5 BOLD BRUTAL BEAUTIFUL BRILLIANTrockdog | 03/06/2008 | See all rockdog's reviews (23)THERE IS NO OTHER BAND LIKE OPETH and with Watershed, their 9th 'observation' they have produced their most progressive work to date whilst still retaining the Opeth mix of beautiful melancholy interlaced with sheer brutalityStarting the album with 'Coil' an acoustic intro (since at 3.11 it is one of the shortest songs they have written!) is an unusual move but with the addition of folk singer Natalie Lorrichs, is a wonderfully atmospheric track which makes the next track - the BRUTAL 'Heir Apparent' even more brutal and one of the heaviest tracks they have ever done!'The Lotus Eater' with it's death and clean vocals duelling over blast beats is stunning and with so much going on veering between lush instrumentation, death metal and jazzy keyboard licks, is equally confusing and exhiliaring.'Burden' is next - a soaring 70's style prog ballad with Mikael's voice on top form and some exquisite guitar work - the intro alone is guaranteed to send the hairs up on the back of the neck and in my opinion is one of the best songs Opeth have written and I've heard them all - the outro itself turns the song on its head via some down-tuned guitaring which takes the song into a more sinister realm - very inventive.The single 'Porcelain Heart' has depressingly frail vocals which are underpinned by a crushingly heavy riff and is a great example of the dynamics that Opeth employ.'Hessian Peel' is epic in every sense of the word and is difficult to explain - suffice to say 1/2 of the song is mellow taking in horns, clarinets and keyboards....then the death vocals come from nowhere to take the song in a completely different direction - it is breathtaking to hear the stunning musicianship on display.Finally 'Hex Omega' ends the song with again mellow, sparse atmospherics interlaced with heaviness!All in all this has to rank as one of Opeth's best albums - definitely their most diverse and progressive and the vocals and musicians (irrespective of the change in line-up) are on top form!!The extras consist of a documentary on the making of the album with input from every member, 3 extra tracks (although disappointed they only put them on the DVD and not the CD as all are great) and the whole album in 5.1 surround sound!!If you love bands that aren't afraid of doing what they want then you will LOVE this album!!