Music For Nations
Mikael Åkerfeldt’s friendship with Porcupine Tree mainman (and noted prog rock archivist) Stephen Wilson paid massive dividends on their fifth record – hell, the album itself is named after an obscure 70s one-off band. Opeth went from being a death metal band with progressive elements to being a progressive metal band with death elements here. The change suited them well. Emphasizing the dynamics between acoustic and electric, growled and crooned, complex 10-minute epics like “Bleak” and “The Drapery Falls” bloom like beautiful orchids. And when they go for the direct approach on “Harvest,” they release the deluge.