Mikael Akerfeldt (vocals/guitar)
Peter Lindgren (guitars)
Martin Lopez (drums)
Martin Mendez (bass)
Mikael Akerfeldt has a voice that reminds me of Frankenstein singing fucking Danzig. The listener can hear the mad, insane edge in his voice. He creeps into your soul and rips you apart. This is one guy not to listen to stoned. You will have nightmares. Can you imagine the nightmare? Mikael dressed up as Frankenstein? Peter Lindgren reminds me of the great, late Randy Rhoades, of Ozzy Osbourne fame. He is powerful metal god guitarist to be. Martin Lopez, to me, is like John Densmore. He is a fucking rock poet on drums. Martin Mendez’s bass playing is like the battle for heaven in Milton’s Paradise Lost. You can hear the shit flying between good and evil in his bass lines, and it is obvious he does not know which side to take. I guess he winds up in purgatory. The lyrics are fucking Morrison all the way through. They are deep, heavy, dark, and mind-melting. You will see that this cd is a collection of epic poetry set to music.
Wreath is the first song off of the album. The hero of the song relives a near death experience every night in his dreams. You can imagine him waking up in a cold sweat and afraid to go back to sleep. Our hero won the battle over death, but not the war. The guitar riffs take us back and forth on the journey between the waking world and the astral plane. The bass player’s battle in this song is between life and death. Deliverance is a throwback to The Doors Moonlight Drive, but with one difference. Moonlight Drive was a suicide song. Deliverance is a murder song, and our killer likes the taste. But wait, he only thinks he like the taste of murder. His soul is delivered into nothingness. A Fair Judgement is our killer’s guilt over Deliverance. He is a fucking sinner. He knows it. He is waiting for the axe to fall. He is wondering who is going to be his victim’s henchman. The bluesy metal sound sets the scene for this perfect ending.
For Absent Friends is about a friend, or several friends that have committed suicide. These friends are sending him a message. The message is: I thought I found freedom, but I found hell instead. We all make mistakes. Don’t make the same mistake we did. Stay on your spirit journey, and live for yourself. Whatever makes you happy makes you happy. Just stay alive. Master’s Apprentices is part two of absent friends. Those Absent Friends are explaining what suicide felt like, and why they did. They lacked hope. They lacked faith. They died. His friends are telling him what it is like to die, to be in hell, and to wait to be reincarnated. These are two very metaphysical pro life songs. It tells the story that suicide is not the answer.
By the Pain I See In Others are the dead souls speaking to the songwriter. All that pain holds them to this plain. Mikael is channeling here. He is clairvoyant. I wonder if he knows it. The message from the dead comes out through the music loud and clear. There are driving riffs and bluesy changeups through out this whole album of epic poetry. It reminds you of a heavy metal People are strange. I cannot wait to see them on stage.
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