Customer Reviews: Opeth: Lamentations - Live at Shepherd's Bush Empire
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on January 23, 2006
OPETH - Lamenations (DVD)
Since the purchase of this DVD I do not believe I have gone a week without watching at least part of the Concert. From start to finish this DVD showcase one of World's greatest bands proving why they are one of the greatest bands.
There are two sets: The 1st set opens with Windowpane and continues though all of the Damnation Album (Actually they throw in Harvest off BWP before the closer Weakness.) Set One may be subtle in its delivery, yet it beautiful and incredibly atmospheric. The exception is the ending of Closure, Which I believe has the only real distortion off of Damnation. This ending erupts which is only a preview of what is to come during their second set.
The Second Set (The Heavier Part) is composed of songs off Deliverance and Blackwater Park. From what I've heard, they had some label issues and couldn't record anything Pre-BWP for this DVD. SET II, kicks off with Master's Apprentices... which is was the perfect way to begin thing on a heavier note and then they continue with: The Drapery Falls, Deliverance, and The Leper Affinity. For a closer Opeth plays the beautiful: A Fair Judgment, which is my personal favorite, slower Opeth song.
In addition to this 2 hour concert there is an hour plus Documentary with Steven Wilson. (Incase you don't know he was their Producer for BWP, Deliverance and Damnation. - He is also the front man of the UK band called Porcupine Tree.) This Documentary is a great way to get inside the making of the last 2 albums as well as to get to know the Band and Mr. Wilson.
Some highlights are, the scene where Martin Lopez is recording the end of Deliverance... very cool. There is also a scene where Mikeal is doing some death-growls with a goofy look on his face. He keeps giving a look to Steve Wilson as if he's questioning his approval on his previous scream. (Actually it is quite humorous to hear a vicious death growl and then see the looks he gives Wilson)
All in all, this DVD is required for anyone who either loves Opeth or those may have even a remote interest in the band. In fact everyone who has a remote interest in music should check this out. Even the first part of the Concert (SET I) would easily be acceptable by my Fathers 70's Rock Roots.
Favorite Tracks: Closure, Master's Apprentice, The Leper Affinity and A Fair Judgment.
-5.0 Stars

P.S. To those who said this DVD was boring because there wasn't enough stage antics... go buy the Killswitch Engage DVD. Personally I'd rather watch a talented band compose a work of art. Then a band that will do overdubs to correct the mistakes they make while playing live and dancing around like fools. Nothing Personal KsE but antics may impress the 15 year olds but Opeth are the Masters of a live performance and this DVD clearly demonstrates that.

