Opeth is clearly a talented band but this album is largely uninteresting. It's not the death metal influence that makes it inacessable, but its overreliance on endless song structure and the dizzying formula of switching from heavy to acoustic that does make it unappealing. I find the acoustic sections to be quite good, but the same can not be said about a majority of the louder pieces, although many of the guitar lines are beautiful (drapery falls). The singer does have a good voice and his growl is considerably more polished compared to most death metal voices. The lyrics are good and descriptive, but there is a prententious feel to them that makes them difficult to get into.
I am unable to say that Opeth is one of my favorite bands, but they are a unique band that the more simple-minded will have trouble understanding. Despite my feelings, I have no desire to not recommend this to you. For hardcore Opeth fans, this is all for you. For others who wish to get into Opeth's music, download The Leper Affinity, Bleak, Harvest, Drapery Falls, and Dirge For November, as well as listen to My Arms, You Hearse, their best work to date.