Watershed

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Band Name Opeth
Album Name Watershed
Type Album
Released date 30 May 2008
Produced by Jens Bogren
Music StyleProgressive Death
Members owning this album734

Tracklist

DISC
1. Coil 03:11
2. Heir Apparent 08:50
3. The Lotus Eater 08:51
4. Burden 07:41
5. Porcelain Heart 08:01
6. Hessian Peel 11:26
7. Hex Omega 07:01
Bonustrack (Japanese Release)
8. Derelict Herds 06:33
DVD (LIMITED EDITION)
REHEARSAL TAPES
1. Prologue 06:58
2. From Another Planet 08:30
3. The Lotus Eater 13:48
4. The Junkmail Studios 16:23
5. Epilogue 06:41
WATERSHED 5.1 MIX
6. Coil 03:07
7. Heir Apparent 08:51
8. The Lotus Eater 08:48
9. Burden 07:42
10. Porcelain Heart 08:01
11. Hessian Peel 11:26
12. Hex Omega 06:59
Bonustracks
13. Derelict Herds 06:29
14. Bridge of Sighs (Robin Trower Cover) 05:56
15. Den Ständiga Resan (Marie Fredriksson Cover) 04:10
Total playing time 55:01

Review @ sunofalightbulb

12 September 2008
There are times when a band needs to explore new ground to appear fresh and new to its listeners. There are other times where the same formula works the best to keep listeners involved with the band. Opeth tasted a bit of both of those worlds with the release of Watershed. Like albums of old, Watershed has moments of sheer brutality, and the band's trademark epic feel. But like the newer releases, Opeth furthers their evolution into not just a death metal band, but a progressive death metal band.

The album starts off with "Coil" which almost has an upbeat and romantic feel to it. Mike's voice then being replaced by a beautiful woman's. A nice touch to add the romantic feel to the song. Brutality follows with the next track, and once the third track "The Lotus Eaters" starts, its hard to tell where Opeth would decide to tred next. The result is a roller coaster ride down both ends of the significant Opethian spectrum. Large, epic metal parts mixed with the beautiful elements that makes progressive music so appealing.

Then there is "Burden" which is arguably one of the most beautiful songs that Opeth has ever released. In a fashion much like "Harvest" (from 2001's Blackwater Park) the song follows a verse chorus format, but the majesty in this song is in the music itself, the atmosphere created, and the tremendous emotion felt during the solos and ending. The songs that follow almost seem like a mute point, not because they are poor, but because "Burden" is just that good. Most hardcore fans will be screaming for this track at live shows.

Finally, the special editions contain many bonus tracks. All of which are impressive. Its not listed here on spirit, but Opeth also has done a cover of Soldier of Fortune, which is awesome, because I personally love that song. :)

20/20

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Review @ cardina

17 September 2008
The so long awaited new Opeth album has finally hit every fan in the face with the words "MASTERPIECE", speard all over it. Again, Opeth have not failed to deliver what a hugely growing fanbase has come to expect and (in Watershed) they have perhaps made the greatest statement that Opeth is here to stay and to rule the genre.
What genre ? There is no genre to qualify this immense band or indeed this amazing album...

Coil... takes us into a dreamland of its own, two amazing voices fill the vocal melodies... this song its so beautiful it could run for another extra four minutes and you would think you were in a trance of bliss.

Then it comes Heir Apparent. If you were still in trance from coil, you'll surely be on your senses now as a wave of brutality invades the speakers of your mind. You also have a taste of the new dummer "Axe" and the geometric way into which both guitars entertwine with the new adittion of Fredrik into the Opeth realm.

Thirdly, Mikael's favourite track by own admission and the released single of the album comes The Lotus Eater. This track has a lot to choose from. A first on an Opeth song, blastbeats and the pacing change, between the so accostumed heavy into mellow / heavy dictate the madness and creation into what may be considered the most progressive song made by Opeth thus far. Perhaps a small influence of their bloodbath's project, but nonetheless an amazing track that you will end up rendering yourself to.

The following track should be proclaimed one of the best ballads ever made. Inspired in another ballad, Opeth conceives here perhaps something greater than their own expectations, "Burden" is of a different kind. Its an emotional song, very colourful and its finale is perhaps the most unexpected ever, even for an Opeth song. Its trails off with an acoustic guitar segment that progressively goes out of tune until Mikael's laughter is turned into a mechanical computerized sound.

Next on the line, we encounter Porcelain Heart as track number 5. A very nice distorted intro that follows into a nice acoustic guitar for the verse. The song follows a really structured element up until 4.30 mark where a trademark twist makes it another awesome additon to this album and was the choice for a video-clip.

Hessian Peel has perhaps the most beautiful intro in the whole album. It is also the longest song on the album surpassing the 11th minute mark. Its very flutelike in some parts giving it a eerie medieval feel. Interestingly, I feel that the cymbals in the drumkit make this song rather special, (it goes really well with the ambiance of the whole track). It carry all the beautiful heavy/death metal type/passages that we're all used to, but somehow in a more grown up manner, perhaps more cohesive.

Last but not least, Hex Omega completes Watershed as its final track. It sums the album perfectly in its content with all the Opeth aspects.

This seems like a start of a new era with this reformed line up and... if this is the beginning... then we're all lucky to be living in this day and age, because where other bands might be faltering, Opeth surely isn't.

