OPETH

Progressive Metal / Metal Related / Death Metal / Non-Metal / Hard Rock • Sweden
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Opeth is a progressive death metal band from Sweden that is influenced by many diverse musical styles ranging from 1970s progressive rock, death metal, and blues. Their recent releases have deviated from their traditional death metal influenced style, with more emphasis on progressive elements. Vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt is also noted for utilizing both clean singing and death growls, often in the same track. Due to their unique blend of melodic and progressive elements, Opeth are often classified separately from more typical death metal acts. The name Opeth was taken from Wilbur Smith's novel Sunbird and derived from Opet, a city of the moon named in the novel.

History

Opeth was formed in Stockholm, Södermanland, Sweden in 1990 by David Isberg. Isberg invited Mikael Åkerfeldt to join the band at a practice session as a bass player, but failed to inform the current bass player or any of the other members
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OPETH Discography

OPETH albums / top albums

OPETH Orchid album cover 3.65 | 93 ratings
Orchid
Death Metal 1995
OPETH Morningrise album cover 3.89 | 98 ratings
Morningrise
Death Metal 1996
OPETH My Arms, Your Hearse album cover 3.95 | 107 ratings
My Arms, Your Hearse
Death Metal 1998
OPETH Still Life album cover 4.47 | 196 ratings
Still Life
Progressive Metal 1999
OPETH Blackwater Park album cover 4.30 | 158 ratings
Blackwater Park
Progressive Metal 2001
OPETH Deliverance album cover 3.73 | 114 ratings
Deliverance
Progressive Metal 2002
OPETH Damnation album cover 3.93 | 124 ratings
Damnation
Metal Related 2003
OPETH Ghost Reveries album cover 4.35 | 156 ratings
Ghost Reveries
Progressive Metal 2005
OPETH Watershed album cover 3.97 | 128 ratings
Watershed
Progressive Metal 2008
OPETH Heritage album cover 3.71 | 107 ratings
Heritage
Metal Related 2011
OPETH Pale Communion album cover 3.81 | 56 ratings
Pale Communion
Metal Related 2014
OPETH Sorceress album cover 3.66 | 39 ratings
Sorceress
Metal Related 2016
OPETH In Cauda Venenum album cover 4.08 | 28 ratings
In Cauda Venenum
Progressive Metal 2019

OPETH EPs & splits

OPETH Burden album cover 3.15 | 5 ratings
Burden
Progressive Metal 2008

OPETH live albums

OPETH The Roundhouse Tapes album cover 3.92 | 33 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
Progressive Metal 2007
OPETH Lamentations: Live at Shepherd's Bush Empire album cover 4.58 | 6 ratings
Lamentations: Live at Shepherd's Bush Empire
Progressive Metal 2016
OPETH Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre album cover 4.22 | 5 ratings
Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Progressive Metal 2018

OPETH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

OPETH Apostle in Triumph album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Apostle in Triumph
Death Metal 1994
OPETH The Drapery Falls album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
The Drapery Falls
Progressive Metal 2001
OPETH Mellotron Heart album cover 2.33 | 3 ratings
Mellotron Heart
Progressive Metal 2008
OPETH The Devil's Orchard - Live at Rock Hard Festival album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Devil's Orchard - Live at Rock Hard Festival
Progressive Metal 2011

OPETH re-issues & compilations

OPETH Collecter's Edition Slipcase album cover 4.14 | 3 ratings
Collecter's Edition Slipcase
Progressive Metal 2006
OPETH The Candlelight Years album cover 4.10 | 11 ratings
The Candlelight Years
Death Metal 2008
OPETH The Wooden Box album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wooden Box
Death Metal 2009

OPETH singles (7)

.. Album Cover
3.50 | 3 ratings
Still Day Beneath the Sun
Metal Related 2003
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 6 ratings
The Grand Conjuration
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
3.39 | 5 ratings
Porcelain Heart
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
3.45 | 7 ratings
The Throat of Winter
Non-Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
3.27 | 7 ratings
The Devil's Orchard
Hard Rock 2011
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 4 ratings
Sorceress
Progressive Metal 2016
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ghost Of Perdition (Live)
Progressive Metal 2018

OPETH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.82 | 30 ratings
Lamentations, Live At Shepherd's Bush Empire, 2003
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
4.27 | 22 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
4.40 | 27 ratings
In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
Progressive Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 4 ratings
Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Progressive Metal 2018

OPETH Reviews

OPETH Heritage

Album · 2011 · Metal Related
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Warthur
In some ways, prog metal stalwarts Opeth putting out an album which is all-prog, no-metal wasn't so unprecedented when Heritage was released. After all, Damnation had come out nearly a decade earlier.

