Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “I Feel The Dark” — Opeth (2011)

Veiled comes the daylight through the glass
In the never-ending rain
This is no friend of mine
Stalking the comfort within

Any one of two dozen Opeth masterpieces could dot this particular landscape. Heck, almost anything from Blackwater Park would do just fine, and I’d love to devote an entire post to that album sometime.

But for today we’re moving to their 2011 landmark album Heritage, specifically toward our chosen selection I Feel The Dark, one that I like to think of as the darker, more destructive response to The Police’s “Roxanne”. Of course that’s a bit trivializing and reductive, isn’t it? Work with me for a sec.

As composed and sung by vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt, I Feel The Dark is of course completely open to interpretation. Some have taken it as a tale of unrequited love, or of emotional/sexual abuse. Perhaps both, maybe neither. One theory is that the object of the singer’s affection is a street-walker for whom he has desperately fallen. It’s not just the physical desire any more; he NEEDS this woman’s love. And she has long since compartmentalized their relationship into where it is compelled to remain.

And he is left alone to suffer.

In any case, I Feel The Dark a haunting expression of desire, of unrequited yearning, a sharp fall into an abyss of self-loathing, the type of which anyone with a beating heart is all-too-familiar. The repeated acoustic guitar riff, the orchestrations, and that thunderous Opeth spine all contribute to a massively compelling expression of plummeting emotional free-fall.

How far you let yourself fall into that pit is up to you. Some will dive in just head first until they feel that darkness. Hey, at least you’re feeling something.

And you’re going out to war
When the beast is coming home
And the sun is seen no more
For the devil’s love you bore

I feel the dark when I see you

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