My Arms, Your Hearse

My Arms, Your Hearse is the third full-length studio album by progressive metal band Opeth. It was released in August 1998. It was Opeth's first album to be released simultaneously in Europe, through Candlelight Records, and in the United States, through Century Black.

My Arms, Your Hearse
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 18, 1998
RecordedAugust–September 1997
(Studio Fredman, Maestro Musik and Nacksving Studio)
Genre
Length53:13
LabelCandlelight, Century Black
ProducerFredrik Nordström, Opeth & Anders Fridén
Opeth chronology
Morningrise
(1996)
My Arms, Your Hearse
(1998)
Still Life
(1999)

Background

My Arms, Your Hearse was the first Opeth album with drummer Martin Lopez, who answered a newspaper ad that Opeth put up searching for this spot to be taken after Anders Nordin left. Shortly thereafter the band also brought in Martín Méndez, a friend and previous bandmate of Lopez. However, Mendez did not have enough time to learn the bass parts for the album, so frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt played bass for the entire recording session.[2] All of the songs on My Arms, Your Hearse are shorter than ten minutes, whereas on Opeth's previous album, Morningrise, every song exceeds this length. The album is dedicated to Lee Barrett (of Candlelight Records).[3]

The title of the album is derived from the lyrics of the song "Drip, Drip" by the band Comus.[4]

Style

Concept

Åkerfeldt wrote all the lyrics before the music was written,[2] to create Opeth's first concept album. Each song ends with the title of the next song. For example, “April Ethereal” ends with the word “when”, which is the name of the next track.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[1]
Chronicles of Chaos[5]
Metal Crypt4.75/5[6]
Metal Storm9.7/10[7]
Sea of Tranquility[8]
Tartarean Desire[9]
Terrorizer[10]

My Arms, Your Hearse was widely praised by critics. Steve Huey of AllMusic said that it "flows logically from one composition to the next, and the mostly long songs have enough variation in texture and mood to hold the listener's interest fairly consistently".[1] Jeb of Metal Faith magazine said, "each song sort of flows into the next giving the whole album a unified feel".[10] Jeff of Mid West Metal magazine commented, "having never been exposed to Opeth, I had them pegged as a typical black metal bands that sings about love and relationships and crap like that. I really didn't expect to get blown out of the water when 'April Ethereal' kicked in, from this point I am converted! And while the album has some mellow parts and some folk-ish characteristics, it's still a very intense album from a band who seems to have not forgotten how the fuck they got their current plateau in life."[10] Christian Renner of Metal Crypt wrote, "the musicianship is brilliant as always and the songwriting is just what you would expect from this incredibly talented group. This is another great album that most bands out there would give their right arm to have written and that statement just speaks volumes of the songwriting talent of the Åkerfeldt/Lindgren team."[6] Pedro Azevedo of Chronicles of Chaos said of the album, "though some parts of the drum sound are somewhat awkward at times (new drummer and bass player, by the way), the instrumental performance is as great as one would expect, and Akerfeldt's vocals are again amazing. Top quality sections just flow throughout the album, making it truly -excellent-. My Arms, Your Hearse is a indeed a brilliant proof that Swedish metal isn't entirely stagnant."[5] Tartarean Desire's critic Cseke Róbert wrote, "this record is more powerful and more beautiful than most of today's music from this genre. The entire record is a mixture of hell-bound adrenalin and soul... My Arms, Your Hearse is such a powerful album that I consider it one of the best of the genre."[9] Demonic Tutor (Olivier Espiau) of Metal Storm stated the album is a "trip to heaven" and also:[7]

If the album Blackwater Park remains as Opeth's masterpiece so far, My Arms, Your Hearse also deserves the maximal rating. I personally think that this record is equal to Blackwater Park ... Well, every metalhead on earth MUST have this album. If you're tired of your standards or if you just want to discover new horizons in the metal world, or simply if you don't want to miss the best band for its creativity, listen to Opeth... Listening to My Arms, Your Hearse, I can say that perfection has now a name: Opeth.

Olivier Espiau, Metal Storm.