However, come to Heritage expecting Damnation Part 2 - or, for that matter, something sounding anything like Opeth releases past - and you'll find yourself extremely surprised. You see, that Damnation comparison overlooks the fact that Deliverance and Damnation were always meant to be one album, and when they were split in two the harder, heavier, more energetic numbers ended up on Deliverance and the softer, gentler numbers ended up on Damnation, accounting for the sedated, tranquilised feel of that album.

That's not the case here: Heritage has a mixture of gentler numbers and more thunderous ones, that blend being captured by gentle piano intro - the title track, Heritage - which then leads into The Devil's Orchard, one of the more energetic tracks on the album. And it's on Devil's Orchard where you really hear the difference - because it's very much a prog rock track, not a prog metal track.

At most, you might be able to catch a hint of fury in Martin Axenrot's drum work, but even then he's hardly pulling out the blast beats, and the rest of the band really are not playing in a metal mode at all, instead shifting to performances mixing classic prog of the past with more modern takes. Sections of I Feel the Dark take on a very Porcupine Tree-esque sound, perhaps inevitably given Steven Wilson's presence at the mixing desk, whilst the heaviest moments on the album are more reminiscent of, say, Atomic Rooster rather than Black Sabbath (or perhaps, as at the start of Slither, one can detect a shade of Deep Purple).

Naturally, more or less all the vocals are clean, which I feel is the album's weak point - Mikael Åkerfeldt just isn't that exciting of a lead vocalist. Other than this, it's another interesting departure in the Opeth catalogue; I personally enjoy it, but those who only find Opeth interesting when they have at least a pinch of death metal in their formula will likely be disappointed.

OPETH The Candlelight Years

Boxset / Compilation · 2008 · Death Metal
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Warthur
This is a convenient way of collecting Opeth's first three albums all in one fell swoop. Though Morningrise is far and away the best album here, the other two albums presented are nice bonuses on top of that star attraction; Orchid captures the band in the process of gradually finding their sound, whilst My Arms, Your Hearse has a bleak, almost black metal-inspired aesthetic which makes it perhaps Opeth's darkest and murkiest release. Each disc has a few bonus tracks, giving a full overview of the band's earliest era, making this a good purchase so long as you're happy with not getting the full artwork.

OPETH Watershed

Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Opeth's Watershed is aptly titled, because it follows the departure of two long-standing members of the band: Peter Lindgren had been on every Opeth album up to this one, whilst Martin Lopez had provided drumming from My Arms, Your Hearse onwards. New drummer Martin Axenrot had appeared on The Roundhouse Tapes, whilst this would be the first release to feature Fredrik Åkesson on guitar, though he clearly missed no time in gelling with the rest of the group; he even gets a songwriting credit on Porcelain Heart, which is notable given how much of Opeth's material by this point was written solely by Mikael Åkerfeldt.

Still, the bulk of the composition work here is still done by Åkerfeldt, so this is very much an evolution of the Opeth approach rather than a radical shift in it. Nonetheless, there's still original surprises here and there; Nathalie Lorichs provides a haunting guest vocal on album opener Coil, and the addition of classical wind and string instruments adds a certain spice to things. The air of the spookier side of 1970s prog is still present here and there - Per Wiberg breaks out some Mellotron here and there which is outright haunting, and Burden sounds like a mixture of mid-1970s Pink Floyd and King Crimson's Epitaph - whilst the death metal aspects of the band's sound are as frantic and powerful as ever.

Whilst I would not put it in the top tier of the band's output, it's certainly a strong album, and a good start for a new phase in the band's existence.

OPETH Damnation

Album · 2003 · Metal Related
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Warthur
The progressive rock-oriented metal-renouncing counterpart to Deliverance, Damnation finds the collaboration between Opeth and Steven Wilson tighter than ever before. Wilson provides a decent production and the overall sound of the album resembles Opeth taking on the sound of Porcupine Tree circa Stupid Dream or Lightbulb Sun. The melancholy rainy-day atmosphere of the album sets it apart from much of the sunnier material produced by melodic prog bands of the era. If you liked the quiet sections of Blackwater Park, the good news is that this is an entire album of them.

