OPETH
Progressive Metal / Non-Metal / Death Metal / Metal Related / 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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Sorceress 2-disc deluxeSorceress 2-disc deluxe
Nuclear Blast America 2016
Audio CD$9.97
$9.96 (used)
Pale CommunionPale Communion
Import
Roadrunner Records 2014
Audio CD$6.22
$5.59 (used)
Blackwater Park: Legacy EditionBlackwater Park: Legacy Edition
The End Records 2010
Audio CD$6.93
$6.29 (used)
Still LifeStill Life
PEACEVILLE 2017
Vinyl$22.90
$31.50 (used)
Ghost ReveriesGhost Reveries
HiFi Sound
Roadrunner Records 2005
Audio CD$5.63
$3.02 (used)
HeritageHeritage
Roadrunner Records 2011
Audio CD$7.13
$4.05 (used)
WatershedWatershed
Roadrunner Records 2008
Audio CD$4.95
$3.96 (used)
My Arms Your HearseMy Arms Your Hearse
CANDLELIGHT RECORDS 2015
Audio CD$8.99
$11.95 (used)
DamnationDamnation
Import
Sony Import 2007
Audio CD$4.62
$1.96 (used)
Damnation/DeliveranceDamnation/Deliverance
Import
Imports 2015
Vinyl$37.25
$46.88 (used)
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OPETH Discography

OPETH albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.64 | 75 ratings
Orchid
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.87 | 84 ratings
Morningrise
Death Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.90 | 94 ratings
My Arms, Your Hearse
Death Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.41 | 171 ratings
Still Life
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.11 | 134 ratings
Blackwater Park
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.65 | 101 ratings
Deliverance
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.80 | 109 ratings
Damnation
Non-Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.27 | 133 ratings
Ghost Reveries
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.85 | 111 ratings
Watershed
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 3.51 | 92 ratings
Heritage
Metal Related 2011
.. Album Cover 3.68 | 39 ratings
Pale Communion
Non-Metal 2014
.. Album Cover 3.64 | 23 ratings
Sorceress
Metal Related 2016

OPETH EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.87 | 4 ratings
Burden
Progressive Metal 2008

OPETH live albums

.. Album Cover 4.02 | 30 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.29 | 4 ratings
Lamentations: Live at Shepherd's Bush Empire
Progressive Metal 2016

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

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Apostle in Triumph
Death Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
The Drapery Falls
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.36 | 2 ratings
Mellotron Heart
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Devil's Orchard - Live at Rock Hard Festival
Progressive Metal 2011

OPETH re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.26 | 3 ratings
Collecter's Edition Slipcase
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.92 | 11 ratings
The Candlelight Years
Death Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wooden Box
Death Metal 2009

OPETH singles (6)

.. Album Cover
3.50 | 3 ratings
Still Day Beneath the Sun
Non-Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
2.91 | 6 ratings
The Grand Conjuration
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
3.21 | 5 ratings
Porcelain Heart
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
3.98 | 5 ratings
The Throat of Winter
Non-Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
3.83 | 6 ratings
The Devil's Orchard
Hard Rock 2011
.. Album Cover
4.17 | 3 ratings
Sorceress
Progressive Metal 2016

OPETH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.93 | 28 ratings
Lamentations, Live At Shepherd's Bush Empire, 2003
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
4.17 | 22 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
4.51 | 25 ratings
In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
Progressive Metal 2010

OPETH Reviews

OPETH Still Life

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
Really and truly, what is the deal with this band and this album?

Opeth’s “Still Life” is fawned over almost universally, inspiring gushing reviews where critics fall over themselves in pursuit of the most lyrical platitudes. And for what? A dark concept album following a tale of unrequited love? A reinvigorating breath of fresh new life for a stale metal scene? A melodic progressive death metal masterpiece? The answer is none of the above.

What does progressive even really mean? It conjures up thoughts of widdly, boring songs which fill the entire side of an old vinyl LP, pretentious, self-indulgent musical masturbation which milks every last drop of tepid hope from a terminally bored audience. By that definition, “Still Life” is most definitely a progressive metal album.

There is the odd growl, but it’s hardly backed by death metal. Most of the time it’s hardly even metal. This album is littered with acoustic interludes and ooo-woo vocals. It doesn’t really offer much of a contrast from the metallic parts, because both are flat and grey. Even at full volume, this is still background music, inoffensive pap which slides in one ear and straight out the other. The band is castrated by it’s misguided attempt to transcend metal.

There might be song titles, but they don’t really matter, because there are no highlights. There are no bottomless depths of depraved mediocrity either. “Still Life” is just that- a flat-lined corpse.

The whole thing is just ditch water dull. And no, not a cool flooded ditch, sweeping along tree stumps and unlucky sheep with dirty, roiling depths raging down it’s course while threatening to burst it’s banks. No. This is stagnant, stinky green ditch water, so putrid even mosquitoes won’t lay eggs in it, instead looking for somewhere less torpid.

