You might all know that I’m a pretty die-hard Opeth fanboy. ‘Course, that didn’t stop me from panning Heritage and entering into the most recent anticipation for the new record with a lot of anxiety. Pale Communion has been pushed back to August, as most of you know (though pre-orders start on the 3rd of June). That they’ve just released the (amazing) album art suggests that this was the band’s fault and probably not the label’s. I was really impressed by the artwork that got released a few days back. It’s unique, beautiful, moody, and it really reminds me of Riddarholmskyrkan in Stockholm.

Opeth - Pale Communion

So, with that art out of the way, now a track has apparently “leaked.” I’m not sure what this actually means, if the band is leaking it or if it’s an actual leak, but since it just happened, it’s probably the most newsworthy thing I’ve seen in a long time. So I’m just going to drop the link here and say “omg, hear those drums? They sound like drums!” And that bridge at 3:33 and transition at 4:09? That’s the shit I’m talking about that was missing from Heritage. Enjoy. I sure will.

Edit 1: I know the video that was posted here got taken down, but now that the cat is out of the bag it ain’t goin’ back in. It must really have been a leak, then. That’s too bad, and I feel like a bit of a dick for posting it. But it is a magical song and my excitement outweighed my judgement.

Edit 2I am now inserting a rip of the official video that was released. This one is admittedly way better and I’d include the Vimeo version that was released, but that’s not embeddable. Also, h/t to MetalSucks who apparently got to stream it. I would embed the official version, but the Vimeo embeds are forbidden to us because we’re not a big enough source.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. 5.29: 10:26
  2. 6.04: 14:48
Tagged with →  
Share →
  • T.J. Barber

    The track does sound very promising.

    I’m still really not a fan of that cover. There’s just way too much going on and everything is frustratingly small. It just seems it could have been split up and the artwork spread throughout the packaging would have been a lot more powerful (the tryptich spread across a 6 panel digipack for a wide panoramic image would have been awesome). Sure we haven’t seen the packaging yet, but it seems doubtful that will be the case. I’m a big Travis Smith fan, I just wish I could make out the details more clearly in there instead of losing so much of the cover real-estate to the brick shadowing.

    • I’m a huge fan of the art, actually. Built for vinyl, though, I think. From the sound of the track, the whole thing sounds “built for vinyl.”

      • T.J. Barber

        I could see that working for vinyl nicely.

        I wonder if there is 2 versions, a CD and a vinyl. I haven’t seen Travis Smith do that before but I’m seeing that approach more and more.

        Maybe it will grow on me, the balance between minute detail and dead space seems odd to me right now. That’s something the Heritage cover did very very well in my opinion.

  • This pleases me.

  • This is Opeth on every single note. It is beautiful, moody, and heavy, and still smooth enough. I am in love again. i can not begin to fathom the Vinyl Record in my head.

  • RDGEEK

    Wish the kick drum wasn’t so muddy or diffuse compared to the crispness of the hat and snare. The drums on the new Grand Magus album are my new baseline for “real drums”. The drum part at 3:33 is indeed cool though, and the transition at 4:09 is very Opeth.

    Surprised by the vocal melody’s pervasive phrygian-ness. Is there another Opeth track that is this indebted to the phrygian mode?

    • Man, the kick ain’t muddy at all! The kick sounds like a freakin’ kick! Your ears are just used to the fake kick that gets used in metal nowadays where you up the “click” mic that mics the mallet hitting the drum. People started doing that more when they compressed material in order to give the drums a distinct sound when they started eating up the bass too much (which, by the way, they do anyway).

      Also, love the phrygian stuff. It comes up from time to time on their stuff, but not so frequently. Love. It.

  • Bum. It’s been taken down before I’ve had a chance to listen to it.

  • Brian Kelly

    i didnt hear this but im assuming the new cd will be all clean vocals or like 98%, and will disappoint people again in that regard. its not that theyre bad vocals, its just not nearly as good as the opeth music with death metal vocals, & heritage seems like it has the correct music, but is missing the vocal part of it

    • The video is updated. If you’re dying for growls, you’re dying for growls. But I think this works well.