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on March 15, 2004
Okay, real fast, Britney Spears fans, lovers of all things bluegrass avoid this review =]
I inserted this DVD into my machine and three pictures fell off of my living room wall, it's THAT good. Now, being a raving Opeth fanboy, my reaction to this release may be more intense than the average Joe, but the crazy Swedes have done it again. Just to see Opeth live, which is something I will never have a chance to do in the flesh, was an amazing experience.
Forget that the entire Damnation album is performed, forget that The Leper Affinity and Deliverance alone are so thrashingly powerful that you run the risk of losing part of your short term memory, just buy it.
Technical merits abound, the DVD has 5.1 and DTS surround, all the more needed if you wish to actually hear Martin Lopez' kick bass rumbling while you are in the shower. Mikeal Akerfeldt and crew remain the reigning masters of death metal, and this release only reaffirms it. This is a must have for fans of amazing music. "Windowpane," "Hope Leaves," and "Deliverance" are worth the price alone.
Then, after the rapturous musical set ends, you get the pleasure of watching an hour long documentary on the making of Deliverance/Damnation. This is a side of Opeth that most casual fans may never see, and it is well worth watching. Not to mention the fact that we also get to see the incomparable Steven Wilson [Porcupine Tree] as he works his mixing/producing magic.
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on March 5, 2004
This DVD combines high production quality* with a stellar performance by one of the most interesting and compelling bands playing in the metal/progressive/difficult-to-categorize vein. Let me begin with a bit of advice: if you have the technology to do so, record the audio from the DVD to CD or into mp3's. Lamentations is now a fixture in my iPod rotation, and listening to Opeth's live playing in headphones as I am walking or falling asleep is sublime. (Hate to moralize here, but how about not sharing those files with people who haven't bought the DVD? Instead, encourage people to support this tremendous and talented band.)
The tour that included Shepherd's Bush Empire emphasized their last two discs, Damnation and Deliverance. Indeed, here they play Damnation in its entirety, thereby showcasing their introspective, melodic, slow-groove talents. To be sure, the nearly hour-long second set of frenetic heavy songs (including Blackwater Park's "Drapery Falls" and "Leper Affinity") reminds you of who Opeth is, but - if you didn't much like Damnation - you will probably not feel like you are getting your money's worth.
One of the ironies of Opeth is that, on the one hand they can produce the blissful brutality of "Deliverance," while on the other the banter between songs is modest and laconic. Another is that they never appear to be reaching or striving for their music; it is somehow at their fingertips, well within a gentle grasp. Opeth's playing here is so astonishingly relaxed and precise that mistakes leave you snapping back to attention and wondering whether it mightn't actually have been intentional. Akerfeldt's singing is lovely and clear (or impressively guttural and menacing on the heavy tracks), and the guitars weave delicate textures. One of the treats of a DVD is seeing who plays the various parts in a song, and making sense of Opeth's division of guitar labor is suitably entertaining. Lopez's drumming is, in my view, the high point. He is a metronome even as he plays groove, and his fills are extremely tasteful. It is a shame that we don't get more camerawork on his feet.
From the long, otherworldy, and almost 70's jam to close "Closure" to the avalanche of sound that starts "Leper Affinity" to the immaculate rendition of "Windowpane," Opeth's Lamentations is a dreamy window into a live sound that exceeds any studio prowess.
* The only downside of the impeccable recording is that you hear the annoying and childish calls of the concert fans (there is an especially egregious screech right as the vocals begin in "Hope Leaves").
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on August 21, 2004
This is a GREAT concert DVD. Ignore negative reviews, trust me. Live Opeth is a powerful, indelible experience and the DVD captures that as well as is possible with the medium. The song selection is great (all of _Damnation_, killer tracks from _Deliverance_ and _Blackwater Park_). They couldn't include anything from earlier albums because other labels own those songs (copyright laws are unethical and should be abolished), but what is here is outstanding.

The footage is some of the best I've seen on a metal DVD, with very little of the unnecessary and annoying hyperspeed editing that usually ruins these things. "Lamentations" has lots of varied camera angles, crystal-clear picture, and tight editing (but alas, limited camera angles of drummer Martin Lopez). The sound is great and the performances will send shivers through your body to your innermost core. Akerfeldt's voice is awe-inspiring (beautiful singing and soul-withering, crackling death growls) and Martin Mendez wins my eternal respect for his awesome headbanging on "Master's Apprentices". Totally metal.
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on August 9, 2004
Opeth has amazed me from the first time that I purchased the album, 'My Arms, Your Hearse.' These guys were something special from Sweden, and I immediately listened to their other releases. I also had the privelage to see them live just a month after I found out about them for their American tour in support for the release of this DVD. Unlike this live concert, Opeth played mostly songs from previous albums with songs such as, The Moor, April Ethereal, Demon of the Fall, To Bid you Farewell, etc. They are an amazing band, and I will make sure to see them whenever they come back to the States

The Lamentations DVD features the guys from Opeth playing the Damnation album all of the way through. It also features 5 songs from the Blackwater Park and Deliverence albums. One of my favorite songs is the opener, Windowpane. Mikael Akerfelt's vocals are amazing on this song and I always play this song for people who aren't really into death metal. Otherwise, I usually skip to the song, Master's Apprentices, which starts off the heavier set. This DVD is worthy of 5 starts due to the quality of the concert, the great filming and finally, the awesome stage presence that Opeth has. They are awesome, and I recommend everyone to see them live! Also, this DVD is fairly inexpensive compared to other metal concert DVD's. This is a great concert to have in one's metal collection.
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on February 27, 2004
Words can't actually describe how wonderful this DVD is. "Lamentations" is what Opeth is all about. This has two seperate live sets that I like to call "Beauty And The Beast". The opening set is beauty beyond words, and the second set is a brutal onslaught of pure power. I only wish I could have been there in person. This has got to be one of the best concert DVD's around....
I am a huge fan of their most recent release "Damnation", and they play the entire CD here. They also have excellent bonus footage behind the making of "Damnation". I simply love this DVD. The guys are very up front, and it's very interesting to listen to these guys talk about how they began, and how far they've come. This is a true masterpiece of music all the way through, and if you've never seen Opeth live, you're in for a huge uplifting experience.....
If you don't have Opeth's "Damnation" CD, I highly suggest you listen to it prior to watching them play it live. They are near flawless, and it is one stirringly beautiful performance....
This is a masterpiece. Nothing more needs to be said....
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on November 5, 2005
In anticipation for an upcoming Opeth show, I thought it would be fitting to review thier only live release.

