Watershed (Opeth album)

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Watershed
Opeth - Watershed.jpg
Studio album by
Released19 May 2008
Recorded1 November 2007[1]–10 January 2008
StudioFascination Street Studios (Örebro, Sweden)
Genre
Length54:56
LabelRoadrunner
Producer
Opeth chronology
The Roundhouse Tapes
(2007)
Watershed
(2008)
The Candlelight Years
(2008)
Alternative cover
Special edition
Special edition
Singles from Watershed
  1. "Porcelain Heart"
    Released: April 19, 2008
  2. "Mellotron Heart"
    Released: June 3, 2008
  3. "Burden"
    Released: December 9, 2008

Watershed is the ninth full-length studio album by the Swedish progressive metal band Opeth. Released by Roadrunner Records, Watershed is the first studio album by Opeth to feature guitarist Fredrik Åkesson and drummer Martin Axenrot, who replaced longtime guitarist Peter Lindgren and drummer Martin Lopez. The artwork for the album was made by Travis Smith (who has created the artwork for eight previous Opeth releases) in collaboration with Mikael Åkerfeldt.[3] The album is the band's last studio album to contain death growls or any death metal elements to date.

Overview[edit]

On opening track "Coil", Mikael Åkerfeldt duets with Nathalie Lorichs, who was dating drummer Martin Axenrot at the time.[4] The band has revealed that they were initially going to start the album with what eventually became the second track, "Heir Apparent"; however, they preferred "Coil" as an introductory track for its contrast to "Heir Apparent".[4]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic82/100[5]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Blender4/5 stars[6]
Blabbermouth.net9.5/10[7]
Consequence of SoundA-[8]
Metal Storm9.1/10[9]
The New York Times4/5 stars[10]
Pitchfork7.5/10[11]
PopMatters9/10 stars[12]
Rock Hard9/10[13]
Sputnikmusic4/5 stars[14]

The album was met with universal acclaim according to Metacritic, receiving a metascore of 82/100 based on 10 critics.[5]

On Metal Hammer's Critic's Choice Top 50, Watershed was named as the second-best album of 2008 (behind only Metallica's Death Magnetic).[15] In the January/February 2009 issue of Metal Edge, Watershed was voted the number 1 album of 2008.

In a fan club interview dated to November 2008, a few months after the album's release, former guitarist Peter Lindgren praised the album, noting that "it was a weird feeling to get a new Opeth CD...that he hadn't been a part of", and that he "had trouble following the new songs at first", but called it "damn good".[16]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Mikael Åkerfeldt; all music is composed by Åkerfeldt except where noted.

No.TitleMusicLength
1."Coil" 3:10
2."Heir Apparent" 8:50
3."The Lotus Eater" 8:50
4."Burden" 7:41
5."Porcelain Heart"8:00
6."Hessian Peel" 11:25
7."Hex Omega" 7:00
Total length:54:56
Special edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
8."Derelict Herds"
6:28
9."Bridge of Sighs" (Robin Trower cover)Robin Trower5:55
10."Den ständiga resan" (Marie Fredriksson cover)Marie Fredriksson4:09
Special edition bonus DVD
No.TitleLength
1."Prologue"6:58
2."From Another Planet"8:30
3."The Lotus Eater"13:48
4."The Junkmail Studios"16:23
5."Epilogue"6:41
Total length:52:20

Chart positions[edit]

Weekly[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
Swedish Albums Chart[17] 7
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[18] 7
Austrian Albums Chart[19] 53
Canadian Albums Chart[20] 17
Danish Albums Chart[21] 84
Dutch Albums Chart[22] 14
French Albums Chart[23] 47
Finnish Albums Chart[24] 1
German Albums Chart[25] 23
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart[21] 15
New Zealand Albums Chart[26] 26
Norwegian Albums Chart[27] 7
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[28] 35
Swiss Albums Chart[29] 24
UK Albums Chart[21] 34
US Billboard 200[20] 23

Monthly[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
Poland (ZPAV Top 100) 38[30]

Usage in media[edit]

  • The song "Heir Apparent" was featured as a downloadable content in the video game Rock Band 4.
  • The song "The Lotus Eater" was featured in the 2011 video game Saints Row: The Third.

