It is hard deciding if the best approach to reviewing such an exhaustive and important milestone for Opeth as The Book Of Opeth, a super rewarding and fans in mind work of art (would you expect anything less?) from one of metal’s most revered bands, with a more exhaustive or impressionistic approach.
Aesthetically, it is as stunning visually as any of the band’s greatest achievements. The moody respect for the essential mystery of nature and the spirit and cerebral leaning craftsmanship with an emphasis on complexity has carried over, albeit instead of actual riffs we have the stories in the book which allow a hand swiped view through the foggy window of awe; a peak into the inner workings of a group who have earned every inch of respect over the past 25 years and change.
Much like the crucial Decibel anointed Choosing Death or Only Death Is Real from Bazillion Points, this Opeth doozy is fun while chock full of enough respect for sociology and the genre to warrant such an endeavor even if the band wasn’t as important as they ARE. You really get a sense of their development over the course of hundreds of killer photos, lush layout page detailing and fantastic reflections from members. Like Sean Yseult’s recent I’m In The Band or even, say, the massive Emperor 24 vinyl box set which the mere thought of makes me weep and shiver, this is a serious fucking beast of merchandise of the highest order and a celebration of accomplishment with a major sense of adventure and wonder for the entire business of it all. More than a labor of vanity or love, this says pay attention, this is about the collective work of amazing lives.
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