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Post  FerociousBanger on Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:34 am

I'll jot down briefly my reasons for affinity for Opeth. I was born in the mid-90s and as was the case with my generation, I grew up in the ARR/HJ/Yuvan era. Raja's songs would always be there and sure, I was an active fan of some songs but mostly, I was just a passive fan of his music. It just wasn't "cool" sounding to my tender ears in my tender years.

Fast forward to high school, and most Indian music was despised by me because, hey, they weren't rock or metal. Those were the days when I wanted a shot of Metallica and RHCP every day. I grew older, college happened; one thing lead to the other, and there I was, without much planning, finding myself listening Opeth. 

I listened to Ghost Of Perdition first but since it had more gutturals than clean vocals, I thought it wasn't for me. Keep in mind that I was impressed by the instrumental work nonetheless. A while later, two factors influenced my changing my stance. I listened randomly, to two other Opeth songs out of boredom and I was taken aback. The songs were Burden and Isolation Years and my ears from college couldn't believe for a second that the same guy who was growling like an ogre in Ghost Of Perdition was the same guy writing infinitely mellower music, and singing clean with some palpable pain expressed. 



I was also a fan of old school hip hop and I told myself, "hey, if you can enjoy spoken word to a 4/4 simple beat, you should check out Opeth's heavier stuff too". And I did. And I loved every bit of it.

As semester holidays came calling, I was put in a train along with my family in an arduously long journey towards a religious sit I couldn't care less about. It was at this juncture that I became rabidly obsessed with Opeth. I loved Damnation, the album, oh so much for its melancholy, and it was while listening to Damnation and Opeth in general during this journey that I realized a big reason why I was liking something I thought I wouldn't, so much. In contemplation I sat, and then I just knew: "This is so, Raja-esque!" screamed my mind in joy and I'd had my Eureka moment. Without realizing at that time, it was also my gateway to properly exploring Raja's immense catalog. 

Opeth, the Swedish progressive death metal/rock band is one of the closest musical acts to my heart; Opeth, my beloved Opeth, however, became such a gateway to me, to Raja's magic that indisputably, Raja's music is much more closer to my heart. All of his mastery, and my passive nostalgia from growing up have resulted in it.

Today too, my opinion on Opeth remains unchanged. Opeth is in ways I couldn't explain then, very Raja-esque. It's the guitars, it's the unusual song structures, it's the creative time-signatures; it's the good ol' story of artists from different eras and countries being kindred spirits despite in many ways, them also being distinctly different from each other.




Here's a song from Damnation:



So, any fan of Opeth here? Opeth also was a gateway to my prog-rock adventures and I'm also a huge fan of acts like Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree. Camel, King Crimson, Pink Floyd etc. Any fan of progressive rock here?

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Post  app_engine on Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:21 pm

Welcome to the forum!

Crimson_King used to post about progressive rock...I guess he possibly has more interest in this topic Smile

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Post  FerociousBanger on Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:53 pm

app_engine wrote:Welcome to the forum!

Crimson_King used to post about progressive rock...I guess he possibly has more interest in this topic Smile
I only recently discovered this forum and unsurprisingly, of all the things to be seen here, it's his username that caught my attention. King Crimson's In the Court Of The Crimson King is one of my most loved albums of all time!

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Post  crimson king on Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:10 am

FerociousBanger wrote:
app_engine wrote:Welcome to the forum!

Crimson_King used to post about progressive rock...I guess he possibly has more interest in this topic Smile
I only recently discovered this forum and unsurprisingly, of all the things to be seen here, it's his username that caught my attention. King Crimson's In the Court Of The Crimson King is one of my most loved albums of all time!
Idho, nangal vandutom.  Don't know why I got notification of this topic only today in my email.  

I am not like a HUGE fan of Opeth but I kinda like it. I am actually more interested in the prog-death phase of Opeth like Blackwater Park.

 But - and not meaning to stereotype at all - I am so glad that a mid 90s zoomer is also interested in Opeth. THAT is gratifying especially in these times which have been very tough for music industry.  I am sure Akerfeldt is feeling super pissed off staying at home, being unable to go around the world performing, being unable to meet BFF Steven Wilson.  