That said, I think the best thing the album does is actually providing a showse for Mikael Åkerfeldt's clean vocals: I've never been 100% sold on them previously, but either he's improved significantly here or Wilson's production hit on the way to tease the best out of them. It still feels like it would have been better for this to be a double album with Damnation, so the quiet and loud parts of Opeth's sound could have balanced each other out, but either of the two separate albums represents a strong addition to Opeth's back catalogue, though both bear the scars of being torn away from their other half. Just as Deliverance's all-loud-(almost)-all-the-time approach became wearing over its span, so too does this not quite hold the attention as well as more balanced releases from the band.

OPETH Deliverance

Album · 2002 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
Infamously, this was meant to be a double album with Damnation, which had all the quieter songs on it, but the record label wouldn't give them time to finish it properly. This does mean that as the album feels a little unbalanced - it's got more emphasis on the heavier side of Opeth's sound than Blackwater Park or Still Life did, and that wasn't intentional and can get slightly wearing, but on the whole it's still solid enough. By and large we're still in unambiguously prog metal realms, though Master's Apprentice is perhaps the most emphatic return of Opeth's death metal roots we'd been treated to since, say, My Arms, Your Hearse, or perhaps the harshest moments on Still Life.

It certainly shows the scars of its turbulent genesis, so I wouldn't put Deliverance on the level of Still Live or Blackwater Park; at the time of its release it was probably their weakest album since My Arms, Your Hearse. But hey, that was a pretty solid album - and so is this.

OPETH Movies Reviews

OPETH Lamentations, Live At Shepherd's Bush Empire, 2003

Movie · 2003 · Progressive Metal
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kluseba
I really like a few studio albums of this band, especially "Blackwater Park" and "Watershed", so I bought this slipcase compilation by Koch Records with three studio albums and this exclusive live CD. That's why I will just talk about what I hear and not what I see on this release.

And what I hear is not very positive. The band divided its set in two halfs, the first one is based on their acoustic stuff from the "Damnation" album. The acoustic album has a really introspective atmosphere on the album, but it doesn't work at all on stage. Each song seems to be alike, the live versions sound exactly like the studio versions, the band has no contact with the silent and hypnotized crowd and there is no magic in the air. After a few songs, this first part of the album makes you fall asleep because of its infinite boredom. The most interesting song is the only one which is not included on the "Damnation" album, "Harvest", which develops a magic warmth and gives me at least some goose bumps and chills.

The second half of the album is a lot heavier and more progressive and wakes the crowd up a little bit. But the heavier song are performed with a lack of passion and intesity and work less well as the studio versions. The band does some routine work but I can't feel any passion in it. This part is a little bit more enthousiastic than the first part, but not by much.

Another problem of this release is - due to legal problems - that the setlist is mostly limited on the three last albums and not very diversified. That's a sad thing because the early works of the band had some magic moments and something powerful and fresh.

I can't recommend this CD (or even DVD) and would give the advice to listen to the studio albums instead.

OPETH In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall

Movie · 2010 · Progressive Metal
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AtomicCrimsonRush
"Big gig today, people, big gig".

Okay, I finally got around to seeing Opeth live at Royal Albert Hall with a bunch of fans, and as usual with Opeth, as far as I am concerned, it is a real hit and miss affair. Parts of the concert send me into bliss with gorgeous guitars and vocals and amazing dextrous lead guitar with choppy riffs, and parts make me search for the skip button. Okay let's get past the first point of concern for me; the concert is perhaps designed for the younger target audience who prefer death metal growls over actual singing. To be honest there is a heck of a lot of gravel voice vocals on this, more than I expected or wished, as I have 4 albums and there are definitely large chunks without growling on albums; though not so here. Unfortunately, this live performance really focuses on the heavier side of Opeth with only the occasional let up in speed and growling. When Akerfeldt sings clean vocals it is mesmirising so I wish he'd shut the dang death growls up as it is really not that impressive. The band play all of Blackwater Park but I would have preferred Still Life.

Another point about the DVD is that the crowd are rather a subdued lot. Their preferred colour is black and mostly guys are present with a smattering of females. The crowd stand still, not much bouncing and moshing as they are there to listen I guess, not have a full body thrash work out. They are definitely into the music and enjoying it, but it is not a mosh session, which shows how different Opeth are in comparison to death metal bands that incite a virtual riot when playing live. The crowd are head banging and raising the horns as you expect. You can hear then yell out stuff during the pauses between tracks, at times quite amusing too.

