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OPETH

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Sweden


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Opeth biography
Yes, some people would consider OPETH to be a pure (melodic) Death Metal band but you have to differentiate a lot. The four guys from Stockholm/Sweden feature a lot of different elements on their albums. We have the aggressive death metal with Mikael's growls (which are not generated with help of a computer, it's actually his voice) with lots of breaks, mostly acoustic including Mikael's clear voice. Mr. Åkerfeldt himself always underestimates his clear voice and often points out that he is a novice regarding this kind of singing. But that's not true, false modesty is the term here. His clear voice is warm and simply beautiful. The whole music is guitar orientated, on the one hand we have great riffing for aggressive parts, awesome melodic solos and on the other hand acoustic breaks with admirable melodies with some Scandinavian folk influences here and there and of course Mikael's clear vocals. Sometimes you even get some PINK FLOYD or PORCUPINE TREE like parts or whole songs.

Sure, the band started out as a pure Death Metal combo regarding to their first release" "Orchid" but from their second release on the prog elements got more and more. The second album "Morningrise" for example features a pure Prog song with PINK FLOYD like parts as well as epic song lengths. Mikael Åkerfeldt who also is the indispensable head of the band, often mentions that he is a proghead and mostly likes bands like CAMEL and PORCUPINE TREE. No doubt, you can hear those influences on albums like "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park" but their highlight regarding to pure Prog for sure is their 2003 release "Damnation" which features an entire album in the style of PORCUPINE TREE. Not really astonishing regarding the fact that Steven Wilson of PORCUPINE TREE is a good friend of Mikael and Peter and even worked together with the band for their double release "Damnation" and "Deliverance". Steven Wilson also produced their album "Blackwater Park" which is regarded as their best work so far, not only by death metal fans but also by many others normally disliking death metal growls (like me). "Damnation" for sure is the album most of you would be interested in because it is a pure Prog album. But Mikael said that the band will not do something similar again, he even announced the next album to be their most heavy, we will see. Sure isn't that this release opened the door to new fans and certainly displeased some of their old fans coming from the death metal origin.


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Blackwater Park: Legacy EditionBlackwater Park: Legacy Edition
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WatershedWatershed
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Audio CD$5.30
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DamnationDamnation
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Music on Vinyl 2012
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DeliveranceDeliverance
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Imports 2007
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Still LifeStill Life
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OrchidOrchid
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OPETH shows & tickets


  • Rock in Idro 2014 on 30 May 2014
  • Rock am Ring 2014 on 5 Jun 2014
  • Rock im Park 2014 on 6 Jun 2014
  • Download Festival 2014 on 13 Jun 2014
  • Hellfest 2014 on 20 Jun 2014
  • Graspop Metal Meeting 2014 on 27 Jun 2014
  • Be Prog! My Friend... on 12 Jul 2014
  • Slottsfjell 2014 on 17 Jul 2014
  • Malakoff on 17 Jul 2014
  • Bukta - Tromsø Open Air Festival on 17 Jul 2014
  • Metaldays 2014 on 20 Jul 2014
  • Getaway Rock Festival 2014 on 7 Aug 2014
  • Vagos Open Air 2014 on 8 Aug 2014
  • Opeth at Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam on 7 Nov 2014

OPETH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

OPETH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.18 | 412 ratings
Orchid
1995
3.72 | 473 ratings
Morningrise
1996
3.94 | 492 ratings
My Arms, Your Hearse
1998
4.33 | 1062 ratings
Still Life
1999
4.26 | 1078 ratings
Blackwater Park
2001
3.75 | 619 ratings
Deliverance
2002
3.92 | 888 ratings
Damnation
2003
4.23 | 1009 ratings
Ghost Reveries
2005
3.93 | 809 ratings
Watershed
2008
3.89 | 845 ratings
Heritage
2011

OPETH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.97 | 81 ratings
Lamentations: Live at Shepherd Bush Empire 2003
2006
4.05 | 150 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
2007

OPETH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.98 | 172 ratings
Lamentations: Live at Shepherd's Bush
2003
3.97 | 108 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
2008
4.68 | 173 ratings
In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall
2010

OPETH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.53 | 37 ratings
Limited Edition Box Set
2006
3.93 | 54 ratings
The Candlelight Years
2008

