Monday, February 27, 2012

Song of the Day 2/27/12

So I love Mastodon. Absolutely love them. When I found out they were going on tour in support of their latest album "The Hunter", I told myself I'd go see them no matter how far I had to drive. I was pleasantly surprised when upon checking the tour dates, I saw a Reno date listed. Then, as if my day wasn't already good enough, I read that they were touring with Opeth.

Now as I was saying, I absolutely love Mastodon, but I also love Opeth. I've listened to these guys since my freshmen year of high school, and they've released three masterpieces since then. In fact, every album these guys have released, from Orchid all the way to Heritage, has been an instant progressive metal classic. While I like every track on every album, the one I always come back to is Still Life.

This album, originally released in 1999 was the band's fourth album, and first featuring bassist Martin Mendez. The album focused on the story of a man who was banished from the city of his birth for not following the established religion, but returns 15 years later for the woman he loved. The Moor is the first track on the album, and boy is it a doozy. Clocking in at 11:26, it's not the kind of song you put on while brushing your teeth. This is either my favorite Opeth song, or second favorite though (behind Dirge for November). Not only is it extremely well written from an instrumental standpoint, but the lyrics and imagery they paint are some of the best I've seen from any band, let alone a metal band. I'll post my favorite verse from the song:

I was foul and tainted, devoid of faith
Wearing my death-mask at birth
The hands of God, decrepit and thin
Cold caress and then nothing
I was taken away from my plight
A treason bestowed to the crowd
Branded a jonah with fevered blood
Ungodly freak, defiler

That is pretty powerful stuff, especially when you consider these guys are from Sweden. The guitar parts just reach me for some reason on this track especially, and combined with the powerful lyrics that tell a depressing but beautiful tale, they combine to make one of my favorite songs of all time.

   -Chris (Anxiously Awaiting the Mastodon/Opeth Concert)

Mikael Akerfeldt - All Vocals, Guitar
Peter Lindgren - Guitar
Martin Lopez - Drums
Martin Mendez - Bass Guitar

"Still Life", the fourth Opeth volume was recorded at Maestro Musik and

at Fredman Studios during the 15th of April and the 29th of May, 1999.
Produced and Engineered by Opeth
Sound setting and additional engineering by Fredrik Nordström and Isak Edh
Mastered at The Mastering Room by Göran Finnberg
Booklet designed by Travis Smith and Opeth
Photos by Harry Välimäki and Travis Smith
Logo designed by Timo Ketola
All music and lyrics by Opeth

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