Pale Com­mu­nion Road­run­ner Records ★★★

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - RO­NAN MCGREEVY

For their 10th stu­dio al­bum, Swe­den’s favourite prog-met­allers have dropped the metal and em­braced the prog. The death growls of their early work are as dis­tant a mem­ory as the early 1970s, the era from which Pale Com­mu­nion draws its in­spi­ra­tion. As ever, there’s much to ad­mire in the mu­si­cian­ship, com­po­si­tional skills and pro­duc­tion val­ues of Opeth’s found­ing ge­nius and driv­ing force, Mikael Åk­er­feldt. No band has trav­elled the same mu­si­cal jour­ney with such ac­com­plish­ment. Pale Com­mu­nion has a few stand­out mo­ments. Cusp of Eter­nity is a bril­liantly crafted track with echoes of early Rush; the coun­try-tinged River show­cases Åk­er­feldt’s abil­ity to draw in­spi­ra­tion from dis­parate gen­res. How­ever, too many of the songs are too long and me­an­der to no in­tent and pur­pose. Even a com­poser as ex­trav­a­gantly gifted as Åk­er­feldt needs to know his lim­i­ta­tions. opeth.com

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