OPETH
Progressive Metal / Metal Related / Death Metal • Sweden

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Opeth is a progressive death metal band from Sweden that is influenced by many diverse musical styles ranging from jazz, 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
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Pale CommunionPale Communion
Roadrunner Records 2014
Audio CD$9.57
$7.95 (used)
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Import
Sony Music 2010
Audio CD$9.13
$7.81 (used)
HeritageHeritage
Roadrunner Records 2011
Audio CD$11.15
$9.98 (used)
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Roadrunner Records 2005
Audio CD$4.95
$0.17 (used)
My Arms, Your HearseMy Arms, Your Hearse
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Candlelight 2003
Audio CD$7.02
$3.99 (used)
The Candlelight YearsThe Candlelight Years
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Candlelight 2009
Audio CD$12.91
$21.75 (used)
Still LifeStill Life
Special Edition
Peaceville UK 2008
Audio CD$9.69
$7.76 (used)
MorningriseMorningrise
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Candlelight 2003
Audio CD$7.02
$6.49 (used)
DamnationDamnation
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Sony Import 2007
Audio CD$4.66
$5.99 (used)
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Import
Imports 2007
Audio CD$5.40
$3.11 (used)
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OPETH Discography

OPETH albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.55 | 60 ratings
Orchid
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.84 | 66 ratings
Morningrise
Death Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.74 | 77 ratings
My Arms, Your Hearse
Death Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.48 | 138 ratings
Still Life
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.18 | 112 ratings
Blackwater Park
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.70 | 81 ratings
Deliverance
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.93 | 84 ratings
Damnation
Metal Related 2003
.. Album Cover 4.30 | 101 ratings
Ghost Reveries
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.88 | 91 ratings
Watershed
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 3.66 | 72 ratings
Heritage
Metal Related 2011
.. Album Cover 3.84 | 10 ratings
Pale Communion
Metal Related 2014

OPETH EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.69 | 4 ratings
Burden
Progressive Metal 2008

OPETH live albums

.. Album Cover 4.18 | 27 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
Progressive Metal 2007

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

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Apostle in Triumph
Death Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
The Drapery Falls
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Mellotron Heart
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.93 | 2 ratings
The Devil's Orchard - Live at Rock Hard Festival
Progressive Metal 2011

OPETH boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Collecter's Edition Slipcase
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 4.02 | 10 ratings
The Candlelight Years
Death Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wooden Box
Death Metal 2009

OPETH singles (5)

.. Album Cover
3.99 | 4 ratings
Still Day Beneath the Sun
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
3.04 | 6 ratings
The Grand Conjuration
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
3.65 | 6 ratings
Porcelain Heart
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
4.10 | 6 ratings
The Throat of Winter
Progressive Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
4.11 | 7 ratings
The Devil's Orchard
Progressive Metal 2011

OPETH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.98 | 24 ratings
Lamentations, Live At Shepherd's Bush Empire, 2003
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
4.58 | 18 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
4.61 | 20 ratings
In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
Progressive Metal 2010

OPETH Reviews

OPETH Pale Communion

Album · 2014 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
arcane-beautiful
Opeth have had a very interesting past few years. With the release of their last album “Heritage”, the band have had mixed opinions due to their change in sound. One of the biggest problems is the loss of the death metal vocals. Now, I really don't mind if the death metal vocals are not their, in fact “Damnation” is probably one of my favorite Opeth album, but I will admit that the mix of the two styles in their earlier material is probably the reason I got into the band in the first place.

While many people will complain that Opeth aren't the same band anymore we have to take into consideration that these guys are getting older. Mikael really can't growl the way he did 10 years ago and I really respect their decision to loose the death growls. But while Mikael's vocals have gruffly diminished, he has been able to explore the diversity of his clean vocals.

Musically the album is pretty much a progressive rock album with the metal bits saturated. Now I know what your saying...”same as “Heritage” I bet. Well no. I remember seeing Opeth live during their tour for their last album and all I could think of was “this is like stoner psychedelic music”...which it was. This album is a lot more classic prog so I find it very much more enjoyable with more fluid arrangements with less improvisation and more sustenance.

