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 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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Sorceress 2-disc deluxeSorceress 2-disc deluxe
Nuclear Blast America 2016
Audio CD$8.93
$8.50 (used)
Pale CommunionPale Communion
Roadrunner Records 2014
Audio CD$3.27
$2.99 (used)
Blackwater Park: Legacy EditionBlackwater Park: Legacy Edition
The End Records 2010
Audio CD$6.88
$9.18 (used)
WatershedWatershed
Roadrunner Records 2008
Audio CD$7.57
$2.58 (used)
Ghost ReveriesGhost Reveries
HiFi Sound
Roadrunner Records 2005
Audio CD$5.08
$3.10 (used)
DeliveranceDeliverance
Original recording
The End Records 2007
Audio CD$1.49
$0.94 (used)
Still LifeStill Life
Remastered · CD+DVD
PEACEVILLE 2017
Audio CD$5.86
$4.37 (used)
DamnationDamnation
Import
Sony Import 2007
Audio CD$2.86
$5.17 (used)
Damnation/DeliveranceDamnation/Deliverance
Import
Imports 2015
Vinyl$29.45
$44.31 (used)
MorningriseMorningrise
CANDLELIGHT RECORDS 2015
Audio CD$7.99
$7.98 (used)
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OPETH Discography

OPETH albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.63 | 70 ratings
Orchid
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.86 | 80 ratings
Morningrise
Death Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.86 | 90 ratings
My Arms, Your Hearse
Death Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.48 | 165 ratings
Still Life
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.15 | 129 ratings
Blackwater Park
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.63 | 98 ratings
Deliverance
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.80 | 105 ratings
Damnation
Non-Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.27 | 130 ratings
Ghost Reveries
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.82 | 107 ratings
Watershed
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 3.51 | 89 ratings
Heritage
Metal Related 2011
.. Album Cover 3.66 | 35 ratings
Pale Communion
Non-Metal 2014
.. Album Cover 3.62 | 18 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 | 29 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.27 | 3 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 3.50 | 1 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 4.25 | 2 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
2.73 | 5 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
3.75 | 2 ratings
Sorceress
Progressive Metal 2016

OPETH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.92 | 27 ratings
Lamentations, Live At Shepherd's Bush Empire, 2003
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
4.17 | 21 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
4.52 | 24 ratings
In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
Progressive Metal 2010

OPETH Reviews

OPETH Sorceress

Album · 2016 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Sorceress" is the 12th full-length studio album by Swedish progressive metal act Opeth. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in September 2016. It´s the successor to "Pale Communion" from 2014 and it features the same lineup as the predecessor. Mikael Åkerfeldt (guitars, vocals), Martín Méndez (bass), Martin Axenrot (drums), Fredrik Åkesson (guitars), and Joakim Svalberg (keyboards).

Stylistically "Sorceress" continues the progressive rock/folk direction from the last couple of releases, and just to get it out of the way, there is nothing on this album which is related to their progressive doom/death metal past. This is purely 70s influenced progressive rock with strong folk leanings, and the occasional nod towards 70s hard rock and jazz rock/fusion.

The material on the 11 track, 56:35 minutes long album is generally well written and relatively memorable. There´s great dynamic on the album with both hard rocking louder parts, mellow melancolic folky parts, and epic moments. "Sorceress" is predominantly to the soft side though. Tracks like the title track, "The Wilde Flowers", and "Strange Brew" feature some hard rocking moments, but there are several very mellow emotive tracks featured on the album too. The predominantly instrumental "The Seventh Sojourn" is a standout track, as a result of the middle eastern influenced melody themes. The limited edition of "Sorceress" features the two studio bonus studio tracks "The Ward" and "Spring MCMLXXIV" (and a couple of live tracks) and both tracks are good quality compositions, which could easily have made it unto the standard edition of the album.

"Sorceress" is a well produced album, featuring an organic sounding production. It´s a sound which suits the material well. So upon conclusion "Sorceress" is a another quality release by Opeth. To my ears it doesn´t reach the heights of "Pale Communion (2014)", because the melody lines just aren´t as interesting or as memorable as much of the material on that album. It doesn´t sound like "Heritage (2011)" either, because it´s more structured and less progressive in nature, so on the positive side Opeth have again managed to release an album with an individual identity. On the negative side there aren´t that many tracks on the album which stand out as highlights. The quality is as mentioned good and there´s a professional touch to both compositions, production, and musicianship, but I´m missing some musical magic here. In the end "Sorceress" sounds a bit too safe and derivative of the band´s influences. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

OPETH Pale Communion

Album · 2014 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
It isn't as though this wasn't expected. Opeth had been steadily drifting away from their death metal roots for a good long while by this point, with 2003's Damnation avoiding it entirely, so it's hardly an enormous surprise that Pale Communion finds the residual metal thoroughly flushed out of Opeth's sound. In its place stands a hard-rocking tribute to the heavy psych roots of progressive music, which I'm sure is a subject that the band and Steven Wilson collectively have a whole bunch of insight into - and indeed, their take on the style is an effective update of it.

