Opeth
The Roundhouse Tapes

In over a ten-year span, Opeth have continued to give us beautiful, classic, and timeless CDs. Till this day, there really isn’t too much to complain about with the band. Sure, you will always have the naysayer who thinks they are overrated, but those of us who really enjoy the band can sit back and laugh because the jokes on them. Opeth are just that good and when a band is that talented it will always spark fire under someone’s ass. With Opeth being the band they are, it really comes as no surprise that The Roundhouse Tapes are of excellent magnitude.

Recorded in 2006 at London’s Camden Roundhouse during the Ghost Reveries tour, this double disc only carries nine tunes but they range from all of Opeth opuses including Orchid. Starting things off with “When,” Ghost of Perdition,” and “Under the Weeping Moon,” these three tracks clock in at over thirty minutes of music. “Face of Melinda” is also on the first disc and I can say that is a tune I have never heard live, pretty stellar. The second disc only contains three tracks, one of which is “Windowpane” from the Damnation CD.

Though all of this is packaged with great cover art and an amazing live performance, I really find the whole thing to be boring. Credit has to be given for the great sound and all but as a fan of Opeth who has seen them live twice and bought the Lamentations DVD some years back, this is frustrating and uninteresting to me. I never really liked live recordings anyway so I guess I’m a little bitter. If this would have been their first live recording then I may have different opinions, but I must say I am getting wore out on the same material being rehashed. This set of discs seems very pretentious to me, and the wrong timing in Opeth’s career. Seems as if they are putting out something to satisfy until the next “real” release, which in this humble reviewers opinion is all I want from them.

The Roundhouse Tapes is exactly what you would expect from Opeth in a live recording. Nothing special in my eyes and for a band that is so special, I guess I expect more. Another live DVD will be released early this year of this performance. Maybe the visual aspect of things will sit better with me. For fans of Opeth who either have never saw the band live or whom geek over anything they do, The Roundhouse Tapes will probably be a smart purchase. I however, will be waiting patiently for the next full-length due out this year. Very anxious to see what we get with the new guitarist.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
January 15th, 2008

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