Opeth have been making intense metal music since 1990, and they have been doing just that with singer Mikael since 1992. Since then, they have provided fans with 8 full length albums and a smattering of other material. â€œThe Roundhouse Tapesâ€ are recordings that were captured from a live performance at (you guessed it) the Roundhouse, a venue in London. This review is for the audio version of the release; plans are already underway to release a DVD version of these recordings sometime in 2008. â€œThe Roundhouse Tapesâ€ has a number of Opeth hits, whether it be â€œGhost of Perditionâ€, â€œDemon of the Fallâ€, or â€œFace of Melindaâ€.Â
In comparison to the bandâ€™s last live album, â€œLamentationsâ€, â€œThe Roundhouse Tapesâ€ feels to be more of a representative work, where â€œLamentationsâ€ was based much more heavily on â€œDamnationâ€ than any other of the bandâ€™s releases up to that point. Perhaps the most interesting part of â€œThe Roundhouse Tapesâ€ is the ability that individuals have to hear drastic re-envisionings of certain tracks. Where it is common practice to essentially recreate a bandâ€™s hits by rote, Opeth put some thought into creating new and interesting versions of their classic tracks. Two of these tracks that are given a new lease on life have to be â€œThe Night and the Silent Waterâ€ and â€œUnder The Weeping Moonâ€.The dark of the bandâ€™s compositions during â€œThe Roundhouse Tapesâ€ is balanced quite nicely by the in-between song discussion that takes places.
Where the compositions are intense, the talking done by Mikael is humorous and a little bit grin worthy at times. All in all, it feels as if these brief interludes act like coffee beans in a perfume shop; they cleanse the pallet and ensure that individuals are able to continue with listening to this 2 CD set. The fact that the band is not afraid to pull tracks from their earlier and lesser known releases (tracks from â€œOrchidâ€ and â€œMorningriseâ€ are present) solidifies this as a definitive live album that is a must buy for anyone that calls themselves a fan of Opeth. The band is currently in the studio recording their next album, so it still yet may be a while until the disc is released to the masses. Until then, â€œThe Roundhouse Tapesâ€ is a disc that can easily tide people over until this new album is released. Check it out.
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