This DVD contains one epic show in which the band graces listeners with the entirety of Damnation before roaring through a handful of tracks from Blackwater Park and Deliverance. The second part of the disc is footage from the Deliverance and Damnation recording sessions.

Aside from the fact that there are no tracks from Still Life, Orchid, My Arms Your Hearse, and Morningrise, this DVD is everything you can ask for (and it's not Opeth's fault that they had to limit their setlist anyway). I know one reviewer here states something about the mix it was recorded in, but I know nothing about such things, and have never cared much for them either. If you share this mindset, then you should have absolutely no reservations about picking up this release.

For the live part, prepared to be blown away by Opeth's ability to translate its epics to the stage. The sound is full, the playing is precise, and as it should be, the live setting generates an energy that cannot be replicated in the studio, just as the studio provides resources to create crystal clear production which cannot be reproduced on stage.

This idea is solidified further on the second part of the disc. To watch Steven Wilson and Mikael Akerfeldt analyze, manipulate, and piece together the production gives you a great insight into why Opeth albums sound so good. These guys are meticulous and so proficient at what they do. Added to that, you get the sense that the Opeth crew is very comfortable with one another, and the roles they each play. Simply watching the guys play the same melodies and rhythms in the studio which we Opeth fans enjoy so much on the albums is somewhat of a surreal experience. Particularly interesting is the segment featuring Martin Lopez laying down the instantly recognizable drum work at the end of the track "Deliverance" which is spliced with Lopez talking about the band and his craft.

If you are an Opeth fan, and do not have this elegant/brutal/informative release, then what are you waiting for? With a CD price tag, Lamentations is a mandatory DVD for your collection.
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on December 28, 2003
I have an official copy of the DVD, and it definitely is impressive. The visual and aural quality are both top-notch. The band performs extremely well and I think especially the tracks from "Damnation" stand out, as the overall atmosphere during these is just as clear and low-key as one might expect.. "Lamentations" is a very appropriate title for the release. Even when the DVD perhaps concentrates more on the mellow side of the band, both extremes are displayed satisfyingly.
"Lamentations" includes a lengthy document of how Opeth works in the studio. It features interviews with each member of the band and also with Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), producer and musical wizard. Recording work is also shown, and the band explains in detail how the actual songwriting happens.
I'm extremely pleased with this release and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Opeth.. their way onstage is remarkably relaxed and honest, I really want to see them live now!
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on April 12, 2006
I'm a fairly new Opeth fan, so I wasn't sure what to expect from a concert DVD, but it's nothing short of a stunningly precise and passionate performance by some very talented musicians. For anyone who is familiar with their music, the first half is pretty mellow since it includes the performance of Damnation in its entirety. By most accounts that particular album is an anomaly in that it doesn't include anything even remotely like death metal (that's not really a good way to categorize them anyway, they're too progressive and unique to be labeled anything but Opeth). For longtime fans of what Opeth are known for (extended bone crunching assaults), the second half more than makes up for it. This is one of those rare concerts that can be enjoyed over and over again because you'll always pick up a little something you didn't catch before. I believe Opeth have a long productive future ahead of them and hope there are more DVDs like this included in it.
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on March 9, 2006
One could call Opeth a melodic-progressive-death metal band. Even their heaviest songs have complex and haunting melodies. What is even more impressive is how accurate their live performance is to their studio albums. Infact, I saw Opeth live in Feb 2006 and I would encourage those who can to check them out live. This particular DVD has live rendititions of songs from the "Damnation" and "Deliverance" albums. Damnation consists of softer numbers which everybody should enjoy. Deliverance has the harder stuff.

Mikael's vocals seem a little rusty in the first 2-3 songs but he quickly get into the act. The instrumentalists do an awesome job with all the long complex pieces. One downside of their performance is that they're not very active on stage. They seem quite rooted to their spots.

Nevertheless, I strongly recommend this DVD. It's well worth it's price (currently only $13!).
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