This review was originally written by Jose Bernardo for www.theweeklyriff.com between 2008 and 2010.
These were Jose’s first impressions of the songs and were not written after multiple spins.
Album: The Doldrums (2008 Self Published)
Tracks: 7 + bonus
Artist website: Facebook
Opaq is a trio based in New Hampshire, USA. The following is the trio’s own description of this album: “Heavy music consisting of lengthy songs that focus on repetition and evolution of structure.” On the surface, I’d disagree with the “lengthy” remark as the average track length is approximately 5.4 minutes. While that is long by commercial radio standards, it is not within the genre.
However, “lengthy” probably refers to the repetition and the fact that all the songs segue into each other creating a long weaving musical epic. Yes, EPIC! It’s almost as if the whole album was one song. For anyone who is into epic weaving musical journeys with punch, this record delivers in spades! Great release, I look forward to hearing where the guys go from here.
Coordinates + Tides of Dissention, Ghost, and Loco-Motive
PLAY BY PLAY REVIEW
Track 1 – Overflow
This opening track serves up a healthy dose of heavy. More of a slow tempo heavy track, it surprisingly does not lack energy.
Track 2 – 1913
This track features more developed ideas from the first track as well as a mid section that sounds like sampled spoken word.
Track 3 – Bask
This track is more upbeat and energetic that the first two tracks. It has an air of something familiar in the layered vocal tracks that I can’t quite pin down. Almost as if some Stone Temple Pilots and Tool tracks were infused together.
Track 4 – Coordinates
While not straying too far from the well established heaviness of the first 3 tracks, this track is a bit lighter. Almost as if an intermission. There are no vocals. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this track. Well done Opaq!
Track 5 – Tides of Dissention
…and after that “intermission” in certain sections of this track the singer busts out into pseudo Mikael Åkerfelt type growls, though not quite as low as the Opeth frontman is known for. The track’s got quite an atmospheric quality to it as well.
Track 6 – Ghost
This track is a bit different from the rest of the album. While not totally different from sonically speaking, it has a more “commercial” vibe to it. (And by “commercial” I don’t mean that this song is of lesser quality. I mean that this is probably the most accessible song on a first listen.) It’s kind of an Opeth meets Pantera, but not super fast. This would make a great single.
Track 7 – Loco-Motive
Possibly the fastest song on the record and also having the longest track time of 9:08, this is a very cool and energetic track with lots of different textures and interesting sections. The track mellows out about halfway through and seems to return to the opening textures of the record.
Bonus Track: Not available on my review copy