  • A Lemon in Disguise

    Hey, the video was taken down! :(

    • Video updated. Ping.

      • A Lemon in Disguise

        :D

      • A Lemon in Disguise

        Yes, it does sound magical!

  • fromtheinside

    i’m glad i’m not the only one who thought heritage was major meh. doubt i’ll be listening to this one knowing they’re all but done with death metal

    • Don’t discount it yet. The band is still a great band even when they’re not playing death metal. Just the writing on Heritage wasn’t good imho.

      • David Rosales

        Not as bad as Watershed but pretty bad still. All the more reason not to expect anything good from the new album. This new track does nothing to change that opinion. It wasn’t that bad, but it isn’t particularly good either. It just sits in that “meh” area.

  • Jason Cofer

    Got to hear it this morning. Wow, what a breath of fresh air. Unmistakably Opeth. I can take or leave Mikael’s death vocals. I can hear that in any other DM band any time I want. His clean voice is smooth as butter.

    • Donmuath

      The problem with the lack of harsh vocals imo is that Mikael’s clean vocals aren’t that good. Great music in the song though, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it.

      • Steve

        Ask any hardcore Death metal listener and they’d say Mikael’s death vocals aren’t that good either. For what it’s worth, I like both aspects of his voice, but I think the harsh reality is that his growls are getting weaker with age and strain and the music we’re getting is as a result of this, for better or worse.

        I like the new song, heritage bored the hell out of me, not because of the style but because the songs were bad in my opinion, this song is very listenable.

        • Donmuath

          I disagree, I really enjoy his harsh vocals, despite their lack of variety. Anyways I think we can both agree that neither is good enough on it’s own, Opeth thrived on the interplay between these vocal styles.

  • David Rosales

    “my excitement outweighed my judgement.”

    Main reason I started to avoid this blog except for special or specific releases. Not a good place for recommendations. But very funny and entertaining articles very often.

    • I don’t think this is something that’s a serious problem for us, honestly. Sorry to hear you think that. I would say this: part of the “excitement outweighing critical listening” is because of the speed with which we’re supposed to turn reviews around. If I get a release 14 days ahead of time and need to turn it around within that time, all you get is a first blush. And if that first blush is “wow!” then that’s what you get.

      • David Rosales

        ” the speed with which we’re supposed to turn reviews around. ”
        Why do you HAVE to? I thought you were your own boss, I thought you did this for the music.
        If you would digest each album you reviewed and if even with a whole team you took a whole week to review one only album, I would feel more compelled to read and take this seriously. I would attend this blog religiously and cherish every line written because it would be result of careful digestion and very thought-out analysis.
        You see, I do appreciate what you do, but I wont just take from you what I can take from any witless fan out there. I come to you because you would save my searching time. Like a filter for better releases. That is the great value of review blogs. Not to hear what I want from albums I already know, but to help me eliminate the bullshit in an era when anyone can publish music and help me find gems in the ocean of filth that is the current music world. But this doesn’t work if you guys, my filter, are as impressionable as the average fan…

        Then again, not everyone wants the same. You already have an audience, it is not like you NEED me anyway. XD
        This just my explanation of why I pick certain blogs. I don’t have time to check out 10 blogs per week either.

        • There’s a fight between what we get and a desire for relevance. If we produce reviews months or weeks after release date, people just don’t read them (trust me, they don’t). I agree with you that it would be better to have more time, but what do we want? No readership and excellent reviews?

          I think our reviews are pretty good and we’re generally timely.

          Well, I’m not timely anymore. But that’s ’cause I have an all consuming job. I write when i can and that often is late. And I think my reviews maintain the quality they always have (and often are better now than when I started).

          • David Rosales

            ” If we produce reviews months or weeks after release date, people just don’t read them.”

            Ok, you have just pronounced your greatest priority, then.
            The priority is not careful consideration and analysis of the music but get it early enough that the audience will read it. What audience is this that just want reviews of things not released or just released?

            ” And I think my reviews maintain the quality they always have (and often are better now than when I started).”

            Surely you’ve become a better writer. And experience might have taught you a lot in different senses. But I still think your priority and rushed style might affect your impressions considerably, as you yourself admitted initially.

