Still Life (Opeth album)

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Still Life
Opeth stilllife.jpg
Studio album by
Released18 October 1999 (1999-10-18)
Recorded15 April–29 May 1999 (Maestro Musik and Studio Fredman)
Genre
Length62:31
LabelPeaceville
Producer
  • Opeth
  • Mikael Åkerfeldt[2]
  • Fredrik Nordström
Opeth chronology
My Arms, Your Hearse
(1998)
Still Life
(1999)
Blackwater Park
(2001)

Still Life is the fourth studio album by Swedish progressive metal band Opeth. The album was produced and engineered by Opeth alongside Fredrik Nordström, and released on 18 October 1999 through Peaceville Records. It was the first Opeth album to be released through Peaceville, following their departure from Candlelight and Century Black after the release of My Arms, Your Hearse, and the first album to feature Martin Mendez.

Style[edit]

Eduardo Rivadavia of Allmusic called Still Life a "formidable splicing of harsh, often jagged guitar riffs with graceful melodies".[1]

Concept[edit]

Like its predecessor, My Arms, Your Hearse, Still Life is a concept album. Frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt explains: "Still Life was not Satanic but an anti-Christian theme. It sounds pretty naive when I explain it like this. It kind of takes place a long time ago when Christianity had a bigger importance than it has today. The main character is kind of banished from his hometown because he hasn't got the same faith as the rest of the inhabitants there. The album pretty much starts off when he is returning after several years to hook up with his old 'babe'. Obviously a lot of bad things start happening with, as I call it on the album, 'the council.' The big bosses of the town know that he's back. A lot of bad things start happening. They see him as a hypocrite in a way. It's almost like a devil's advocate or whatever it's called. "[3] The album then proceeds to portray Melinda's proclamation of love towards the protagonist. These events lead to her murder and the main character going on a rampage against the ones responsible. The last song of the record, "White Cluster" concludes the story with his execution and him meeting Melinda in the afterlife.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Chronicles of Chaos9/10 stars[4]
Metal Storm10/10[5]
PopMatters(Very favorable)[6]
Sea of Tranquility5/5 stars[7]
Sputnikmusic(4.5/5)[8]

Due to time constraints, the band was able to rehearse only twice before entering the studio. Delays with the album's artwork pushed the release back an additional month, and the album was released in Europe under the Peaceville/Snapper label on 18 October 1999. Due to problems with the band's new distribution network, the album was not released in American stores until 27 February 2001.[9]

Still Life was the first album recorded with bassist Martín Méndez and the first Opeth album to bear any kind of caption on the front cover besides the band logo upon its initial release.[10]

The album was re-released by Peaceville Records in 2000 as a slipcase version and again as a digipak version in 2003.[11] A third re-release came out on 31 March 2008, with reworked album artwork by original artist Travis Smith. This new edition has two discs, the first one being a remastered stereo mix of the album on Audio CD and the second one being an Audio DVD containing a 5.1 surround sound mix. The DVD also contains a live video for the album track "Face of Melinda" from The Roundhouse Tapes live performance in London. The remastered and remixed versions of the original recordings were done by Jens Bogren.[12]

Accolades[edit]

In 2014, TeamRock put Still Life at #83 on their "Top 100 Greatest Prog Albums Of All Time" list with Jordan Griffin stating that it is "still regarded by many fans as a career high point, Still Life’s deft blend of beauty and brutality was lauded by metal and prog fans. Opeth’s first true classic.".[13] On the other hand, Loudwire placed the album at #54 on their "Top 90 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Albums of the 1990s" list commenting that Opeth closed out the 90s with their strongest album yet.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Mikael Åkerfeldt[15].

No.TitleLength
1."The Moor"11:26
2."Godhead's Lament"9:47
3."Benighted"5:00
4."Moonlapse Vertigo"9:00
5."Face of Melinda"7:58
6."Serenity Painted Death"9:13
7."White Cluster"10:02

Personnel[edit]

Opeth[edit]

Production[edit]

Release history[edit]

Year Region Label Format Catalog
2000 Russia Союз CD CDVILEM 78 / 6207 82
2000 United Kingdom Peaceville CD CDVILEM 78
2002 United Kingdom Peaceville Vinyl LP DLPVILE 78
2003 United Kingdom Peaceville CD CDVILED 78
2005 Argentina Icarus CD ICARUS 132
2008 United Kingdom Peaceville CD CDVILED183X
2010 United Kingdom Peaceville Vinyl LP VILELP78

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Still Life review". Allmusic. Retrieved 12 January 2008.
  2. ^ "STILL LFE - 1999". Opeth.com. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  3. ^ McCoe, Scott. "Interview with Mikael Åkerfeldt". Metalupdate.com. Retrieved 12 January 2008.
  4. ^ Azevedo, Pedro. "Still Life". Chronicles of Chaos. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Opeth - Still Life review". Metal Storm. 18 September 2003. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  6. ^ Blum, Jordan (12 June 2014). "Benighted by Beauty: The Legacy of Opeth's 'Still Life'". PopMatters. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  7. ^ Batmaz, Murat (17 June 2006). "Review: "Opeth: Still Life"". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  8. ^ Fisher, Tyler. "Opeth Still Life". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Opeth Biography". Opeth.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Current logo". Opeth.com. Archived from the original on 21 February 2004. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  11. ^ "OPETH Mainman To Collaborate With PORCUPINE TREE Singer". Blabbermouth.net. 24 March 2003. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  12. ^ a b "Opeth's Still Life Special Edition at". Peaceville.com. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  13. ^ Hyndman, Chavez. "The 100 Greatest Prog Albums Of All Time: 100-81". TeamRock. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  14. ^ "Top 90 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Albums of the 1990s: #54. Opeth, 'Still Life'". Loudwire. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  15. ^ "Opeth official website discography". Opeth.com. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2011.

External links[edit]