There is another interesting connection to Opeth and prog rock for me, though.  Akerfeldt did a video on LPs he would recommend to others and one of them was Renaissance's Song For All Seasons. I am a huge fan of that band and particularly the singer Annie Haslam.  Akerfeldt also shared a hilarious anecdote about the time when a drunk Steven Wilson went up to Annie's one time fiance Roy Wood and asked him how was Annie in bed.  Well, it's good that Wilson has lived to see the light of day since then, let's leave it at that! Razz

You would probably not have guessed this from the crimson king handle but I had a strong extreme metal phase before I got into prog rock. Rather, I got into both at around the same time but with so many thrash/death/black metal bands to catch up with, parked prog rock for a while.  Then, it so happened that I had my CA final exam coming up and took four months study leave from my articieship assignment.  During that time, I kept aside 'orkut' (yeah, I am giving away my age now, unfortunately) and metal and my only leisure break from studies used to be half an hour or so of...guess who!  After spending four months all over again with the variety, eclectism, dynamics, unpredictability, yevrything, I couldn't go right back to the repetitive world of extreme metal again.  That is where I got into prog rock big time and it's stayed that way though I am quite genre agnostic now and would define my taste in opposition to certain aesthetic values (or non values) that I can't abide by like overwrought singing, autotune or excessive compression like on the last Taylor Swift album, rather than as comprising of certain genres or sounds only. Anyway, BECAUSE my homecoming to prog was in search of dynamics and variety, I didn't fancy progressive metal too much and was more interested in 70s prog (there are interesting overlaps/influences between 70s prog and Raja on that note).   And like typical extreme metal dudes, I just didn't warm up to that kind of prog metal too much. 

I am more open minded about that now.  Last year, I saw this German band (progressive death-doom-sludge whatever) called The Ocean and they were incredible.  And very funny and gracious too; at the end of the show (which was in a typical Mumbai pub with live performance room set up), the drummer stood at the exit and shook hands with all of us.  That has NEVER happened in any gig I've been to, so much for the stereotype about German stiffness or aloofness. If you've never listened to them, the album Pellagial is a must have.

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Post  crimson king on Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:14 am

Reading your OP, two things that I find interesting:

1. Old school hip hop persuaded you to embrace Opeth.  It was the other way round for me.  Me and a prog/metal fan friend of mine (who is also a musician, unlike me  Very Happy) used to discuss and when he asked if rap was wrong, why was I ok with death metal vocals, I never had an answer.  Eventually, we both did embrace hip hop.  I loved Tyler's Igor album.  

2.  Your gateway to Raja was through Opeth.  For me, it was Raja that opened my mind to Western music and made me want to hear the real thing instead of only through our film music filter.  Either way, yes, Raja is the ultimate link between Indian and Western music; rather, he straddles both worlds effortlessly.

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Post  crimson king on Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:19 am

Listening to Windowpane again, nice start!  It's going to be fun to revisit some of those tracks and relook at the impressions I had formed then.

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Post  FerociousBanger on Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:30 am

crimson king wrote:
FerociousBanger wrote:
app_engine wrote:Welcome to the forum!

Crimson_King used to post about progressive rock...I guess he possibly has more interest in this topic Smile
I only recently discovered this forum and unsurprisingly, of all the things to be seen here, it's his username that caught my attention. King Crimson's In the Court Of The Crimson King is one of my most loved albums of all time!
Idho, nangal vandutom.  Don't know why I got notification of this topic only today in my email.  

I am not like a HUGE fan of Opeth but I kinda like it. I am actually more interested in the prog-death phase of Opeth like Blackwater Park.

 But - and not meaning to stereotype at all - I am so glad that a mid 90s zoomer is also interested in Opeth. THAT is gratifying especially in these times which have been very tough for music industry.  I am sure Akerfeldt is feeling super pissed off staying at home, being unable to go around the world performing, being unable to meet BFF Steven Wilson.  

There is another interesting connection to Opeth and prog rock for me, though.  Akerfeldt did a video on LPs he would recommend to others and one of them was Renaissance's Song For All Seasons. I am a huge fan of that band and particularly the singer Annie Haslam.  Akerfeldt also shared a hilarious anecdote about the time when a drunk Steven Wilson went up to Annie's one time fiance Roy Wood and asked him how was Annie in bed.  Well, it's good that Wilson has lived to see the light of day since then, let's leave it at that! Razz

You would probably not have guessed this from the crimson king handle but I had a strong extreme metal phase before I got into prog rock. Rather, I got into both at around the same time but with so many thrash/death/black metal bands to catch up with, parked prog rock for a while.  Then, it so happened that I had my CA final exam coming up and took four months study leave from my articieship assignment.  During that time, I kept aside 'orkut' (yeah, I am giving away my age now, unfortunately) and metal and my only leisure break from studies used to be half an hour or so of...guess who!  After spending four months all over again with the variety, eclectism, dynamics, unpredictability, yevrything, I couldn't go right back to the repetitive world of extreme metal again.  That is where I got into prog rock big time and it's stayed that way though I am quite genre agnostic now and would define my taste in opposition to certain aesthetic values (or non values) that I can't abide by like overwrought singing, autotune or excessive compression like on the last Taylor Swift album, rather than as comprising of certain genres or sounds only. Anyway, BECAUSE my homecoming to prog was in search of dynamics and variety, I didn't fancy progressive metal too much and was more interested in 70s prog (there are interesting overlaps/influences between 70s prog and Raja on that note).   And like typical extreme metal dudes, I just didn't warm up to that kind of prog metal too much. 

