Watch: Opeth’s New Live DVD

 

The Swedish prog-metal
outfit returns to the scene of the crime of its forebears in spectacular
fashion on the 2DVD set In Live Concert At the Royal Albert Hall, issued
recently by Roadrunner. View footage from the collection, below.

 

By Michael Toland

It’s hard to believe that progressive death metal titan
Opeth turned 20 years old this year, but there it is. In celebration, the
Swedish quintet booked an anniversary show into the Royal Albert Hall, home to
live LPs by Opeth leader Mikael Akerfeldt’s faves Deep Purple and Camel, and
the result is documented on the double-DVD set In Live Concert At the Royal Albert Hall. (There’s also a version
that includes three CDs.) Subtitled “Evolution XX – An Opeth Anthology,” the
set covers all aspects of the band’s career, choosing music from each of its
nine studio records, performed in chronological order.

 

To the uninitiated, the band’s evolution might be hard to
detect, as its essential elements were there from the beginning: melodies that
draw from Genesis as much as Iron Maiden, folk interludes, vocals that alternate
from feral (but articulate) death metal growls to plangent crooning. But fans
will find the set fascinating – there really is a difference between early work
like “Advent” and “Forest
of October,” which tip
the balance toward the metal side of the equation, and later cuts like “The
Lotus Eater,” which sound more like prog laced with extreme sounds. With an
average song length of 10 minutes, the show could grow repetitive and tiresome,
but due to the band’s skill and enthusiasm, it never does.

 

 

The only album from which the set does not pick is Opeth’s
breakthrough Blackwater Park, but that’s only because the LP
gets its own segment, in which the band plays it in sequence. Though not as
precise as the studio version (partly, no doubt, because the current version of
the band contains only two members who played on it), the performance still
highlights what a masterful piece of work Blackwater
Park
is, a landmark not only in heavy metal but in ‘aughts music in
general.

 

Since the 20th anniversary tour was only six
shows long, the discs form an excellent souvenir for fans who couldn’t attend
one of the shows. As with all DVDs, these include bonus features, namely an
“Opeth on tour” cinema verité documentary and a segment wherein Akerfeldt candidly answers fans’ questions. Neither
piece is essential viewing, but make nice extras for fans.

 

Special Features:

 

-Interview

-Behind-the-scenes documentary, On Tour with Opeth

 

 

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