          • That is not what he pronounced, nor how we function here. We listen to an album between 3-6 times before reviewing it, sometimes even more, depending on our time and ability. You can’t expect us to live with an album for longer than that and I daresay, we are more thoughtful in this regard than many or most other sites are.

          • My “rushed style?” You obviously haven’t been reading lately, as I haven’t posted anything in ages. Regardless, I—more than most others, and I daresay most others in the Interwebs—let pieces sit. I listen to records dozens of times before I review them and I rarely publish a review within a day of writing it. Generally, I allow my reviews to sit for a week and revise them more than once during that time.

            If that’s too rushed for you, then I expect that you’re looking for something that you can’t get without a budget, an editor and early record access.

          • David Rosales

            Sorry if I made you feel as if I treated you unjustly. I know that this must mean a lot of extra work for you. I used the word “rushed” in the context of what you said yourself about being limited by time and therefore leaving reviews with first and emotional impressions rather than really digested ones. Or maybe I misunderstood your initial response.
            Now you say you listen to them dozens of times and let reviews sit for a week before revising them again. This contradicts what you said before. This does seem a lot more reasonable to write a good review.

            FYI, this is what you said:
            “If I get a release 14 days ahead of time and need to turn it around within that time, all you get is a first blush.”
            Maybe you were only pointing out some specific circumstances.

            I’ll come back for the Opeth review. Please do not let your fanboy-ness override your critical thinking!

          • 1) My “fanboyness” gave Heritage a 2/5.
            2) I was talking about me versus us. *I* have the luxury of time. *We* do not. The reviewers here as a whole produce posts and are expected to produce posts in short order. We have a minimum of three listens that are required for any review (which is there for the really bad ones, you’re obviously expected to listen to it more if it’s not totally unlistenable and three times if it is), and they’re often times expected to turn material around quite quickly.

            *I* have the luxury of reviewing whatever I want, on my own time, because I am fucking Angry Metal Guy. And _even then_, I tend to only review things I’ve received a long time in advance. Like the new Anathema, which I’ve had for quite some time. Or the last Turisas, which I’d had for a long time. Or Gazpacho.

            But as a website, we do make decisions about wanting to be relevant. People will not give us promo if we are not relevant. There is a need to balance between relevance and what we’re reviewing. And you look to us for high profile releases and high profile releases are usually the ones we have the least time for.

            So if you don’t enjoy the blog anymore, that sucks. I know that I miss being able to write frequently, as I enjoy it and I think my tone is important for the blog (not to take anything away from my writers now who do an excellent job – thanks to the hard work of Steel Druhm and Madam X), but I do think you’re being unfair.

            Regardless, I can’t change what you think. If you don’t find it useful you don’t find it useful.

          • Brandon Gurwitz

            Not to intrude on your debate here, but did you say new Anathema?

            Trying and failing to contain my excitement.

          • Tristan gummow

            Bullshit look at the post date of this lol. Metal is obscure we find one song we like at a party or from a friend whatever, we start in 09 and hunt that band band down

  • Innit Bartender

    As someone who, years ago, discovered this site searching for Heritage reviews and finally found the one that summed up my feelings exactly, I was only eager to hear your reactions to this! I like the song for the same exact reasons you do: songwriting is back! It has a fine Damnation vibe.

  • RyanM1985

    I enjoyed the track, definitely prefer this to the last couple of albums. He was in danger of disappearing up his own arse, maybe the band have had more of an input this time around or he has just thought I’ll drop that 70s shit now. Either way its a big improvement. I can also take or leave his death vocals. The artwork is suited to Vinyl but I’m not sold on it.

  • Grymm

    Okay… HUGE improvement over Heritage. This is promising.

  • Johan

    I don’t know what you guys are on about. This is is by no means anything different compared to Heritage. The pumping bass line from Folklore over the folk-like vocal lines from I feel the dark. I personally love that album and I really dig this song. I just don’t understand why people detest Heritage and then eat this up.

    BTW, thanks for the heads up AMG, certainly brightened my day!