Opener “Eternal Rains Will Come” is a great intro to the album. Starting off with blazing organs and clashing rhythms it then morphs into a more easier listening track with some pretty cool multi layered vocals.

“Cusp Of Eternity” is one of the heavier songs on the album. Reminding me of a more classic heavy metal style, the song has some pretty cool riffs and is a good little nod to an older metal sound.

“Moon Above, Sun Below” is the albums longest track and is probably one of the most diverse tracks on the album. Full of many different moving parts, the real highlight has to be the diversity of Mikael's vocals, showing off some clean gruffness which is a big departure from the evil growls on previous albums.

The ballad of the album “Elysian Woes” is an interesting and soothing moment on the album. I was pretty impressed by the instrumentation of this track, showing some pretty mature and experimental choices of arrangements for guitar and keyboards.

The albums instrumental “Goblin” is an interesting tribute to the 70s prog band Goblin. Full of proggy organs and some interesting prog instrumentation, the song is a prog lovers wet dream.

One of my favorite tracks on the album would have to be “River.” Starting off with a very almost joyous feel, this track is very different to what the band have ever done before, with a more lighter and nicer sound to the bands repertoire with very little bleakness or Gothic undertones. May be a new direction for the band.

In conclusion, this album surprised me. I went in expecting to hate it, but I was generally impressed by what I heard. These guys are never going to go back to their earlier styles, but at least it seems they are moving in a better direction than everyone thought they would. A great listen I would recommend to modern and older prog fans.

8.1/10

Genre: Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal, Hard Rock, Doom, Psychedelic Rock, Prog Folk, Folk Rock, Jazz Fusion, Heavy Metal

Country of origin: Sweden

Year of release: 2014

OPETH Pale Communion

Album · 2014 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
bartosso
Checkmate, metalheads!

Even though the title of this review is intended as a joke, it's still true in a way - Opeth the metal band is no more. The fact of Opeth abandoning their extreme metal roots is of no importance to me, though. I was already disappointed back then in 2008 when Watershed was released, and it was a straight extreme prog metal album. Having recorded two retro albums since 2011, Opeth have become, more or less, a traditional prog band that, for the most part, follows in footsteps of King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant and the like. The problem is that even Damnation, the least metal of their albums, was still compatible with their style and sounded unlike anything else.

Pale Communion opens with "Eternal Rains Will Come" and let me tell you, it's the last song that bears any conspicuous resemblance to the "pre-Watershed" Opeth. Don't get me wrong, there are no growls or heavy distortion riffs in the album and its heaviest moments sound more like hard rock on speed than any of their early 2000s stuff. There's flow and distinct focus on gripping harmonies in this song, though. Once you're done with it and the rest unveils before you, you feel like a kid that just found out most of the ice-cream fell to the sidewalk. Okay, that may be a little too harsh. Pale Communion is a solid melodic prog album with harder moments here and there. Apart from some redeeming moments ("Eternal Rains Will Come" and "River") it lacks in riveting ideas, flow and sophisticated harmonic passages known from their earlier stuff. As Heritage, it's a well-produced and well-composed blend of Jethro Tull's folky harshness and King Crimson's grandiose complexity. It is, however, less psychedelic than the previous album and instead marked by a more melodic/folksy character in the vein of Nick Drake's stuff. There's also a noticeable Steven Wilson influence, but as I always say, whatever Wilson does, Akerfeldt does it better.

Pale Communion is yet another semi-classic prog album - its influences, even though fairly diverse, are way too obvious. This perhaps wouldn't be much of a nuisance if the songs were conceived with a bigger dose of spontaneity that would in turn give more soul and emotional impact to the whole thing. Even though the latest Opeth release is not a pale imitation of classic prog(pun intended), it definitely pales (intended too) in comparison with Opeth's greatest moments. As such, Pale Communion, just as Watershed and Heritage, is a bit of a letdown.

