Review : Opeth - In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
Pitchfork"We are bringing death metal into the halls of high culture," says Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt from the stage at London's Royal Albert Hall, but he's only sort of right. Åkerfeldt can emit guttural snarls with the best of them, but it doesn't tell the whole story to tag Opeth as a "metal band." Culturally, they're metal, longtime titans of the ridiculously fertile Scandinavian scene. But musically, they're prog. Their songs regularly go way past 10 minutes and frequently break into Ren-fest traveling-minstrel frippery. In this ridiculously huge box set's liner notes, they thank Joni Mitchell and Scott Walker alongside Morbid Angel and Ronnie James Dio. Death metal is Åkerfeldt's favorite toy, the same way the band's 1970s forebears loved playing around with traditional English folk or Howlin' Wolf, but the band makes a huge show out venturing across as much landscape as possible. And inside the ornate venue, they look very much at home. A stoned, pasty mass of British people swaying and headbanging as a group of curtain-haired virtuosos wheedle out extended multi-movement works-- this is something that could've happened at any point over the last 40 years.
Over three CDs and two DVDs, this box documents one show, which stretched across nearly three hours. Opeth were celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band, so they played one album, 2001's masterful Blackwater Park, in full, then picked one song per album from all their other albums. This is a neat idea to showcase the band's musical evolution, but Opeth hasn't exactly had a ton of musical evolution, at least not on record. They were playing these wide-ranging epics from jump. And on a live album, it's not like you can hear the differences in production between all these different records. It just feels like one endless wander after another.
Everything about In Live Concert is extraordinarily well-done. The recording is full and warm, and nothing ends up buried the way things often happen on live albums. The DVDs are nicely shot and crisply edited-- professional pieces of work where nobody involved got too showy with anything. The band, obviously, plays everything with just ridiculous amounts of technical skill; they wouldn't set off on these staggering epics if they weren't total wizards on their instruments. And over all these discs, there's a ton of material to process. The second DVD comes with a 45-minute life-on-the-road documentary, one that doesn't bother with anything as distracting as subtitles. Even if you speak Swedish, the thing probably isn't terribly interesting-- and yet, they know there are superfans out there who will absolutely eat this up. If you're an Opeth superfan-- and the band has plenty-- you probably already have this thing on pre-order, and you won't be disappointed....full text
BillsprogblogAs part of the ongoing celebration of their 20th anniversary, Sweden’s Opeth is releasing live footage and audio from the band’s recent performance at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall. In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, due out September 21st, is a fierce testament to Opeth’s continued success in the progressive metal community.
Twenty years and nine records into their legendary career, Opeth’s “progressively creative spirit” (ARTISTdirect) remains unwavering, propelling the band through the “Evolution XX: An Opeth Anthology” tour, which brought the Swedish titans to six of the world’s most unique venues, and now, with the release of In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, into the homes of their fans.
The performance at the Royal Albert Hall (recorded on the 5th of April, 2010) includes two sets, the first consisting of the band performing 2000’s now-classic, breakthrough epic, Blackwater Park in its entirety, and the second, a chronologically arranged selection of material from the rest of Opeth’s extensive catalogue, totaling almost three hours of music. It is, like the rest of Opeth’s greatest work, “purposefully warped in all the right places” (Decibel). The front cover artwork concept pays tribute to Deep Purple´s Concerto for Group and Orchestra, underlining the band’s longstanding love for their prog-rock roots....full text
RoadrunnerrecordsAs part of the ongoing celebration of their 20th anniversary, Sweden’s Opeth is releasing live footage and audio from the band’s recent performance at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall. In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, due out 9/21/10, is a fierce testament to Opeth’s continued success in the progressive metal community. Opeth performed two sets that evening- the first of Blackwater Park in its entirety and the second, a chronologically arranged selection of material from the rest of Opeth’s extensive catalog.
This limited edition, box set includes the following:
-Double-DVD set of Opeth’s performance at the legendary Royal Albert Hall, in its entirety. Bonus features include an exclusive interview and the behind-the-scenes documentary, On Tour with Opeth. DVD’s are in 5.1 Dolby surround sound, produced and mixed by Jens Bogren
-A set of four 180-gram LP’s of the concert’s live audio in its entirety. The vinyl is housed in black poly lined inner sleeves which are packaged in 2 double gatefold sets with exclusive artwork. Vinyl only available in this box set.
-Exclusive, numbered lithograph with artwork designed by Mikael Åkerfeldt and longtime Opeth designer, Travis Smith.
-20-page, LP sized booklet printed on coated paper stock that chronicles the night’s events in photos.
-Expanded, exclusive artwork and more.
-MP3 download of live audio in its entirety will be sent via e-mail on release day
-Content of this set is housed in a custom foil stamped slipcase....full text
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