Somehow, however, the proceedings feel hollow and soulless. It's not that I'm crying for the loss of their old sound - that wasn't my cup of tea either. It's just that it feels like this album feels like it's been carefully calculated to tick all the boxes on a heavy psych-prog checklist, rather than being an artistic statement that this style of music happened to be the right medium for. It's all very clinical, controlled... and suffocated. Sorry.

OPETH Ghost Reveries

Album · 2005 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Opeth and me don't get along, despite the fact that I've given them more chances than usual. With so many prog and metal fans lauding their work, I keep feeling as though I should give them another spin, but each time they just leave me cold again.

Ghost Reveries is a case in point, an album which I can't deny is well-performed but at the same time doesn't speak to me on any level. It doesn't really establish any sort of atmosphere or convey to me any sort of emotion, or even particularly impress me technically speaking. I can't rate it too low because I can't really put my finger on any blatant flaws, but I can't give it one of the higher ratings because I can't find any particular strengths either.

OPETH Sorceress

Album · 2016 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
Ever since making the decision to embrace a more progressive rock based sound full-time, the Swedish one time extreme progressive metal act Opeth has certainly been dividing opinions. Quite right to, as their output since Heritage (2011) has been quite far removed from what many deem to be the classic Opeth sound. For this reviewer's part I did like Heritage but it hasn't stood the test of time as well as I'd expected and though I do appreciate it in its own way, I've never been too fond of the following Pale Communion (2014), which I found to be much more stripped down on influences, making it the least interesting Opeth album. Sorceress (2016) is the band's twelfth album and up to its release it was anyone's guess as to what Opeth would be doing this time.

I'll say it right off the bat, those hoping for Opeth to return to the sound of albums like Ghost Reveries (2005) and Blackwater Park (2001) are going to be left disappointed once again. Opeth in 2016 is still first and foremost a progressive rock band. However they have brought some metal back on Sorceress, as well as a whole load more influences including psychedelic rock and folk rock, which immediately makes it come across as a much more varied album than Pale Communion, with a lot more changes between heavy and light sounds. An early highlight comes in the form of the Sorceress title track, which blends heavy psych with metal riffs to create something that could even be called a kind of doom or perhaps stoner metal. The following The Wilde Flowers is an even more varied track collecting multiple influences into one coherent piece, including a quite fast metal section to close. You won't catch Mikael Åkerfeldt dipping into Opeth's death metal roots at any point (and perhaps those days are behind the band forever), but Sorceress is best shot the metalheads will have at getting into a modern Opeth album. There are softer tracks like Will O The Wisp included here, but it's altogether a much more rocky release.

I'd say that since Opeth stopped being a full on metal band that Sorceress is their best release. Like Heritage it chops and changes its style a fair bit, but it sounds like its done much more smoothly this time. Everything feels more natural. That it has more influences to its progressive rock sound makes it a lot more interesting than Pale Communion was, but it's how well its done that makes it such a quality release. The metalhead in me obviously feels inclined to say that the metal and hard rocking moments are when its at its best, but the band is doing the softer stuff really well too. It's a release that's all about the balance between all the styles, and Opeth have done this one right. I think that for the first time I can really say I'm on board with the direction these guys are going in now. A pleasant surprise.

OPETH Sorceress

Album · 2016 · Metal Related
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progshine
Huh, wow, just wow. But don't get my 'wow' wrong, it's a bad wow...

I always respected Opeth because they paved an original road for them (and many other bands) with their mix of sounds. There were all sorts of crazy talk since they decided to move on with Heritage and I never really cared, I liked the way Opeth was going. I thought Heritage was an amazing record and Pale Communion a solid 4 stars effort.

When Sorceress was announced I didn't jump or sunk in expectations but I wanted to hear the album for sure. So, I finally did through Deezer and... well, Mikael lost it on this one. No doubt about it.

More than half of the album is based on Progressive Folk with moments like 'Sorceress 2' being really bad with cringing falsetto vocals (and once again the falsettos on 'Era). And what the hell is the Indian-kinda-of-thing on 'The Seventh Sojourn'?... I am actually really flabbergasted with how this album ended up. In its vas majority the album is Folk, 75% of it being no Rock at all.

The good moments are on the Hard Prog moments like 'Sorceress', 'The Wilde Flowers' and especially 'Chrysalis'. 'Strange Brew' also has its heavy moments but it actually becomes boring with all the jazzy and atmospheric moments.

Mikael keeps saying that the band moves on, and I like that concept and thought that the band was doing that so far, but Sorceress is not moving on, Sorceress is about copying the past (others and Opeth's own past) and going into a direction that is not even that interesting, let alone a 'forward moving' kind of direction. And I am not alone with this thought, only this time I will have to agree with most of the negative reviews.

I am not sure, but I believe Opeth burned all the 'fan credits' they still had with this album... bad move.

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.
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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