I'll be honest - I didn't know Opeth going into this. I'd heard the rave reviews for years, but everytime I'd ask people where to start, I'd get such wildly different opinions that I'd be more confused than before. But I'm a huge fan of live music and concert DVDs, so when this set was announced, I decided to let this introduce me Opeth.
I was hooked from the very start of Leper Affinity(track 1). Bleak(track 2) is now one of my all time favourite songs, and Blackwater Park, the album they play in its entirety in the first set here, is now one of my favourite albums of all time.
Now that I've gotten to know the band, it's clear that their music is meant to be taken in an album at a time, not as a collection of songs on a mix disc or greatest hits-type setlist(not that the second disc isn't enjoyable). That's why the first set is so amazing - it's the Blackwater Park album played right through, and what an amazing album/set that is. Truly one of the all-time great musical journeys, covering so much musical and emotional ground it's staggering. I wouldn't suggest this show for when you have company over and will be doing a lot of talking, or have interruptions. Save it for when you can let yourself float away with the music.
There's even more to enjoy than the great songs. When watching this, I was acutely aware that I could hear the acoustical nuances and character of the Royal Albert Hall itself, and I mean that in a good way. The building clearly sounds amazing, and somehow they managed to capture that on the DVD. Additionally, Mikael's a genuinely charismatic frontman.
Great show, buy it.