OPETH – The Roundhouse Tapes

A good indication that a band has “made it” is if they release a live album and Swedish juggernaut OPETH haven’t resisted following this recording industry tradition. Basing their name on the legendary IRON MAIDEN recording, The Roundhouse Tapes was recorded at The Roundhouse in London on November 9, 2006. The band are in fine form performing their long, intricate songs with ease. Compared to their early days of performing live, OPETH have come a long way in becoming a strong live band. However, frontman Mikael Akerfeldt still doesn’t have much of anything exciting or too stimulating to say in between songs (see Tom Araya). The production by Jens Bogran and Mikael Akerfeldt is top-notch. The sound is pristine with an ideal balance among the instruments. The audience also sounds relatively “close by” the band as you can even hear individual voices out in the crowd at times. As far as song selection goes, the band satisfy the cravings of diehards as they play songs spanning their entire catalogue. The Roundhouse Tapes is basically an essential part of every OPETH fan’s collection as they are probably very few casual or non-rabid OPETH fans out there. It can also be said that there are probably not many fans of underground extreme metal who don’t enjoy this band. (Peaceville Records)

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