Opeth – The Roundhouse Tapes

Opeth – The Roundhouse Tapes / 2007 Peaceville / 9 Tracks / http://www.opeth.com / http://www.peaceville.com /  

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. “The Roundhouse Tapes” 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. “The Roundhouse Tapes” has a number of Opeth hits, whether it be “Ghost of Perdition”, “Demon of the Fall”, or “Face of Melinda”. 

In comparison to the band’s last live album, “Lamentations”, “The Roundhouse Tapes” feels to be more of a representative work, where “Lamentations” was based much more heavily on “Damnation” than any other of the band’s releases up to that point. Perhaps the most interesting part of “The Roundhouse Tapes” is the ability that individuals have to hear drastic re-envisionings of certain tracks. Where it is common practice to essentially recreate a band’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 “The Night and the Silent Water” and “Under The Weeping Moon”.The dark of the band’s compositions during “The Roundhouse Tapes” 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 “Orchid” and “Morningrise” 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, “The Roundhouse Tapes” is a disc that can easily tide people over until this new album is released. Check it out.

Top Track: Windowpane

Rating: 7.7/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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