OPETH
Progressive Metal / Death Metal / Metal Related • 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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Blackwater Park: Legacy EditionBlackwater Park: Legacy Edition
Import
Sony Music 2010
Audio CD$9.48
$9.70 (used)
HeritageHeritage
Roadrunner Records 2011
Audio CD$11.53
$6.18 (used)
Still LifeStill Life
Special Edition
Peaceville UK 2008
Audio CD$8.39
$7.14 (used)
The Candlelight YearsThe Candlelight Years
Box set
Candlelight 2009
Audio CD$13.66
$8.47 (used)
WatershedWatershed
Roadrunner Records 2008
Audio CD$5.30
$4.31 (used)
Ghost Reveries (180 Gram Vinyl)Ghost Reveries (180 Gram Vinyl)
Limited Edition · Import
Roadrunner 2013
Vinyl$27.74
$42.55 (used)
DeliveranceDeliverance
Import
Imports 2007
Audio CD$4.39
$4.99 (used)
DamnationDamnation
The End Records 2012
Audio CD$9.45
$7.47 (used)
Ghost ReveriesGhost Reveries
Roadrunner Records 2005
Audio CD$5.30
$2.96 (used)
My Arms, Your HearseMy Arms, Your Hearse
Extra tracks
Candlelight 2003
Audio CD$7.20
$5.12 (used)
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OPETH Discography

OPETH albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.70 | 57 ratings
Orchid
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.92 | 64 ratings
Morningrise
Death Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.90 | 72 ratings
My Arms, Your Hearse
Death Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.47 | 132 ratings
Still Life
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.24 | 108 ratings
Blackwater Park
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.68 | 79 ratings
Deliverance
Progressive Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.88 | 81 ratings
Damnation
Metal Related 2003
.. Album Cover 4.27 | 97 ratings
Ghost Reveries
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.83 | 89 ratings
Watershed
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 3.61 | 70 ratings
Heritage
Progressive Metal 2011

OPETH EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.05 | 3 ratings
Burden
Progressive Metal 2008

OPETH live albums

.. Album Cover 4.09 | 26 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 | 1 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 boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Collecter's Edition Slipcase
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.73 | 9 ratings
The Candlelight Years
Death Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wooden Box
Death Metal 2009

OPETH singles (5)

.. Album Cover
3.93 | 3 ratings
Still Day Beneath the Sun
Progressive 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
3.74 | 5 ratings
The Throat of Winter
Progressive Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
3.53 | 6 ratings
The Devil's Orchard
Progressive Metal 2011

OPETH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.81 | 23 ratings
Lamentations, Live At Shepherd's Bush Empire, 2003
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
4.45 | 17 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
Progressive Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
4.20 | 18 ratings
In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
Progressive Metal 2010

OPETH Reviews

OPETH Orchid

Album · 1995 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Primeval Scum
An extremely underrated work in the Opeth discography. This is one of their crown jewels.

How is this rated lower than everything but Heritage? This is one of my three favorite Opeth albums, right up there with Blackwater Park in terms of quality and consistency.

"In The Mist She Was Standing" is a full-blown epic in the vein of "Black Rose Immortal" and is a sure-fire Opeth classic. "Forest of October" is my personal favorite track because of the haunting acoustic melody that begins and finishes the song. The instrumental interludes "Silhouette" and "Requiem" are dark and majestic and add significantly to the atmosphere of the album. The bonus track "In The Frost of Winter" is a raw black metal demo that reveals a different side of Opeth. The riff in that song topples mountains.

This is a glorious, beautiful album that deserves more respect and recognition that it gets compared to other Opeth albums.

OPETH My Arms, Your Hearse

Album · 1998 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
The lo-fi shot of a wintery forest gracing the cover of My Arms, Your Hearse might give the impression that this release has Opeth drifting in a black metal direction, and that isn't altogether inaccurate - whilst they don't go full on black metal, this is easily the heaviest release I've heard from them and their brand of death metal with progressive sensibilities has perhaps never been darker. At the same time, though, I still can't get into them; the same falseness, the sense that it's all carefully calculated and technically polished but emotionally insincere, and the tedious acoustic parts which turn me off other Opeth releases (Credence, in particular, is extremely jarring, robbing the album of all the momentum it had established to this point) are present here still.

A decent listen if you are fond of Still Life and are interested to hear how Opeth reached that point; for my part, though, I continue to find the high esteem in which the band is held truly baffling, though I concede they turn in a decent performance and if you like Opeth at all, you'll probably enjoy this one.

OPETH Ghost Reveries

Album · 2005 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
bartosso
The Storm Before the Calm

I'll put it bluntly, Ghost Reveries is the first Opeth album I've ever heard, back then in 2005, and the last one I truly love. As of 2013, Watershed and Heritage are amongst their least engaging albums in my book. Ghost Reveries was in a way a turning point in both Opeth's career and songwriting style. Even though from the perspective of their older releases the path they chose on the 8th record could already be slightly alarming to some fans, the songwriting is nothing short of amazing here and Ghost Reveries, while a bit more accessible, is one of the finest albums in all extreme metal.

