This past Sunday saw the giants of the metal scene, Opeth, from Stockholm, Norway(according to The Man himself) gave a demonstration of supremely brilliant musicianship at Bangalore. Watching them for the second time, I kind of knew what to expect, which was nothing but the very best. And they didn’t disappoint. Neither did the fans who did their best, given the small numbers that turned up for the show.
The opening bands were pretty decent. I missed most of Theorized. Eccentric Pendulum were good, the sound could’ve been much better. Nothnagel were good too, but the best of the four opening for Opeth was Suidakra. The Celtic metal numbers that they belted out were pretty nice and I am definitely going to check that band out in a few days.
Opeth started off with Devil’s Orchard from Heritage, the album which has split the fan base into two. Heritage is a wonderful record and they played the song to perfection. It helped that the section of the crowd I was in, knew most of the lyrics, which made it amazing. I was in the 2nd row for those interested.
They continued with I Feel the Dark. This is one of my favourite tracks from Heritage. The whisper and the transition in the middle is stunning in my opinion, even though it could be putting off for a lot of people. Mikael’s voice was perfect on the track. We got a sample of what was to come in the next few tracks by then. Mikael kept the crowd at their wit’s ends with some funny comments.
Face of Melinda is a poem and a painting and it couldn’t have been better rendered. The way Slither, a tribute to Ronnie James Dio was introduced, I shed a few tears remembering some of the losses I’ve had to cope with. A slight strain was evident in Mikael’s voice on the song, but the heaviness of the track remained in tact, just like in the album.
Credence is one of my favourites from My Arms Your Hearse and it was great to sing along to the track.
Martin Mendez played the bass to perfection on To Rid the Disease. I would’ve preferred Closure from Damnation, but I am not complaining because this is a very trippy track as well.
And the track I had been waiting for, all evening. Folklore is the best track on Heritage for me and I always knew that they would perform an extended outro for the track on live shows because the album version provides just a teaser to what could have been. Frederik nailed the outro with a killer solo and I knew I had had a great evening already.
It was great on the part of the band to play heavy numbers just because they were touring India for just the second time, even though Mikael’s priorities had shifted to clean singing. This was the part where the beast in me was unshackled and I decided that my voice needed to get ruined.
Axe, who was very tight so far, showed us what he is capable of as a heavy metal drummer. The ending of Heir Apparent is one major Opeth moment for me and to listen to it for the second time was a beautiful feeling. Drapery Falls was performed to perfection. I couldn’t find any flaw in the rendition. Baying of the Hounds, from my favourite Opeth record was a treat for the ears.
I expected a longer encore, but the track they chose provided the ultimate ending to a brilliant show. Deliverance was delivered brilliantly. The outro is again, one of the brilliant Opeth moments for me and to hear them nail it was great.
Joakim looked like a pretty decent replacement for Per, though no one can compare to the brilliance that he brought in.
I left the venue feeling contented. The pilgrimage had been fulfilling. The music that I worship was elevated further. And I, am a few steps closer to liberation.