The long awaited live album from progressive metal legends Opeth is finally here in the form of the double CD package The Roundhouse Tapes. Recorded at London's famous Camden Roadhouse on November 9th, 2006, this first official live album from the band contains songs from all the Opeth albums, save Deliverance, and is a very well balanced set, although die-hard fans will no doubt finish listening to 90 minutes of music here and want more.
Overall it's a very intimate listen, as you almost feel like you are sitting right there in the crowd. The furious thunder of the band, the delicate intricacies, and the between song banter between vocalist/guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt and the crowd makes for a very personal sounding audio experience that works on every level. How can you go wrong with classics like "When", the raging epic "Blackwater Park", the gorgeous numbers "Face of Melinda" & "Windowpane", the atmospheric "The Night And the Silent Water", or the stunning "Bleak" ? Simple, you can't. Add in the surprising decision to dust off "Under the Weeping Moon" from their debut Orchid and absolutely kick ass versions of "Ghost of Perdition" (from their latest Ghost Reveries) and "Demon of the Fall", and you have a virtual drop dead amazing set from these progressive death metal veterans. Sure, it would have been nice to have "Deliverance", "The Drapery Falls", "Serenity Painted Death", "The Moor", "Advent", "Baying of the Hounds", or "The Leper Affinity" here as well, but we can't have it all, considering how the average length of Opeth's songs are probably close to 10 minutes or so. The performances throughout this two CD set are staggering, the band extremely tight and energetic, with Akerfeldt's roaring death growls and folk tinged clean vocals working perfectly together while the whole band fires away at every twist and turn of their complex music.
The line-up here is Mikael Akerfeldt (vocals, guitars), Peter Lindgren (guitars), Per Wilberg (keyboards, background vocals), Martin Mendez (bass guitar), and Martin Axenrot (drums). Lindgren recently left the band, leaving Akerfeldt as the sole original member, so in a way The Roundhouse Tapes is sort of like a closing of the door on one chapter in the career of Opeth. Currently the band is writing new material, with former Arch Enemy guitarist Fredrik Åkesson in tow replacing Lindgren, so a new Opeth opus will hopefully be upon us sometime in 2008.
A mandatory live album for every progressive metal collection... for this year or any year for that matter.
2. Ghost Of Perdition
3. Under the Weeping Moon
5. Face Of Melinda
6. The Night And the Silent Water
2. Blackwater Park
3. Demon Of the Fall