Tim Henderson of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles said "you are in for a treat, easily described as the black metal version of The Dark Side of the Moon in all its pride and glory. In fact, if Gilmour joined Emperor, or if Cradle took sides with Yes, can My Arms, Your Hearse be truly described".[10] "My Arms, Your Hearse is a milestone in '90s extreme metal", wrote Chris Bruni in his review for Unrestrained! magazine. He also wrote that the album is "easily their most stunning achievement" and "the songs are stronger, heavier, more cohesive, with a stronger sound courtesy of Studio Fredman, and the textures and song movements are some of the best executed structures to be heard in metal".[10]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Mikael Åkerfeldt, except where noted[11].

No.TitleLength
1."Prologue" (instrumental)1:00
2."April Ethereal"8:40
3."When"9:14
4."Madrigal" (instrumental)1:26
5."The Amen Corner"8:43
6."Demon of the Fall" (Åkerfeldt, Peter Lindgren)6:13
7."Credence"5:26
8."Karma"7:52
9."Epilogue" (instrumental)3:59
2000 reissue bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
10."Circle of the Tyrants" (Celtic Frost cover, written by Tom Gabriel Fischer)5:12
11."Remember Tomorrow" (Iron Maiden cover, written by Steve Harris and Paul Di'Anno)4:59

Personnel

Release history

This is the second Opeth album with a major delayed release (the first being Orchid) and the recording for My Arms, Your Hearse was done a year before its release, just like Orchid. My Arms, Your Hearse was released on August 18, 1998, simultaneously in Europe and the United States on CD by Candlelight Records and Century Black respectively. It was released in Poland by Mystic Production on cassette. The album was reissued in 2000 on CD by Candlelight Records and on LP by Displeased Records. The LP was limited to 1000 copies. These reissues contain two bonus tracks, "Circle of the Tyrants" and "Remember Tomorrow".[1][13] They are covers of songs that were only previously available on two separate tribute albums, In Memory of Celtic Frost and A Call to Irons: A Tribute to Iron Maiden, respectively.[14][15] A special edition was released by Candlelight in 2003.[13]

Year Region Label Format Catalog
1998 United Kingdom Candlelight CD CANDLE25
1998 United States Century Black CD 7894-2
1998 Poland Mystic Production cassette 159
2000 United Kingdom Candlelight CD Candle055
2000 Netherlands Displeased double LP D-00083
2000 United States Candlelight CD CANUS068CD
2003 United Kingdom Candlelight CD CANDLE055TIN
2003 Russia IROND CD IROND CD 03-632
2005 United Kingdom Candlelight LP CVCS 005 PD
2006 Japan Candlelight CD XQAN-1003
2008 United Kingdom Back On Black LP BOBV099LP
2008 Japan Avalon CD MICP-10809

References

  1. Huey, Steve. My Arms, Your Hearse Review. AllMusic. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  2. Session diary of My Arms, Your Hearse Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. Opeth (2000) [1998]. My Arms, Your Hearse liner notes. Candlelight (CANDLE055CD)
  4. "Comus - Progressive/ Psychedelic / Wyrd / Folk Rock (UK)". ComusMusic.co.uk. Retrieved October 26, 2011. The new found popularity of the band was helped in no small way by Swedish guitarist and vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt, with his much respected metal band Opeth, who would often make references and dedications to Comus at Opeth gigs. Mikael had been obsessed with the band for many years, even naming one of Opeth's albums "My Arms, Your Hearse", a quote from the lyrics of the Comus song "Drip Drip". And so it was that in the spring of 2007 Glenn Goring received an email from Mikael's great friend and concert promoter Stefan Dimle, another dedicated Comus fan from Sweden.
  5. Azevedo, Pedro. Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse. Chronicles of Chaos. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  6. Renner, Christian. Review: Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse. Metal Crypt. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  7. Demonic Tutor. Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse review. Metal Storm. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  8. SoT Archives. Opeth: My Arms Your Hearse. Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  9. Róbert, Cseke. Review: Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse. Tartarean Desire. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  10. MAYH Reviews Archived June 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Opeth.com. Retrieved July 10, 2011
  11. "Opeth official website discography". Opeth.com. Archived from the original on December 28, 2011. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 28, 2011. Retrieved December 26, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. Opeth: My Arms, Your Hearse Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Opeth.com. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  14. In Memory of Celtic Frost. AllMusic. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  15. A Call to Irons: A Tribute to Iron Maiden, Vol. 1. AllMusic. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
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