"Morningrise" turns 25
Last updated: June 24th 2021
Happy 25th release birthday to Opeth's Morningrise", a masterpiece released on June 24, 1996.
Opeth is a band that has been moving forward perpetually. Never complacent. Always evolving. So they've come a long, long, ways from Morningrise, and to me that makes it even better to listen to this album. Because they're totally different nowadays, so I'm listening to a unique thing.
Mikael Åkerfeldt and Peter Lindgren sound like this is the album where they went "Oh shit, the black + death + acoustic combo does sound great" and they went all in.
Ideally, we should be able to just enjoy this work, like normal people. But I just can't help giving you (and myself) a guerilla composer take: Listen to the chord voicings, melodies, and song transitions on this album.
Assuming you're not making progressive black/death or anything Morningrise-Opeth-y (cos otherwise you'll risk sounding copycat-y), you must absolutely absorb every drop of musical wisdom that has been preserved in the form of this album.
If you're making some weird japanese disco metal, or free jazz dubstep industrial, or whatever the fuck, you should listen to Morningrise and copy its wisdom. Play this masterpiece top to bottom. Listen and learn. And apply.
On the other hand, if you're making blackened death metal with acoustic guitars and your band name is The Blackwater Deliverance, then holy shit avoid Opeth at all costs, and go listen to 8-bit video game stuff or something.
Never get your inspiration from people in the same genre.
Anyway, back to Morningrise, as you've probably heard before, "To Bid You Farewell" is considered a literally perfect track. And I would agree, in the context of the album. Meaning: Of course that this track on its own is a great one, but if you actually listen to the full album, then, when this final track kicks in, hell yes this track is fucking perfection.
--Zander "I get a potbelly as soon as I eat carbs. Thanks a lot, Communism" Noriega