Yet another point to make about this live DVD is it really is a no frills concert, a bit of smoke and some cool lighting, occasional strobes and an ominous glowing logo with the large screen showing pictures of forests and water, and album covers, to generate a part of the atmosphere, with nice swirling lights cascading across the transfixed crowd. The band pretty much stand in the one place and thrash one track after another, and head bang during the instrumentals. They don't speak much at all at first. At one point Akerfeldt pretends he is going to say something and then stops and just plays; quite a humorous touch. At the end of 'April Ethereal', Akerfeldt begins to open up, he does mention that the band have gone through changes; "a few people have been (pause) fired (laughter) and we have a new lineup". He then intros the guys that are new to rapturous applause. Then he mentions how he used to write when he was too poor to afford a demo and recording equipment. He just wrote things like the Morbid Angel riff 4 times, freaked out bridge and the Bathory section. Ironically I referenced those two bands on my review for Still Life ("The growling reminded me of the black metal I used to listen to with the likes of Bathory or Morbid Angel.") so I wasn't far off the mark as Opeth definitely are influenced by this extreme metal sound. Akerfeldt mentions that Still Life is their most complicated album and then proceeds to play the awesome 'The Moor' from this.

From the beautiful acoustic guitar, it leads to the familiar distorted riffs that blast in without remorse. Akerfeldt's growls are brutal and soul chilling. There is a clean vocal chorus and it is so refreshing. I longed for more of this. At 6 minutes in the riffing stops and we have an acoustic interlude, a moment of respite. The Damnation style clean vocals chime in and they are so good, like a different band. I was drawn into the music at this point. At the end of 'The Moor' Akerfeldt asks "was it good?" which is funny as obviously the response would be a massive roar. He tells the tale of how Steven Wilson emailed him once. The crowd roars at hearing that name mentioned in their presence. He goes onto say that "we hooked up, had dinner, kissed, and I asked him to produce the next record which was gonna be Blackwater Park." But Steve was also involved in Deliverance "making it more sick and evil and twisted" he continues, and he says they should play something nice as they are in such a nice environment "but we want to be bad." I kind of like these moments as it shows the humour of the band and their personalities come through.

Another point about this section of the concert during 'The Wreath', is that Akerfeldt snaps a string and does a very fast guitar switch. His hand signal to the roadie is interesting as he just stops playing but keeps growling away. The roadie just hands him a new guitar and plugs it in as Akerfeldt screams "cover me with sweat" and he just hooks it over his shoulder and starts playing it as if nothing happened. Well worth checking that out. Axe's drumming should be commended too as it is fantastic, though many might miss the style of Lopez of course. I liked his cymbals with holes in them. 'The Wreath' is a thrashy fast thing that has the cookie monster vocals, (I know, I stole that phrase from a reviewer here but that's what it is) and I prefer Oscar the Grouch vocals myself. 'The Wreath' comes from my least favourite Opeth album but was tolerable due to the amazing chord changes and structure.

In the pause between the songs, a girl yells out that she loves Akerfeldt, and he replies "how you doin'?" as he seems quite shy and nervous which is better than being obnoxious of course. The girl has leaped over the barricade and as she is escorted off by guards everyone applauds. Akerfeldt says it's a long show for a metal singer but luckily he still has a bit of voice. At this stage I was hoping that meant he would sing some quieter stuff. He does the beautiful 'Hope Leaves' from Damnation and of course it is a highlight for my ears. I love that album and every song on it is compelling; in fact that is how I came to know Opeth so it is personally one of my favourite moments of the show. The purple and blue lights with sparkling logo give the stage an ethereal appearance.

Then next is a moment of brilliance from Ghost Reveries, 'Harlequin Forest'. I must admit the concert was improving for me as the band moved onto the more progressive sound. The concert ends with Watershed's 'The Lotus Eater', which is of course is excellent as always. Akerfeldt mentions the leaving of Peter and Martin and intros the new members again. Axe has dyed his hair just for this concert, he says. This track is a masterful progressive thing with amazing time changes and innovation throughout. This time Fred breaks a string, or has a technical goof, and stuffs up his solo and it is quite humorous how he plays silently while the roadie tries to rig up a new guitar. Akerfeldt and the others watch with amusement as Fred is hooked up. The crowd quietly clap observing with interest. When Fred begins to play again there is a roar and the whole thing is an unforgettable moment. The band could easily have edited this out but kudos for keeping it in as it provides some entertaining and interesting footage. I believe in the interview mention is made of how a camera man stepped on a pedal and screwed up the sound, and these moments are what make this concert so compelling, as it is a raw concert DVD with all the mistakes unedited but left for us to talk about. There were some conversations about this section with the guys I watched with. It actually provided more intelligent conversations than the rest of the DVD which were basically phrases like, "awesome, unbelievable, shredder, what's he on about, Axe is better, I miss Lopez, and, shut those bloody growls up." At the end the band have a photo opportunity with lots of Opeth addicts and after a bow it is over with a standing ovation.

