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Sweden's Opeth specialize in doom-laden, downtrodden epics that combine elements of '70s Progressive Rock, melodic Death Metal, and Scandinavian folk music. Their songs move through blazing Metal sections, somber acoustic guitar picking, classical piano interludes, and majestic dual guitar harmonizing -- often without revealing any discernible underlying theme until, say, the tenth listen. Songs run in the ten minute range (though twenty isn't out of the question), with very little repetition. Listening takes patience, for one thing, as well as a fondness for the cold, dark gray atmosphere and borderline self-pitying sense they exude. Then there are the vocals, which alternate between deep growls that could send a bear cowering back into his cave, and clean, melodic singing that could put a crying baby to sleep within seconds. Clearly, this band isn't for everyone, but they haven't become one of the most talked about underground Metal bands of the last decade-plus for nothing.
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