OPETH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 18 ratings
Apostle in Triumph
1994
4.33 | 32 ratings
The Drapery Falls
2001
3.89 | 26 ratings
Deliverance
2002
4.58 | 33 ratings
Still Day Beneath the Sun 7''
2003
3.05 | 19 ratings
Selections From Ghost Reveries
2005
3.18 | 30 ratings
The Grand Conjuration
2005
2.97 | 17 ratings
Watershed - Radio Sampler
2008
3.65 | 33 ratings
Porcelain Heart
2008
3.63 | 33 ratings
Mellotron Heart
2008
3.64 | 49 ratings
Burden
2008
3.45 | 55 ratings
The Throat of Winter
2011
3.63 | 73 ratings
The Devil's Orchard
2011

OPETH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Damnation by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.92 | 888 ratings

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Damnation
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The progressive rock-oriented metal-renouncing counterpart to Deliverance, Damnation finds the collaboration between Opeth and Steven Wilson tighter than ever before. Wilson provides a decent production but I can't help but find this grey, drab take on progressive rock to be terminally dull - it's not that I don't think prog can be quiet or meditative or sad, it can be all of those things, but what it should never be is bland, and that's precisely what Opeth's take on prog is. I guess this is why I've never gone for their particular prog-death metal fusion: their take on prog I find so flavourless that their music ends up feeling flavourless and watered- down whenever they add it.

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 Ghost Reveries by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.23 | 1009 ratings

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Ghost Reveries
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by MonsterMagnet

4 stars This is the first extreme metal album I listened to and it was really like a smash in my head! Before that my only approaches of heavy stuff had been with bands like Mr. Bungle or Naked City, bands who have some metal influences. Opeth delivers an album of an incredible and fascinating alchemy. One of the strengths of the band is to have reinvented itself with each new release. On Ghost Reveries they develop their style in a particularly true prog metal direction and they create the perfect symbiosis between these two genres. This album is perhaps less aggressive than others like Blackwater Park or Deliverance but more melodic than ever. Indeed Opeth adds new atmospheres and pictures to its poetic painting: Ghost Reveries makes us enter in manors haunted by ghosts and memories... step into paths lost in dark and foggy woods... It's also the first time Opeth has its own keyboard player: the honourable Per Wiberg. In general I think the keyboards in prog metal have a tendency to be ugly (without being disturbing), yet here they instantly find their place and... how heavy they are! The Hammond of Baying of The Hounds or the Mellotron of Beaneath The Mire testify it. There's even a psychedelic song, named Atonement, with Eastern heady sounds, that is as original as well integrated on a death metal album. Akerfeldt's singing is full of emotions, magnificent, very efficient in both clear voice and growl. Opeth proves again its great wealth and its undeniable quality of composition (tortuous riffs, complex structures, inventive bridges, consistency of the whole album,...). So I think Ghost Reveries is essential to each and every progger, especially if metal is a bit foreign to you.

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 Damnation by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.92 | 888 ratings

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Damnation
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Wallowing is an underrated state of grief. Feeling sorry for oneself and allowing that profound bitterness and disappointment to wash over oneself can serve to put the darkness in its place and set the stage for slinking back into the crepuscular light. I have found that journaling can make the process more productive and even enjoyable. I suspect artists find solace in their craft, and assume that is part of what is transpiring with Mikael Akerfeldt on "Damnation", an album that has as little to do with extreme metal, and as much to do with mellotron drenched disconsolateness, as does BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST's "Everyone is Everybody Else".

Thanks to the production and keyboards of Steven Wilson, and the delicate somber vocals and guitars of Akerfelt, this album sets a mood and does not relinquish it. The melodies ache with fragility, and on "In my Time of Need", "Hope Leaves", and the CAMEL-influenced "Ending Credits, are the main attraction, but this is more about the atmosphere, conveyed brilliantly in the excruciatingly elongated "Windowpane" and the final few hair raising minutes of "Closure". The late lamented mellotron era of the 1970s and its essential gravitas is distilled in a manner rarely witnessed at that time, putting a fresh face on a familiar friend.

I'm not saying "Damnation" is bliss but its grasp of the essential value of wallowing makes it a more suitable instrument of salvation, however it might have been intended. Grief never sounded this good.

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 My Arms, Your Hearse by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.94 | 492 ratings

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My Arms, Your Hearse
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 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.

