonus second disc that included "Still Day Beneath the Sun" and "Patterns in the Ivy II". Those two bonus tracks were released together as a vinyl-only 7" EP by Robotic Empire Records in February, 2003. The limited edition EP sold out in less than 24 hours and continues to be one of Opeth's most sought-after releases to date. Two singles were also released to promote Blackwater Park. A shortened radio edit version of "The Drapery Falls" was released as a promo single. The bonus track "Still Day Beneath the Sun" was later released as a vinyl only single.
On March 29, 2010, Opeth re-released a remixed Legacy Edition of Blackwater Park which included a live version of "The Leper Affinity" and then a second DVD which is the entire album in 5.0 Surround Sound and a making of documentary. This version was released in North America in April 2012 by The End Records.
Blackwater Park received positive reception on its initial release, and Opeth was compared to critically acclaimed groups from previous eras. The Village Voice wrote in their review of the album, that "Opeth paint on an epic canvas, sounding at times like... metal's answer to '70s King Crimson". CMJ also wrote a very positive review calling the album "Godlike....A metal fusion of Pink Floyd and the Beatles". The Canadian music magazine Exclaim! wrote that the album "...might be the best metal record this year, and it is worth every bit of energy the band has put into the creating of it". Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic wrote that the album was "a work of breathtaking creative breadth" and noted the album's critical praise stating that "not since the release of Tiamat's groundbreaking masterpiece Wildhoney in 1994 had the extreme metal scene witnessed such an overwhelming show of fan enthusiasm and uniform critical praise as that bestowed upon Blackwater Park". He also said that the album is "surely the band's coming-of-age album, and therefore, an ideal introduction to its remarkable body of work". A more mixed review came from Alex Silveri of Sputnikmusic, who praised several of the album's songs but wrote negatively about "The Drapery Falls", "Dirge for November" and "The Funeral Portrait", which Silveri referred to as "boring to the point of tears". The album was ranked at number eighteen on IGN's list of the "top metal albums", issued in January 2007.
All songs written and composed by Mikael Åkerfeldt, except where noted.
|1.||"The Leper Affinity"||10:23|
|4.||"The Drapery Falls"||10:54|
|5.||"Dirge for November" (music: Åkerfeldt, Peter Lindgren)||7:54|
|6.||"The Funeral Portrait"||8:44|
|7.||"Patterns in the Ivy" (instrumental)||1:53|
|8.||"Blackwater Park" (music: Åkerfeldt, Lindgren)||12:08|
|9.||"The Leper Affinity (live)" (Legacy edition bonus track)||9:24|
|Reissue bonus disc|
|1.||"Still Day Beneath the Sun"||4:34|
|2.||"Patterns in the Ivy II"||4:12|
|3.||"Harvest" (multimedia track)||6:01|
- Mikael Åkerfeldt – vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar
- Peter Lindgren – guitar
- Martin Mendez – bass
- Martin Lopez – drums
- Steven Wilson – clean and backing vocals on "Bleak", "Harvest", "The Funeral Portrait" and "The Drapery Falls", keyboards, mellotron, additional guitar, production, engineering, mixing
- Markus Lindberg – 3 eggs
- Opeth – production, engineering, mixing, artwork
- Fredrik Nordström – engineering, mixing
- Göran Finnberg – mastering
- Harry Välimäki – photography
- Travis Smith – artwork
- Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon and Brown, Tony (2004). The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-058-0.
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- "Opeth Singles". Opeth.com. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- Warwick, 2004. p.809
- Titus, Christa (31 May 2008). Billboard: 35. "It has taken until now for Opeth's 2002[sic] album "Blackwater Park" to sell almost as many copies (93,000) as "Reveries.""
- "Opeth To Release ‘Legacy Edition’ Of "Blackwater Park" Overseas This Month". ThePRP. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
- Village Voice: 79. 22 May 2001. "Avoiding the cornier trappings of goth metal and the Satanic hordes, Opeth paint on an epic canvas, sounding at times like... metal's answer to '70s King Crimson. Restless with moods and melodic lines, their impressively long songs flow and unfold over shifting blocks of rhythmic ice"
- CMJ: 29. 12 February 2001. "...Godlike....A metal fusion of Pink Floyd and the Beatles, Opeth uses dynamics and atmosphere in ways many other bands can't..."
- Spence D. and Ed T. (2007-01-19). "Top 25 Metal Albums". IGN. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- Hartmann, Graham. "No. 2: Opeth, ‘Blackwater Park’ – Top 21st Century Metal Songs", Loudwire. Retrieved on 05 September 2012.
- "Blackwater Park Legacy Edition Detailed". Sputnikmusic.
- Blackwater Park at the official Opeth website