    • 1) Production is better. 2) Songwriting is better.

      Read my review. The music was always there on Heritage. The songwriting wasn’t good imho.

      • Johan

        Hm, that was sorta what I was trying to get at. I thought the songwriting on this song were easily on par with the examples I cited above. But then again, I guess we just differ in taste here :) But I do agree, the production on this song, despite YouTube, sounds ridiculously lush.

        • Innit Bartender

          Just my two cents here, but the main difference between this song and those in Heritage is the fact that the new one has a beginning, a climax and an ending. It reaches its full potential and then leaves you satisfied. I Feel the Dark or Devil’s Orchard tease you into one direction, with the promise of fulfillment, but before reaching their full force, they morph into a totally different song, and even the second song ends before reaching its apex. That’s my main complaint about Heritage.

  • Do people who bitch about the lack of death growls in new Opeth also complain about modern day releases from bands such as The Gathering and Anathema?

    • Brett Reistroffer

      Not to mention Katatonia, Paradise Lost, etc…Hell, I prefer the later releases from all of those bands.

      • Shawn Cypher

        I digress from Opeth talk a moment, because you made me think of an opinion I’ve had that I’ve always felt like I’m in the minority on.

        I’m a fan of all of these bands, and I find the albums I like the most are often the most criticized. The bands going through their “experimental” phases.

        For example, I really like “Host” by Paradise Lost (as well as Symbol of Life)… Anathema’s “Alternative 4” was great, Dark Tranquillity’s “Projector” and “Haven” are freaking amazing, and Katatonia’s past three albums albums are good..

    • Leebo

      Yup.

    • Tristan gummow

      People need to quit the “death growl” BS. Clean vocals are fine as long as the music has that evil under current. My fav part of The Moor is the acoustic intro not heavy, my fav song from Ghost Reveries is Harlequin. ?. The point is it conveys evil it strikes that chord for a metalhead. This new crap Heritage et all strikes nothing. Its like hearing the latest crap on the radio OH WOW NICKLEBACK

  • Lemonitos

    I really don’t get what you all are seeing (welp, listening) in this song. I am a huge Opeth fan, I fucking hated Heritage and I think the new song is very Heritage-y and miles away from what I loved about Opeth.

  • Donmuath

    That intro..,

  • Jeff Carr

    I liked it from the first listen, and it just gets better and better each time I hear it. Great guitar solo and a nice clean production with a punch. The days of Blackwater Park may be behind us, but that doesn’t bother me like it does some people. I am a fan of all eras of Opeth. If it’s good it’s good. This, like everything else they’ve created, is indeed good.

  • Adam Gunton

    I actually quite liked the drums in Heritage, they were almost jazzy, probably my favorite part of the album.

  • anrpo

    Not a big fan. But you know its interesting the debate because people out there compare the (supposed) degeneration of Opeth to Metallica beginning with the Black Album. I don’t think Opeth ever had a Black Album – a overwhelmingly positive mainstream success that killed their heaviness for a few records. Maybe it was 2005 – Ghost Reveries and the MTV video.

  • There is a new official video on vimeo, I must admit I warmed up to the song after the added visuals.

  • Dvir Barkay

    Did you get to hear the leaked “Eternal Rains will come”? To me it sounds amazing, seems like this CD will be extremely varied.

  • JM

    Hope the rest of the album doesn’t sound like this leaked song. What is Opeth doing? Sounds like they just said, “fuck it!” Let’s make a boring ass tune for almost six minutes. I am a huge Opeth fan and I have seen them many times. I’m disappointed in them with this shit. But with that being said, I will still listen to it because I am a fan. I just hope this isn’t a sign of things to come.

  • Tristan gummow

    All i can say is time to step up angry metal guy. You bash the technical, evil and complex work of many great bands not on a true acceptance of the work involved but personal liking. “Oh this death metal had too much growling” etc. Step up man call a bullshit a bullshit. Pale Comunion is as metal as Justin Bieber. Im a huge opeth fan, but this aint opeth or metal. Its mikael trying to make money peddling prog rock as metal to the masses. If you aint angry wtf you doing calling yourself angry metal guy