This is an album for mellowing out and introspection, not head-banging. The truly epic soundscapes therein contain elements of jazz and the ever-present classical. There is no sense at all this band care a fig if their fans don't go along with them on their journey. There is no sense of trepidation in the tunes on here.
If you are along for the Opeth ride then find a comfy chair, a glass of your favourite tipple and prepare to let this music wash over you.
Opeth, like Anathema before them, has gracefully made the transition to neo-progressive rock. This is exactly what I was expecting from Opeth and they delivered it in the classy quality we have come to expect from them.
Morton: Come Read the Words Forbidden
Based in the Ukraine and named after the main man behind this effort, Morton is not a real estate company but a power metal band. While this is their debut, they had an EP out last year to give us all a taste of the band.
This is a solid album of power metal that does not necessarily break any new ground but never manages to sound too much like any of its influences. The band namesake's voice is quite apt for this music and he seems able to make sure it is never grating. For one thing, unlike some vocalists for this sort of band, he can actually hit the high notes he pens for himself (he is "composer" for the band as well). This is a mature release for a band that has only been around for a couple of years.
It is a decent collection of 13 songs that never gets boring or boorish. There is even a hint of catchiness in most of these tracks; I particularly like "Oblivion". While quite not at the point that makes them truly memorable, the listening gives you a fleeting bit of pleasure. It clocks in just under an hour which is a good move for a new band — a solid release from an up and coming power metal band.
On the basis of the development from their EP to this debut their next release could be truly something special. Good to see quality metal coming from the former Soviet republics.
Michael Schenker: Temple of Rock