Opeth -- In Cauda Venenum
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OpethIn Cauda Venenum

★★☆☆ Of course Opeth would start this album with a Mellotron sample. And yet, everyone’s favorite was-metal prog rock band are newly channeling 70s proto-metal here. The result is darker and more interesting than their last few albums. I’m still waiting in vain for a Damnation Part II, but I give Messrs.

Opeth -- Sorceress
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OpethSorceress

★★☆☆ I really should stop listening to Opeth. This album is even further removed from progressive metal, and much closer to what I’d expect from Leprous or Ghost. Or the more expositional tediums of Dream Theater. It’s really not until “Will O The Wisp,” fourteen minutes into the album, that the band revisits familiar musical territory.

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Metal?

I was listening to the new Haunted Shores EP today, and fact-checking myself on whether it was the side project of two members of Periphery. So I took a side trip to the excellent Encyclopaedia Metallum… and suddenly found myself reading a thread about the age-old question: are they metal?

Opeth -- Pale Communion
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OpethPale Communion

★★☆☆ Opeth’s love affair with all-things-vintage-prog continues unabated, and de rigeur Leslie-rotor organ pads, Mellotron, and warbly monophonic keys are all accounted for, and there’s at least one section mid-album that evokes a 12-string guitar sound. So that’s all fun. But aside from the time warp, the compositions are all a bit ho-hum and unspecial.