Under The Influence #57: Drakh on “My Arms Your Hearse” from Opeth!

1998 saw the release of the third critically acclaimed studio album from Swedish Progressive Death Metal titans Opeth. Recorded the summer prior to its release with producer Fredrik Nordström (At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity) and In Flames vocalist Anders Fridén at Studio Fredman In Gothenburg Sweden “My Arms Your Hearse” was the first album to feature the drum work of Martin Lopez. Having tested the boundaries of what was considered traditional Death Metal, with their 1995 debut “Orchid” by incorporating acoustic guitars, harmonies, piano and clean vocals. Gradually over time and albums the band, essentially masterminded by multi instrumentalist Mikael Åkerfeldt, the band moved away from the blast beats and aggressive tendencies. A concept album “My Arms Your Hearse” takes its title from the lyrics of “Drip, Drip” from the 1971 album “First Utterance” by British Progressive Folk Rock act Comus. The concept itself comes in Åkerfeldt’s lyrics, inked prior to the music being written with each song ending with the title of the following one…

Multi instrumentalist António Couto from Drakh comments: “We both [António Couto and vocalist Luís Franco] have very different metal backgrounds, so it took some time to settle on an album that influenced us both in a similar manner. So we came to the conclusion that anything from Opeth until mid 2000s shaped our creative minds in one way or another, even after that, but the rawness and sincereness of their beginnings is something we appreciate much more than their later works, and If we had to choose one Opeth album from that time as a major influence, that would be “My Arms Your Hearse”. The album is, in our opinion, simply a masterpiece. It’s a concept album (which is not unusual for Opeth), in which the lyrics of each song end with the title of the next track, while telling an emotionally charged story about a guy who dies, but stays as a ghost, not knowing he’s actually dead, only to see everyone he loves go on with their lives. There are no weak elements on these songs, from the lyrics to the melodies and transitions, everything pushes raw emotion, there’s just too much attention to detail. I remember listening to the song “Demon Of The Fall” for the first time, with that powerful intro and through the mid part, led by Mikael’s brutal low growl, to finish with one of the most emotionally gutting parts I had ever experienced back then. For a while around that time, for us, songs couldn’t have simple structures, and should always include a mellow “acoustic part”: that’s mostly because of Opeth’s influence, and this album sure was and still is, a huge influence for us

“Volcano One” EP by Drakh is out now and available over at bandcamp

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