OPETH Still Life

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Crow
For me this is the first Opeth's masterpiece, and of course it’s also one of their best albums

Dan Swäno's production is very proffesional, and the guitar's sound is killer! The riffs of Serenity Painted Death and White Cluster are amazing, for example. And here we can hear a clear improvement in the acoustic parts too, which sound in a more melodic and classic way, not as dark as in Orchid or My Arms Your Hearse, much more in the vein of the 70’s influenced Morningrise.

For that reason, I think this album is the true follow-up of the excellent Morningrise but much better and mature. I consider that in My Arms, Your Hearse they lost the right direction a bit, despite being a very good album. Face of Melinda, for example, it’s almost a sequel of the song To Bid You Farewell from Morningrise.

Conclusion: the best album for Opeth's beginners, and one of the best metal albums of all time. The band reached their next level with this record, taking all that they learned in the three previous efforts and achieving an incredible mastery in songwriting.

To be experienced many, many times. An immortal classic!

Best Tracks: Every song in Still Life is marvelous, and I can't really decide which are the best. Maybe The Moor, Godhead's Lament and Face Of Melinda are a little over the rest, but all the others are great too.

My rating: *****

This review was originally written for ProgArchives, and rewritten to be included here.

OPETH My Arms, Your Hearse

Album · 1998 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Crow
This is, in my humble opinion, the weakest Opeth's album of their first years.

The main problem I have with this record is that the songs are very similar between them: April Ethereal, When, Karma... The songs of this album have a composition and structure very similar between them, what makes this album some dull and boring sometimes. It's a bit repetitive for me, and talking of a band like Opeth that’s a sort of letdown.

In addition, the sound of the drums is bad, same with the bass. It's obvious that Mikael isn't an experimented bassist, because he plays the bass guitar in that record, and it sounds very low and with a lame sound. Same with the acoustic parts, too dark and sometimes strangely uninspired.

Nevertheless, I don't consider this a bad album at all, because although it's repetitiveness and lackluster production, songs like the great Demon Of The Fall and Creedence are pretty good, same with the Prologue and Epilogue. In addition, here we can see an anticipation of Still Life, in some guitar riffs and the fantastic choirs like the song When.

Conclusion: I think this is a transition album, and although that’s not necessarily a bad thing in this case the result was an album which is far from being a highlight in Opeth’s discography. They suffered the lack of a bassist and a weak production.

Nevertheless, the record has great moments and it’s an obligated stop for technical death metal lovers or Opeth’s fans.

Best Tracks: Demon of the Fall, When, Creedence.

My rating: ***1/2

This review was originally written for ProgArchives.com

OPETH Morningrise

Album · 1996 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Crow
I think that Morningrise clearly surpasses its predecessor!

This was the most acoustic Opeth's album before the Damnation's coming. Some songs from this album are half metal, half not, like the beautiful The Night and The Silent Water. To bid you Farewell is the first attempt of Opeth to make something more relaxed and in a classical style from the 70's, and they made a great song, in that style that they will follow more deeply in the future. It reminds me of Face of Melinda.

Black Rose Immortal deserves a place of honor in the Opeth's career, their longest song, and it has brilliant moments, especially in the center of the track, with a wonderful mix of relaxed and strong parts. But in the opposite side, this song has some moment not very good, with a weak sound. Although that doesn't mean that it isn't a great song.

Conclusion: really, a great work, for me the best of their three first releases. I think it's the best Opeth's album to know the early years of the group. The production could be better, and the songs aren't too different between them, but the romanticism and the gloomy feeling that this album inspires it's wonderful. Like the bass guitar of Nektar, the powerful riffs of Advent.

Best Tracks: The Night and The Silent Water, Black Rose Immortal.

My rating: ****

OPETH Orchid

Album · 1995 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Crow
This is a great debut album, in my humble opinion!

Here we can find really good tracks like In Mist She Was standing, Forest of October and The Twilight is My Robe, being the last one the song I like most from this album. But it's obvious that they were trying to get their own sound, and we can find a lot of death metal here.... Another weak fact is that this album is maybe a bit too repetitive. The tracks are not really different between them. Nevertheless, the quality of all them makes the listening really worthy.

The Fredrik Norström's production isn't bad, but far from the last Opeth's releases. I think that up to "Still Life" they would not achieve a really good sound... But here, like in "Morningrise", we can hear a great bass sound and playing by Johan de Farfalla, who is a great bass player in my opinion (better than Martín Méndez in my opinion... At least he's more original!)

Another interesting fact from this album are the instrumentals, both very good. Silhouette its maybe my favorite Opeth's instrumental song, great job from Anders Nordin here. And they have not released another song played only with piano

Best songs: In Mist She Was Standing (great opening... It gives a good idea of what the album is), Forest of October (the most complete track in Orchid... A bit slow, with even some doom elements. A little classic) and The Twilight is my Robe (the best acoustic work of the album... Romantic and beautiful tack)

Conclusion: this album is not for Opeth's beginners, because due to its obscurity and not well-developed sound, it can be too hard to newcomers... But if you are acquainted to the career if this great Swedish band, then I strongly recommend you this album, because apart from its obvious quality, is the beginning of this metal legend. And a really good beginning, in my opinion!

My rating: ***1/2

OPETH Movies Reviews

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

Movie · 2003 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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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