OPETH - LAMENTATIONS: LIVE AR SHEPHERD'S
, a two-hour live 2003 performance DVD, shows off Swedish quartet Opeth's music--which, to simplify matters, can be described as an unwieldy but convincing amalgam of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rush, and Metallica at their most introspective and uncommercial--to its great advantage, both for fans as well as those unfamiliar with it. Opeth is the rare band that has escaped the narrow confines of the label "heavy metal," a progressive, intensely musical outfit, the group's increasingly subtle music-making has kept the same denseness and complexity of its earlier efforts. Performing the 2003 album Damnation
in its entirety, Opeth has mastered a groove-based, moody type of hard rock that's often content to lope along through textured chord changes and instrumental breaks, with acoustic guitar at the forefront. The rest of the concert consists of a half-dozen older, more pummeling tunes that are more conceptually complex and impressive in their always-revealing soundscapes.
Also on the disc is an insightful one-hour-long documentary about the recording of both Damnation and its predecessor, Deliverance; the concert and documentary are shot in anamorphic widescreen, and the audio choices are Dolby Stereo, 5.1 Surround and DTS. --Kevin Filipski