OPETH Blackwater Park

Album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
I know i'm in the minority when I say that BLACKWATER PARK does for me like every other OPETH album i've heard. Basically I can sit through the first half of the album and then I tolerate the rest but never totally getting into it. This like many of theirs is a sprawling hour plus album that seems to be extremely popular. I can only guess why I am the odd dog out with this group. I don't mind their sound at all. It's just that 70 minutes of the same tempos, overused riffs and endlessly long acoustic passes just doesn't float my boat. I have come to a conclusion that OPETH is a kind of death metal lite. An extreme metal sound that is really a psychedelic rock band at heart. The tempos and much of the music has a monotonous groove to it. It is not as technically demanding to listen to like other extreme death metal bands like Gorguts, Cynic or even less progressive brutal bands like Behemoth or even Deicide for that matter.

BLACKWATER PARK is an interesting listen just to hear Steven Wilson on board contributing to playing music and producing. Can't say i'm a huge fan of the finished product and I much prefer the Porcupine Tree releases that this collaboration would influence. I have had many a friend or acquaintance rave about OPETH and I always ask them what they find so appealing. No one really knows for sure but they tend not to love extreme metal and even find that OPETH opened up the gates for them to walk into the wonderful world of extreme metal. So all I can say is kudos to OPETH for putting out records that are recruiting stations for metalheads. Even if i'm not the biggest fan of their music, I certainly am a fan of their influence. And I have to say that I do like a few songs when the album starts. I just wish that it would develop into something more interesting.

OPETH My Arms, Your Hearse

Album · 1998 · Death Metal
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Navajasso
My Arms, Your Hearse could be my favourite Opeth album if its quiality was better. Despite of that, the quality of arrangement and composition is great, with the melancholy proper of most Opeth's album. And probably in My Arms, Your Hearse, Mikael Akerfeldt's has the best grunts ever.

The whole album panorama is very similar to Still Life, so it could be said that Still Life is the natural consequence of My Arms, Your Hearse. Here we find the main characteristics of Opeth's music, combining heavy riffs and grunts with slow tempos and clean sounds, but a little heavier than Still Life.

I like the way every song is connected to stand out the idea of a concept album, with the exception in some songs, and I just love the album cover. A great album with a quality not so great... I wish Opeth reconsider to re-record it.

OPETH Still Life

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
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Navajasso
Still Life is my favourite Opeth album. I found the first two or three listenings a little boring because sometimes they repeat over and over the same guitar riff, but when I listen carefully to the details, there comes the magic.

Most of the Opeth's works have a touch of melancholy and darkness, mixing grunts and screams with clean voice, and in the same way, distortion and speed with clean and slow sounds of the instruments. That's the reason I like Opeth's music, specially in this album. And maybe that's why some people who are mainly interested in the extreme metal genres may found this album a little boring, while the proggers found it very heavy.

Finally, despite Still Life is a great album, for me there are some other "neutral" Progressive Metal works that define the genre in a better way (not 'Death' or 'Black'). Opeth is for me more like Progressive Death Metal (Metal viewpoint) or Extreme Prog (Progressive Rock viewpoint); under these two tags they got 5 stars, no doubt.

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
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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
993 days ago
Heritage their worst? Not even close my friend! Watershed, or maybe MAYH.

adg211288 wrote:
1005 days ago
Their worst? Hardly. Try My Arms, Your Hearse.
Wilytank wrote:
1044 days ago
It's safe to say that Heritage is their worst.
adg211288 wrote:
1092 days ago
* make of it.
adg211288 wrote:
1092 days ago
I don't honestly know what to make it.
m@x wrote:
1093 days ago
I love the new album 'Heritage' !!!!
Prog Geo wrote:
1312 days ago
The greatest band on Earth!!!
Pekka wrote:
1449 days 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:
1478 days ago
And thanks for reminding of its existence, I filled in the missing info.
Pekka wrote:
1478 days ago
It's there under the singles tab, as far as I know it's regarded as a single rather than EP.
NorseGangsta wrote:
1478 days ago
There should be a 3-track EP titled Burden released in 2008.

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