Luis Cardina

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Review @ heavymetaltribune

23 March 2012

perfect balance between and fusion of heaviness and melody

When Opeth in 2008 announced the upcoming release of their new album, Watershed, the emotions that it evoked were mixed, especially with two of my favourite members of the band, Martin Lopez leaving the band in 2005 and a year before the release of the album, Peter Lindgren left the band as well, being replaced by Bloodbath's Martin Axenrot and ex-Arch Enemy live guitarist Fredrik Åkesson respectively. Furthermore, 2005's Ghost Reveries marked the transition of the band's songwriting from a heavier edge to more progressive territories, leaving one to wonder what Watershed was going to sound like.

Album opener Coil brings listeners back to the band's Damnation album, with the acoustic guitars and Mikael Åkerfeldt's trademark clean vocals. The guest female vocals present on the song also helps in making this track an extremely soothing and beautiful one, and just from this intro track, one can almost be sure that there will be a markedly increased presence of such moments on the album. Imagine the surprise then, as Heir Apparent assaults the listener with a heavy, crushing riff, and one is brought back to the darker moments that were present on the band's previous effort, Ghost Reveries, and as sudden as these heavy riffs come in, they fade out and instead, the keys of Per Wiberg takes over, giving the music a chilling and haunting atmosphere before going back into their heavier mode. Mikhael's growls are stellar here, with a somewhat spacey sound to them, compared to the more aggressive and sharp style that he utilises on Bloodbath. Fans of Deliverance and Blackwater Park era Opeth, be prepared to be slightly disappointed as Heir Apparent could possibly be the heaviest song that is present on this ninth release of the band.

The reduction of heaviness on the album though, is fortunately made up for by the brilliant songwriting on Watershed, and this is evident throughout the album, with tracks that run for as long as 11 and a half minutes (Hessian Peel), yet containing not a single boring moment. The progression of the tracks are also typically Opeth, with the constant switching between heavy and soothing moments, though compared to prior releases, the death metal moments are notably fewer throughout the album. The Lotus Eater also progresses like a more updated and progressive version of The Baying of the Hounds, with the melodic and catchy yet heavy riffs on the guitar, and the usage of clean vocals on top of the heavy riffs. Burden would have easily fit on the Damnation album as well, with the song being filled with mostly instruments played in cleans, yet this manages to stand as one of my favourite tracks on the album with the calming yet somewhat desolate mood that it rouses in the listener.

Throughout the album, Fredrik also proves his abilities as a guitarist, and his ability to fit in the band, with the numerous face-ripping solos that he unleashes effortlessly, yet staying within the style that Opeth has crafted over the years through the capable playing of the acoustic guitars as well. Mikael's characteristic soaring guitar solos are also present alongside those of Fredrik, like on Burden. One of the main highlights on the album as well is the duel between Fredrik and Mikael on Burden, giving listeners a glimpse to the prowess of each of the musicians. The detuning of the guitar at the end of the track also provides a quirky moment, ending with a sinister laugh by Mikael. The Lotus Eater also shows Per Wiberg's ability on his instruments with the extremely complex solo slightly after the halfway mark. On top of that, Axenrot also shows that he is not only the blast-beats machine (like in Bloodbath), but is also capable of providing some jazzy moments like his predecessor, Martin Lopez, helping to address any displeasures from long time die-hard fans of the band. Martin Mendex also uses his bass like a third lead instrument, providing a constant soothing background melody underneath all the other instruments.

Watershed also stands as one of the shortest albums of the band's career, with all tracks having a combined runtime of under 1 hour, and this, combined with the large change of musical style could make this album the band's first divisive albums before their final transition into a full-on prog band with 2011's Heritage. While fans of what was on Deliverance and Blackwater Part could probably hate this, Watershed has over time become one of my favourite albums of Opeth, with the perfect balance between and fusion of heaviness and melody.

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Comment @ Vinrock666

01 April 2009
Opeth's 2008 release "Watershed" is a masterpiece. Mikael Akerfeldt progressively transends the death metal genre from previously known boundaries to a compositional level that has never been reached before. What was once a pleasant surprise is now the standard of Akerfeldt's writing. Seven songs - all of them exhibiting a fourth dimension of range, complexity, mood, depth, and diversity. It is so much so that classification is rendered pointless. All that is "Watershed" is slow and fast, hard and soft, alive and dead, beautiful in melody and harmony (the vocal arrangement on "Burden") and cold and empty (any piano section - most notably "Heir Apparent" and "Hessian Peel"). The album is also very organic and real, too, for the production is so up close and personal that we not only hear the crisp and clear sounds of every note, but the fingers sliding across the strings and the drawing of Akerfeldt's breath as well. These "imperfections" simply make this work of art perfect. A note of interest must be said about the musicians themselves. Considering that there are new members of the band featured here, their contributions is nothing short of awesome (particularly the drumming when you consider all of the time changes within each song). Not only that, but a keyboard player has been added, too, and the color and embellishment to these songs is much appreciated. Most importantly is the addition of musical guests, including female vocals ("Coil"), violin ("Hessian Peel"), and a wonderful addition of oboe and french horn. Going back to guitarist, voice, and writer, Mikael Akerfeldt - "Watershed" is to date the best exhibition of his mastery in both composition and direction. Every note is well placed. Every sound, pitch, and tone was thought through. Even decisions to fade from fast to slow rather than cut appears intentional. If there is one part in "Watershed" that best illustrates Akerfeldt's genius it would be the descending down-tuning of the accoustic guitar segment at the end of "Burden". It first feels strange, possibly even a joke, but then when listened to with a degree of acceptace it is soon realized that there is no distortion in tone at all - a most unusual display of perfection. That, in a capsule, is what the whole of Opeth's "Watershed" simply is - perfection.

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