I am more open minded about that now.  Last year, I saw this German band (progressive death-doom-sludge whatever) called The Ocean and they were incredible.  And very funny and gracious too; at the end of the show (which was in a typical Mumbai pub with live performance room set up), the drummer stood at the exit and shook hands with all of us.  That has NEVER happened in any gig I've been to, so much for the stereotype about German stiffness or aloofness. If you've never listened to them, the album Pellagial is a must have.
Quite the story. haha!
Prog-death Opeth is one of the greatest things a pair of human ears can absorb. At least imo that is. Then again, I love all Opeth - even the post-2011-70s-prog-Opeth. Check their latest album, In Cauda Venenum out; it has a strong Rennaissance flavor!
Opeth was my gateway also, to OSDM and the likes but I feel way too old to enjoy extreme metal these days. :\ (And yes, this zoomer was on Orkut too, as a cringe-worthy kid).

Speaking of 70s prog, Camel is pretty much Raja of England to me lmao. Also, checking out Pelagial now - and holy shit, it is absolutely kickass alread! I've listened to this album once some time and I have no remembrance of how it goes. I'm thoroughly hooked.

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Post  FerociousBanger on Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:33 am

crimson king wrote:Reading your OP, two things that I find interesting:

1. Old school hip hop persuaded you to embrace Opeth.  It was the other way round for me.  Me and a prog/metal fan friend of mine (who is also a musician, unlike me  Very Happy) used to discuss and when he asked if rap was wrong, why was I ok with death metal vocals, I never had an answer.  Eventually, we both did embrace hip hop.  I loved Tyler's Igor album.  

2.  Your gateway to Raja was through Opeth.  For me, it was Raja that opened my mind to Western music and made me want to hear the real thing instead of only through our film music filter.  Either way, yes, Raja is the ultimate link between Indian and Western music; rather, he straddles both worlds effortlessly.
The contrast in eventually arriving at the same place is fascinating, to say the least. Very Happy
Raja, yes. I've been religiously getting non-Tamils to listen to various works of Raja, and I'm gutted a chunk of it just got purged on Youtube. :\


Last edited by FerociousBanger on Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:35 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  crimson king on Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:34 am

There are passages in Camel's music that bring Raja to mind like the soft flute piece immediately after the first verse followed by melodic lead guitar.  It's possible Viji Manuel found those albums at Burma Bazar and suggested them to Raja.  I like lots of prog from the 70s - KC, Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Hatfield and the North, National Health, Magma, Jethro Tull, ELP.   Among modern bands, I liked Bent Knee's Shiny Eyed Babies but not their subsequent albums.  Love iamthemorning's Lighthouse.  Then, not prog at all, supposedly mathcore, but Frontierer's Orange Mathematics, the heaviest album you will likely ever hear.  No kidding.

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Post  FerociousBanger on Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:37 am

crimson king wrote:There are passages in Camel's music that bring Raja to mind like the soft flute piece immediately after the first verse followed by melodic lead guitar.  It's possible Viji Manuel found those albums at Burma Bazar and suggested them to Raja.  I like lots of prog from the 70s - KC, Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Hatfield and the North, National Health, Magma, Jethro Tull, ELP.   Among modern bands, I liked Bent Knee's Shiny Eyed Babies but not their subsequent albums.  Love iamthemorning's Lighthouse.  Then, not prog at all, supposedly mathcore, but Frontierer's Orange Mathematics, the heaviest album you will likely ever hear.  No kidding.
Oh boy, now I'm mighty intrigued by the mathcore album you've mentioned. Wait, let me get done with Pelagial.
Also, yes, Andy Latimer and Raja are definitely kindred musical spirits. Very Happy

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Post  crimson king on Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:06 am

crimson king wrote:Listening to Windowpane again, nice start!  It's going to be fun to revisit some of those tracks and relook at the impressions I had formed then.

I am really enjoying this revisit of Damnation.  I can see what would have been my objections at that time.  I was less tolerant of drawn out, moody music at that time (I mean, I was coming from Rojavai Thalatum Thendral Very Happy ).  Things generally happened fast in old prog.  Even in kind of prog rock opera like Marillion (though come to think, Misplaced Childhood sort of sets the stage for melodic prog with slow development, but again my favourite Marillion albums were Script For A Jester's Tear and Fugazi, not Misplaced Childhood). 