The special features are generally similar to Pain of Salvation, and Dream Theatre DVDs, in that they show a lot of behind the scenes stuff, tour footage, some interviews, fans spouting off "I am dead serious when I say Mikael Akerfeldt is the reincarnation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart", and a few outtakes from songs. They sign CDs and apparel, take photos of fans and talk at the fans meet and greet, one says "best day ever" and another is shivering with excitement. The sound check was intriguing, done in front of some chosen fans. I like the comment when they are heading down the stairwell to the stage and we hear someone say "It's Spinal Tap." We see a bit of the clean up afterwards, meeting fans back stage who are terminally polite and grateful and Fredrik turns to the camera and says, "you are nothing without your fans never forget that", and there are roadies loading the trucks while the band have a quiet drink with friends. In the truck Fred talks about the mistakes but said they were part of it all after months of build up and the tension they felt. We see Opeth hanging round bars and visiting a Deli with an eccentric owner, and we see them in the trucks getting drunker and funnier.These moments were highlights for me and held more interest than the actual concert.

Overall, this is a great concert for Opeth addicts of course, there are quieter moments but you have to search for them, but it delivers the heavier side of the band with brutal aggression. That is the target audience and it definitely is an extreme sound, and the Opeth fans sitting with me are obviously under the impression that it is a flawless DVD. Seeing past the fan boyism it really is not a masterpiece at all but certainly an excellent live record of the very special event. Personally I look forward to them touring Heritage as that would be worth seeing.

OPETH The Roundhouse Tapes

Movie · 2008 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
bartosso
Valuable music - Voluble Mike

I'm a huge Opeth fan so I bought this release on spec. I'm not disappointed, oh no. Quite the opposite, it's one of the best live releases I've ever seen. Absolutely flawless execution, almost perfect sound, very good set list = fantastic DVD release!

What is a very distinctive feature of this concert, and every Opeth concert in general, is a lack of any kind of rock/metal pose or showing off. There is professionally illuminated stage of Roundhouse and an old good folk sample which serve as a introduction to their concerts since I remember. The band members enter the stage and without unnecessary fuss start to play.

If you remember Mike from LAMENTATIONS as a shy and mellow guy you might be surprised by his present stage behaviour. Mike from Roundhouse is a funny guy with many good (and sometimes not so good) jokes to hand. He feels at ease on stage and with the audience and it's admirable. Still, for some people his long conversations with the fans might be slightly irritating.

ROUNDHOUSE TAPES is a very well produced album, and what's more, almost completely devoid of mistakes usually made by musicians playing live. However, there is one thing which might be annoying for minimalism fanatics. Namely, the producers decided to ornament mellow and atmospheric parts of the concert with retro filters which are supposed to enhance the Opeth experience. If it worked you should check on your own.

OPETH Shouts

Please login to post a shout
more than 2 years ago
Heritage their worst? Not even close my friend! Watershed, or maybe MAYH.

adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Their worst? Hardly. Try My Arms, Your Hearse.
Wilytank wrote:
more than 2 years ago
It's safe to say that Heritage is their worst.
adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
* make of it.
adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I don't honestly know what to make it.
more than 2 years ago
I love the new album 'Heritage' !!!!
Prog Geo wrote:
more than 2 years ago
The greatest band on Earth!!!
Pekka wrote:
more than 2 years ago
NorseGangsta, you were right. I always thought it was a single, but I checked the release out on the Roadrunner website, and they refer to it as an EP. EP it is now.
Pekka wrote:
more than 2 years ago
And thanks for reminding of its existence, I filled in the missing info.
Pekka wrote:
more than 2 years ago
It's there under the singles tab, as far as I know it's regarded as a single rather than EP.
NorseGangsta wrote:
more than 2 years ago
There should be a 3-track EP titled Burden released in 2008.

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