Blog Archives

Reggie’s (Plantera7’s) Top 15 Albums of 2011

To me, 2011 was a great year for metal. September, in particular, was a busy month and full of quality releases. The following list is my personal Top 15 for the year with a brief explanation for each. I hope you had a great 2011. I look forward to another year of concerts, awesome metal albums, and more importantly chatting with you about everything metal!

If you are surpised to see that a particular band you like didn’t make my list, it might just be that I didn’t get a chance to listen to that album, such as Moonsorrow for example.  I just never got it, but I see it on many blogger’s lists.  I wish I had all the time in the world to sample new stuff, but taking into consideration where I am now compared to about 4 years ago…my horizons have been seriously broadened and I owe that to fellow bloggers (especially Matt) and readers who post about the bands they like.  Thank you for tuning in this year.  We look forward to a new and exciting 2012 in metal!

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Concert Review- Opeth- Alcatraz, Milan, Italy- Nov.24, 2011

For years upon years I’ve waited for my opportunity to experience a live Opeth concert.  Whenever they would go out and tour, where ever I happened to be is the place they were not.  So, when I found out that they would be performing at the now famous Alcatraz Night Club in Milan, Italy, which is a stones throw away from my humble abode, I dove at the opportunity and grabbed tickets as fast as I could.  Content, you could say so.  And then to sweeten the deal another band I hold in very high regards, Pain of Salvation, announced that they would be taking the support slot for the show.  Needless to say, I went from content to elated.  Not since when I got my hands on my first Iron Maiden concert tickets did I wait in such anticipation for a concert.  Finally after months of being suspended in a bated breath November 24th rolled around and there I was, beer in hand, watching Daniel Gildenlöw of P.o.S. demonstrate his unearthly voice as him and the rest of the band poured out every ounce of their souls on the stage putting on a wonderful and high energy show.

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Concert Review – Opeth – 13 Nov 2011

After having missed four previous opportunities to see Opeth in the last three years, I was bound and determined to not miss this show.  Opeth headlined the O2 Brixton London this past 13th Nov 2011.  It was an evening that I was very excited for, for several reasons.

1.  It’s Opeth

2. I have never seen Opeth live

3.  Pain of Salvation opened which meant that I was going to see two bands I have never seen live before.

4.  It’s Opeth

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Album Review- Heritage- Opeth

   Ever since their first album Opeth have been constantly evolving their sound and tossing bits of inspiration from different forms of music into their sound on each album.  One thing that can be said about Opeth is they have never grown stale nor unoriginal.  While each album has a different feel from the one preceding it, they have all maintained the “Opeth” sound and one can listen to any of their albums and say, “Yup, that’s an Opeth album.”  This year they have put forth their tenth studio record, Heritage, and it is the largest departure from their core sound, and while it may have taken a turn away from the well-known “metal” side of Opeth it is still very much an Opeth record through and through.

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Song of the Week- The Devil’s Orchard

If there’s one band in the metal realm that deserves the high praise that they consistently receive it would be Opeth.  Album after album they constantly release completely solid material and perpetually progress and improve on their sound.  They are forever growing and don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.  So, it is pretty obvious when I say I am really hyped up for their upcoming new album Heritage to be released this September 20th.

Mikael Åkerfeldt, the driving creative force behind Opeth, is a musician that I have come to highly respect due to the fact that he is always honest in his music.  Since he always pushes to create the music he wants to create Opeth fans are always left with an album that seethes his passion for what he does.  A lot of fans seemingly are anticipating that Opeth are straying away from their death metal roots and abandoning the whole growling vocals thing and the big rumor about this album that has lots of fans panties in knots is that the album will feature no harsh vocals and only Mikael’s clean vocals.  Fans seemed to be worried about the album to turn out to be a 70’s prog rock fest also.

With the release of this new song, so far those rumors seem true, and I say this, so f’n what if they are.  Would you rather have an uninspired album where Opeth goes back and forces themselves to create Still Life or Orchid again or an album where they pursue a sound that they are enthusiastic about and put every bit of passion into making it.  I for one always enjoy when a band evolves their sound, if a band just keeps churning out the same thing over and over again I usually stop buying their new releases from them.  So if Heritage turns out to be a clean vocaled 70’s prog fest, I will be more than ecstatic about it and will certainly be looking forward to where they go with their sound on the next album.

So about this weeks song itself.  “The Devil’s Orchard” is the first single off the upcoming album Heritage and it’s chock full of 70’s style prog rock along the lines of Gentle Giant, King Crimson and Yes(who also have a new album out for all you other prog rock nerds out there) combined with Opeth‘s signature feel and sound.  What can I say, I love it, it’s awesome, it’s the bee’s knees.  Check it out and let us know what you think.

Opeth’s Heritage Cover Revealed

Opeth have revealed the artwork drawn by Travis Smith for their highly anticipated album Heritage.  Have a look.

It reminds me of old school 70’s prog rock album covers from bands such as Yes, Uriah Heep, and Gentle Giant.  I love all the color put into it, who says to be dark and creepy something needs to be covered in black.  It has lots of symbolism in the way of the “family tree”, the skulls of past band members, and Per Wilberg’s head falling out of the tree to join the lot of past band members(keyboardist Per Wilberg left the band after the completion of the album).  I’m guessing that the line of people are Opeth‘s fans.  The roots, the devils, and the burning city I haven’t figured out yet, any ideas?

There are a couple things that do irk me about this cover also.  First being the heads in the tree, they make the cover look kinda goofy, I think that it would look so much cooler if they left them out.  Second, in the center of the tree is Mikael Åkerfeldt’s head surrounded by the rest of the band, the line of people are lining up to take the fruit from his tree.  It comes off as being a shrine to his ego(and it’s pretty well know that his ego is pretty damn big), kind of a dick move in my opinion.

I almost think that the heads are some kind of a joke for the aforementioned reasons; Mikael and Opeth aren’t strangers to having a little fun with their fans.  And the band has got to notice that the heads look a bit photoshopped and out of place.  What do you all think?

Given the proggy aesthetic of the cover and the title Heritage I’m led to believe this will be their most prog filled album to date, and that I will accept with open arms.  We’ll find out in September when it hits store shelves.  While you are waiting check out this clip from the Royal Albert Hall DVD of “Harlequin Forest”.  Peace Love and Metal!!!!!


Opeth fans rejoice!!!

Today progressive powerhouse Opeth have released a bit of news that will have metal fans all over the world jumping for joy(well at least me for that matter).  In September Opeth will be releasing the follow up to the stellar album Watershed with a new album going by the title of Heritage and will be released through Roadrunner Records.  This will be the final album to feature keyboardist Per Wiberg and currently a new unnamed keyboardist is rehearsing with the band.

2011 is looking to be yet another great year in metal.

While you wait on a bated breath, enjoy the video for “Burden” off of Watershed.