Blackwater Park

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Blackwater Park
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 12, 2001 (2001-03-12)[1]
RecordedAugust–October 2000
StudioFredman Studio, Göteborg, Sweden[2][3]
LabelMusic for Nations / Koch
ProducerOpeth, Steven Wilson
Opeth chronology
Still Life
Blackwater Park
Singles from Blackwater Park
  1. "The Drapery Falls"
    Released: 2001
  2. "Still Day Beneath the Sun"
    Released: 2001

Blackwater Park is the fifth studio album by Swedish progressive metal band Opeth. It was released on March 12, 2001 in Europe and a day later in North America through Music for Nations and Koch Records.[2][1] 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.[7] 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.[2] 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.[7] After Åkerfeldt sent Wilson the demos he had recorded, Wilson agreed to produce the album.[7]

Opeth entered Studio Fredman to begin work on Blackwater Park on August 10, 2000.[7] The band had no previous lyrics written and had only rehearsed three times before entering the studio.[7] 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".[8]

Åkerfeldt described the recording of the album as "rather smooth". Soilwork was recording in the studio at the same time as Opeth.[8] 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."[8]


Blackwater Park was originally released on March 12, 2001 in Europe and a day later in North America.[1] 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.[9] It has been released on compact disc and vinyl record formats.[2][3] 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".[2] 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.[10] The bonus track "Still Day Beneath the Sun" was later released as a vinyl only single.[10]

Blackwater Park did not chart in the United States or United Kingdom.[2][11] As of May 2008, Blackwater Park has sold over 93,000 copies in the United States.[12]

On March 29, 2010, Opeth re-released a 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.[13] This version was released in North America in April 2012 by The End Records.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[2]
Chronicles of Chaos8/10 stars[14]
Metal Crypt4.75/5 [15]
5+/5 [16]
Pitchfork Media9.0/10[17]
Sea of Tranquility5/5 stars[18]

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".[20] CMJ also wrote a very positive review calling the album "Godlike ... A metal fusion of Pink Floyd and the Beatles".[21]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".[9]

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".[2] In a review of the 'Legacy Edition' reissue for Pitchfork, Ned Raggett praised the album, writing that "Blackwater Park has the reputation it does in large part because none of the songs follow the same songwriting formula, instead looking toward variations within general themes that all build to a dramatic conclusion in the title track."

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".[19]


The album was ranked at number eighteen on IGN's list of the "top metal albums", issued in January 2007.[22]

In 2012, Loudwire listed "Blackwater Park" as number two on their list of the Top 50 Metal Songs of the 21st Century.[23]

In June 2015, Rolling Stone ranked "Blackwater Park" at 28th place for their list Greatest Prog Rock Albums of all time.[24]

In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked Blackwater Park as 55th on their list of 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.'[25]

TeamRock placed the album at #36 on their Top 100 Prog Albums of All Time list.[26]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Mikael Åkerfeldt.

1."The Leper Affinity"Åkerfeldt10:23
4."The Drapery Falls"Åkerfeldt10:54
5."Dirge for November"Åkerfeldt, Peter Lindgren7:54
6."The Funeral Portrait"Åkerfeldt8:44
7."Patterns in the Ivy" (instrumental)Åkerfeldt1:53
8."Blackwater Park"Åkerfeldt, Lindgren12:08
Total length:67:13
Reissue bonus disc[2]
1."Still Day Beneath the Sun"4:34
2."Patterns in the Ivy II"4:12
3."Harvest" (multimedia track)6:01



Additional personnel[edit]



Chart (2001) Peak
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[27] 10


Chart (2001) Peak
Poland (ZPAV Top 100) 31[28]


  • Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon; Brown, Tony (2004). The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-058-0.
  1. ^ a b c "Wayback Machine". 10 April 2001. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Opeth Blackwater Park". AllMusic. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Opeth > Blackwater Park". Archived from the original on 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  4. ^ "Opeth "Blackwater Park"". Decibel. Archived from the original on January 18, 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  5. ^ "THE BEST METAL ALBUMS FROM 40 SUBGENRES". Loudwire. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  6. ^ Ezell, Brice (15 February 2012). "The 10 Best Progressive Rock Albums of the 2000s". PopMatters. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e Åkerfeldt, Mikael. "Opeth Chapter 5". Archived from the original on 2008-02-05. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
  8. ^ a b c Åkerfeldt, Mikael. "Blackwater Park Session Diary". Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  9. ^ a b Palmerston, Sean (February 2001). "Aggressive Tendencies > Metal & Hardcore reviews > Opeth - Blackwater Park". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  10. ^ a b "Opeth Singles". Archived from the original on 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  11. ^ Warwick, 2004. p.809
  12. ^ Titus, Christa (31 May 2008). "It has taken until now for Opeth's 2002[sic] album "Blackwater Park" to sell almost as many copies (93,000) as "Reveries."". Billboard: 35.
  13. ^ "Opeth To Release 'Legacy Edition' Of "Blackwater Park" Overseas This Month". ThePRP. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  14. ^ Flaaten, Chris. "Opeth - Blackwater Park". Chronicles of Chaos. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  15. ^ Renaud, Michel (21 April 2001). "The Metal Crypt - Review of Opeth - Blackwater Park". Metal Crypt. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  16. ^ Renner, Christian (21 April 2001). "The Metal Crypt - Review of Opeth - Blackwater Park". Metal Crypt. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  17. ^ Raggett, Ned (April 20, 2012). "Opeth: Blackwater Park (Legacy Edition) / Deliverance (Reissue) / Damnation (Reissue) / Lamentations (Reissue) / Album Reviews / Pitchfork". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  18. ^ Pardo, Pete (17 August 2005). "Review: "Opeth: Blackwater Park"". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  19. ^ a b Silveri, Alex (June 26, 2007). "Opeth - Blackwater Park". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  20. ^ "=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". Village Voice: 79. 22 May 2001.
  21. ^ "... Godlike ... A metal fusion of Pink Floyd and the Beatles, Opeth uses dynamics and atmosphere in ways many other bands can't...". CMJ: 29. 12 February 2001.
  22. ^ Spence D. and Ed T. (2007-01-19). "Top 25 Metal Albums". Archived from the original on 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  23. ^ Hartmann, Graham. "No. 2: Opeth, ‘Blackwater Park’ – Top 21st Century Metal Songs", Loudwire. Retrieved on 05 September 2012.
  24. ^ Hermes, Jon Dolan,Brandon Geist,Jon Weiderhorn,Ryan Reed,Kory Grow,Reed Fischer,Richard Gehr,Dan Epstein,Will (17 June 2015). "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Fox, Regan. "The 100 Greatest Prog Albums Of All Time: 40-21". TeamRock. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  27. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  28. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]