Personnel[edit]

Opeth[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Nathalie Lorichs – female vocals (on "Coil")
  • Lisa Almberg – English horn, oboe
  • Christoffer Wadensten – flute
  • Karin Svensson – violin
  • Andreas Tengberg – cello

Production and design[edit]

  • Mikael Åkerfeldt – production, artwork
  • Jens Bogren – production, recording, mixing, mastering
  • Mikhail Korge – recording (additional)
  • David Castillo – engineering (additional)
  • Johan Örnborg – engineering (additional)
  • Travis Smith – artwork

Release history[edit]

Watershed was released as a standard edition, a 180 gram vinyl edition, and a special edition. The special edition includes three bonus tracks, a bonus DVD with a 5.1 surround sound mix of the entire album (not including bonus tracks), video content featuring rehearsals, and studio footage, as well as expanded artwork. The vinyl release comes in gatefold packaging and contains the album on two LPs, as well as a CD copy of the album (both including the bonus track "Derelict Herds") and a poster.

"Mellotron Heart" was included on a separate disc with a limited number of copies of the album. It is an alternate recording of the song "Porcelain Heart", performed on mellotron and mini-Moog synthesizers by Åkerfeldt himself. The cover for the CD is the standard album artwork with the figure and writing desk replaced by a mellotron. The track is also available as a free digital download exclusively for those who pre-ordered the album from The End Records, and to people who insert the CD into their computer via Opendisc.[31]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Continental Europe May 30, 2008[32] Roadrunner CD RR 7962-2
United Kingdom June 2, 2008[33] Roadrunner CD RR 7962-2
North America June 3, 2008[34] Roadrunner Enhanced CD R 1384409
Australia June 3, 2008 Roadrunner Records (Australia) Enhanced CD RR 7962-8

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Opeth: To Begin Recording New Album Tomorrow". Blabbermouth.net. 31 October 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2008.
  2. ^ a b True, Christopher M. Watershed review allmusic.com. Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "Watershed Artwork Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  4. ^ a b Hensch, Mark. "Opeth Interview". antiMusic. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Watershed - Opeth". Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  6. ^ Watershed review blender.com. Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  7. ^ [1] Retrieved on May 18, 2010.
  8. ^ "Opeth - Watershed". 20 June 2008.
  9. ^ "Opeth - Watershed review". Metal Storm. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  10. ^ Ratliff, Ben. Playlist nytimes.com. Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  11. ^ Lee, Cosmo. Watershed review June 4, 2008. Retrieved on August 28, 2014.
  12. ^ Begrand, Adrien Watershed review June 5, 2008. Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  13. ^ "Rock Hard review". issue 253.
  14. ^ Stagno, Mike. Watershed review Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  15. ^ Metal Hammer critics’ top 50 albums of 2008: 3-1 metalhammer.co.uk. December 23, 2008. Retrieved on November 29, 2009.
  16. ^ Hellström, Jörgen. "Interview with Peter Lindgren (English)". Opeth FanClub Sweden. Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Watershed in Swedish Charts" (in Swedish). swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  18. ^ "Watershed in Australian Charts". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  19. ^ "Watershed in Der Österreichischen Hitparade" (in German). austriancharts.at. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  20. ^ a b "Watershed > Charts & Awards". allmusic. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  21. ^ a b c "Opeth's Watershed Tops Finnish Album Chart". blabbermouth.net. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  22. ^ "Watershed in Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  23. ^ "Watershed dans Les Charts Français" (in French). lescharts.com. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  24. ^ "Watershed in Finnish Charts" (in Finnish). finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  25. ^ "Chartverfolgung - Opeth - Watershed" (in German). Musicline.de. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  26. ^ "Watershed in New Zealand Charts". charts.nz. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  27. ^ "Watershed in Norwegian Charts" (in Norwegian). norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  28. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  29. ^ "Watershed in Der Schweizer Hitparade" (in German). hitparade.ch. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  30. ^ http://muzyka.interia.pl/lista/zpav,8
  31. ^ "Mellotron Heart: Exclusive Digital Delivery for Opeth Pre-Order". RoadrunnerRecords.com. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
  32. ^ Amazon.de: Opeth – Watershed
  33. ^ Amazon.co.uk: Opeth – Watershed
  34. ^ "Opeth – Roadrunner Records". Roadrunnerrecords.com. 5 February 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2008.