Ghost Reveries is the ultimate proof of Akerfeldt's unrivaled craftsmanship and talent for creating multi-layered epics. I could complain about the more straightforward approach to atmosphere and melody compared to their previous releases, but in terms of songwriting Ghost Reveries is flawless. The band delivers their unique branch of extreme eclectic metal with staggering passion and top-notch performance. As a very open-minded music lover, Mikael is a rather unpredictable songwriter and for listing his influences I'd probably need a separate essay. With its atmospheric and dynamic blend of folk, jazz, gothic and progressive rock, Ghost Reveries is certainly varied enough to be called eclectic. What matters the most, though, is that Opeth is most of all about playing good music. Only art with heart and soul put into it is good and consistent. It's as simple as that, really. No need for light-speed solos and breakneck complexity. Experimentation or virtuosity should be a mode of artistic expression, not a goal in itself. Akerfeldt is one of those rare and precious musicians who know that.

Even though Ghost Reveries is more accessible than harsh classics like My Arms Your Hearse or Deliverance, it redeems itself with some amazing songwriting, ambiance and flow. Somewhat similar to Still Life in terms of atmosphere, Ghost Reveries stands out as another masterpiece of eclectic metal. An absolute must for all you progheads out there.

OPETH Blackwater Park

Album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
gmt41690
Powerful is the principal adjective that comes to mind when I hear this album. Each track has an air of authority to it that gives the album a truly commendable level of focus and drive from start to finish. Musically cohesive, varied, and balanced, yet undeniably bombastic, it really packs a significant punch!

Every section of every song presents a melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic motive that is not only aggressive, but pleasantly tuneful and memorable. One of the the things I most appreciate about Opeth is their ability to take metal textures and moods and turn them into pleasantly singable motives. I love the amount of diligence that goes into the crafting of each thematic idea and the formal organization. To me, one of Mikael Akerfeldt's biggest strengths as a songwriter/composer is his deftness at measuring just how long each passage is supposed to go on for to get the point across and make it truly memorable without having it overstay its welcome. There is clear deliberation behind each section, and as dense as each one is, there are many opportunities for further discoveries on future listens, ensuring high replay value and bolstering my opinion of the listening experience as a whole.

Granted, in my opinion, not every moment is absolutely flawless, as some parts seem to dip a little from what are in my books the clear peaks of the album. But these dips are highly subjective, as they seem to be sections that other reviewers laud quite frequently. For example, I'm not entirely sold on Harvest, and Dirge for November isn't a 5-star song to me, but I can understand and appreciate where other reviewers are coming from in praising these songs as such, and I think that's one of the aspects of this album that does make it a true progressive landmark: the ability to connect with an audience in a wide variety of unique ways, yet still communicating a universal message of musical mastery and emotional depth.

As stated, some moments might not be perfect in my book, but the album as a whole does more than just balance them out when factoring the highlights because of its solid sense of cohesion, balance, emotion, and musicality. This is a terrific album with some truly phenomenal tracks, particularly The Leper Affinity, The Drapery Falls, and Blackwater Park, which is in my top 10 songs of all time. If you still haven't heard any of Opeth's material and are unsure if the praise is deserved, I implore you to strip away your negative judgments and preconceived notions. There's pure, unadulterated artistry to be found within this forceful package, and it yields truly phenomenal rewards upon first hearing and innumerable returns with each subsequent listen.

OPETH Still Life

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
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bartosso
Story of love and revenge

Still Life is definitely a beauty and one of numerous fantastic albums in Opeth's discography. Not as transitional as My Arms Your Hearse and not as successful as Blackwater Park, it still is Opeth at their finest. The songwriting is so solid and atmosphere so sophisticated, that I can even pass over the so-so production and less adventurous character of the whole compared to their previous album.

Opeth's music is based on extreme musical dualism. By going from soft smooth jazz vocals to diabolic growls, Mikael Akerfeldt sets the mood and takes the listener on a dark, almost gothic ride with powerful parts of distortion turning into acoustic guitar passages. And he does that with such intuition and talent that during these over 10-minutes long tracks, there's not a single moment of disarray. Pure soft beauty in turns with excruciating rage is the essence of this record. But this isn't only about feelings but also about musical eclecticism. In STILL LIFE one can find vintage progressive rock song structures, full of extended passages of symphonic guitar harmonies and jazzy rhythm patterns.

It's the only Opeth album I'd recommend to a die-hard progressive rock fan. Vintage feel and absolutely brilliant songwriting combined with extreme metal brutality may turn even the most stubborn fan of Jethro Tull and Yes into a headbanging metalhead. A classic of eclectic metal.

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

adg211288 wrote:
872 days ago
Their worst? Hardly. Try My Arms, Your Hearse.
Wilytank wrote:
911 days ago
It's safe to say that Heritage is their worst.
adg211288 wrote:
959 days ago
* make of it.
adg211288 wrote:
959 days ago
I don't honestly know what to make it.
m@x wrote:
960 days ago
I love the new album 'Heritage' !!!!
Prog Geo wrote:
1179 days ago
The greatest band on Earth!!!
Pekka wrote:
1316 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:
1344 days ago
And thanks for reminding of its existence, I filled in the missing info.
Pekka wrote:
1344 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:
1344 days ago
There should be a 3-track EP titled Burden released in 2008.

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