Opeth – “Era” (Singles Going Steady)

Opeth's "Era" is as precise and pristine as a classical cantata without the pretensions.

Steve Horowitz: First soft, then loud, then louder then softer, then loud, then soft — this is the way of life (and death) — of a person, a people, an era ad infinitum. The focus is on the patterns as a whole. The psychedelic moments fuse jazz and rock in a freewheeling manner. It’s captivating without being compellingly immersive. One is always aware that one is listening. The surges and progressions keep the music interesting. Opeth understands that each sound matters from seagull squawks to squealing guitars. This is as precise and pristine as a classical cantata without the pretensions. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: Opeth continues to crank out its unique brand of precision prog metal. If this ain’t your thing, you probably won’t be converted by this song. But it’s a great ride — lots of superhuman, time signature-shifting drums, anthemic choruses, pitch-perfect guitar solos, and a band that probably gets accused of taking itself too seriously. But they’re probably a nice bunch of guys. [7/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Immense visuals underscore the drive of “Era”, a dynamic piece of melodic metal with a lot of power and relative simplicity. It’s a memorable video; the song has a lot of appeal, but not because of any particular originality. It’s not one of Opeth’s most imaginative tracks, but it’s solid, heavy enough to rock hard but not too weighty to be just a little bit of a welcome earworm. [6/10]

Paul Carr: This song perfectly encapsulates the band that Opeth have become. They are now adept at mixing their progressive tendencies with their more metal leanings. Both facets of the band come together on the controlled hostility of “Era”. Opeth have never been a band to shy away from ambition, but here they craft a song that experiments with sound and time signatures but is still heavy on melody. The song begins with a classical, circling piano figure before the hammering drums add the heaviness with a slightly off-kilter pummeling rhythm. The vocals from main man Mikael Åkerfeldt are soaring and impassioned but steer clear of the theatrics that characterise lesser prog bands. That said, the band is lacking the volatility of old, with many long term fans left to lament the absence of Akerfeldt’s harsher, more guttural growl. A solid summation of where Opeth find themselves now. [7/10]

Scott Zuppardo: Sweden’s (thankfully) never dying prog-metal rockers are still at it, both in the studio and on the road. If you’re looking for a classic melodic metal sound, look no further. And it’s genuine too, definitely not a smash the room up type jam, but a proper representation of the art. [6/10]

SCORE: 6.80

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