Now I am able to listen to the album without my preconceptions of what I needed prog to sound like affecting my opinion of it.  And it's beautiful.  On a prog rock complexity scale, it's pretty modest but that's perfectly ok. I think of these as melancholic 4/8 minute pieces with intelligent, evolved songwriting that you wouldn't have found on um, Creed or Nickelback albums from that period.  And in that sense, it's exactly what prog is about, not conforming to the status quo.  It lacks the catchiness Wilson managed on In Absentia, particularly songs like Trains or Sound of Muzak, but in a way that's the attraction for me.  It has a kind of brooding mystique whereas I only like IA for its catchiness and it doesn't evoke any colours or moods in particular for me.  The sound design is very satisfyingly coherent on Damnation, like all the songs are related and connected in some way.

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Post  FerociousBanger on Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:22 pm

crimson king wrote:
crimson king wrote:Listening to Windowpane again, nice start!  It's going to be fun to revisit some of those tracks and relook at the impressions I had formed then.

I am really enjoying this revisit of Damnation.  I can see what would have been my objections at that time.  I was less tolerant of drawn out, moody music at that time (I mean, I was coming from Rojavai Thalatum Thendral Very Happy ).  Things generally happened fast in old prog.  Even in kind of prog rock opera like Marillion (though come to think, Misplaced Childhood sort of sets the stage for melodic prog with slow development, but again my favourite Marillion albums were Script For A Jester's Tear and Fugazi, not Misplaced Childhood). 

Now I am able to listen to the album without my preconceptions of what I needed prog to sound like affecting my opinion of it.  And it's beautiful.  On a prog rock complexity scale, it's pretty modest but that's perfectly ok. I think of these as melancholic 4/8 minute pieces with intelligent, evolved songwriting that you wouldn't have found on um, Creed or Nickelback albums from that period.  And in that sense, it's exactly what prog is about, not conforming to the status quo.  It lacks the catchiness Wilson managed on In Absentia, particularly songs like Trains or Sound of Muzak, but in a way that's the attraction for me.  It has a kind of brooding mystique whereas I only like IA for its catchiness and it doesn't evoke any colours or moods in particular for me.  The sound design is very satisfyingly coherent on Damnation, like all the songs are related and connected in some way.
I'm glad tbh, that you like it on this revisit Very Happy
And, yes, because I was first introduced to Opeth's style of 70s prog rock in Damnation, initially, the OG 70s prog felt a little too whacky for me - almost like they were bereft of emotions. But I trained my ears to perceive different kinds of music to be perceived as they are meant to be!

Lips Of Ashes in IA does strike one's heart like nothing else, though. Ha. Also, are you aware of Damnation (and Deliverance) being a product of Wilson's production? Very Happy 

Anyway, check out Opeth's Pale Communion and In Cauda Venenum. It's closer to 70s prog than Damnation was. I hope you like them.

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Post  crimson king on Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:23 am

FerociousBanger wrote:
crimson king wrote:
crimson king wrote:Listening to Windowpane again, nice start!  It's going to be fun to revisit some of those tracks and relook at the impressions I had formed then.

I am really enjoying this revisit of Damnation.  I can see what would have been my objections at that time.  I was less tolerant of drawn out, moody music at that time (I mean, I was coming from Rojavai Thalatum Thendral Very Happy ).  Things generally happened fast in old prog.  Even in kind of prog rock opera like Marillion (though come to think, Misplaced Childhood sort of sets the stage for melodic prog with slow development, but again my favourite Marillion albums were Script For A Jester's Tear and Fugazi, not Misplaced Childhood). 

Now I am able to listen to the album without my preconceptions of what I needed prog to sound like affecting my opinion of it.  And it's beautiful.  On a prog rock complexity scale, it's pretty modest but that's perfectly ok. I think of these as melancholic 4/8 minute pieces with intelligent, evolved songwriting that you wouldn't have found on um, Creed or Nickelback albums from that period.  And in that sense, it's exactly what prog is about, not conforming to the status quo.  It lacks the catchiness Wilson managed on In Absentia, particularly songs like Trains or Sound of Muzak, but in a way that's the attraction for me.  It has a kind of brooding mystique whereas I only like IA for its catchiness and it doesn't evoke any colours or moods in particular for me.  The sound design is very satisfyingly coherent on Damnation, like all the songs are related and connected in some way.
I'm glad tbh, that you like it on this revisit Very Happy
And, yes, because I was first introduced to Opeth's style of 70s prog rock in Damnation, initially, the OG 70s prog felt a little too whacky for me - almost like they were bereft of emotions. But I trained my ears to perceive different kinds of music to be perceived as they are meant to be!

Lips Of Ashes in IA does strike one's heart like nothing else, though. Ha. Also, are you aware of Damnation (and Deliverance) being a product of Wilson's production? Very Happy 

Anyway, check out Opeth's Pale Communion and In Cauda Venenum. It's closer to 70s prog than Damnation was. I hope you like them.

Yeah, I know that Damnation was produced by Wilson.  You get a Damnation like flavour in some of Wilson's later solo work, like Deform To Form A Star.

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