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 Ghost Reveries by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.23 | 1009 ratings

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Ghost Reveries
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

5 stars There's not much I can add to descriptions of Opeth, which is one of the more popular bands out there and the standard bearer for progressive extreme metal. Well, Opeth start with the basic foundation of dense death metal and enrich it with acoustics, folk, melancholic atmospheres, middle eastern polyrhythms, classisist rock and even jazz (and two of their albums, Damnation and Heritage, are not metal at all). But I would like to comment on Ghost Reveries, which are not revolutionary for Opeth, but my favorite album from Mikael Akerfeldt. It has the best production, sound, vocals (both growls and clean) and the most progressive structures. Not just a folk insert in the middle of a death song. One could even call it the most accessible album, if you can get past the growls. A rare example when the best all-around album is also the most accessible.

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 My Arms, Your Hearse by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.94 | 492 ratings

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My Arms, Your Hearse
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Codera the Great

4 stars My Arms, Your Hearse displays a great change of pace from the previous two albums that Opeth had to offer. The songs this time around have become much more concise than those of the previous two, in fact this is one of the very few Opeth albums to have no songs breach the ten minute mark, and with the the other two albums being "Heritage" and "Damnation" , where Mikael displays only his soft, melodic vocals, this is the only Opeth album with only songs less than ten minutes to have harsh, death metal growls present (which have deepened considerably and increased in strength with this release). An interesting thing to note is that the last lyrics of every song if you look in the liner notes are actually the title for the next song. Even the instrumentals have lyrics present in the liner note so that those will lead into the next track of that same name. This is a sign that this may be considered a concept album regarding a man who is haunted by the ghost of his dead wife. The performances are tight and the songwriting is well-written. Overall, it's a favorite of mine (the first I bought from the band) and a highly recommended slab of prog death metal.

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 Morningrise by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.72 | 473 ratings

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Morningrise
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Codera the Great

4 stars Morningrise continues in very much the same direction that was left off from the previous album Orchid, where a folky, black metal style where classical acoustic moments are present throughout. The album before this one, also had quite a few songs that were over the ten minute mark, while this one is composed of five songs which only exceed ten minutes (with "Black Rose Immortal" eclipsing twenty minutes). The formula for this album feels very much similar to the previous album, only this time there is a noticeable improvement to how this album was structured compared to the previous one. The songwriting has improved and matured with an album's worth of an experience under the band's belt and Mikael has noticeably grown more confident in his role as a lead vocalist, showcasing more of his wonderful clean vocals (particularly in the part-ballad "To Bid You Farewell") and further enhancing the quality of his harsh screams which will get even better with every succeeding album. Each of the five songs serves as a wonderfully crafted piece of audial art for people to absorb and take in, almost like mini-albums unto themselves. Highly essential album from Opeth's earliest years.

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 Orchid by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.18 | 412 ratings

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Orchid
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Codera the Great

3 stars This album starts a very unique and interesting career for a band so well beloved in the progressive and metal music communities. Opeth has become well acclaimed for its mix of death metal with traditional progressive rock and folk melodies to create diverse masterworks, and this is where it all began. Orchid takes a dive into folk and black metal-like territory with Maiden-esque melodies along with complex song structures and long song lengths (a well-known trademark through their whole discography). Mikael Åkerfeldt's harsh vocals are still in their developing stages, not nearly as deep and wrenching as the guttural roars he would unleash on such albums as Still Life and Deliverance. This may sound like a complaint, but it suits the sort of adolescently ambitious nature of this album, showing the starry-eyed young band with a great deal of energy and thrill performing on their first album, much like Queensrÿche belting away "Queen of the Reich" or Metallica blasting away on their Kill em' All album. All-in-all, a good debut showcasing the band's strong knack for songwriting and a very promising sign of things to come.

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 Ghost Reveries by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.23 | 1009 ratings

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Ghost Reveries
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by SevDawg

5 stars This an excellent album that really got me into OPETH. Initially I tried "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park" but found it hard to grasp this type of music. I used to find the death growls to be distasteful, but after "Ghost Reveries", I've come to really appreciate them. A few of my favorite songs below:

"Ghost of Perdition" in my opinion is the best track on the album. 10+ minutes of great riffs, good vocals (the part about 6 minutes in is awesome). Surprisingly, I find Akerfeldt's clean vocals on this song (and the album in general) to be phenomenal, likewise with his growls. The acoustic parts are peaceful yet haunting, creates a very interesting mood for the song.

"Beneath the Mire" has a very catchy keyboard / guitar riff throughout the song. Nice calm section about midway through the song, features clean vocals, creative solos, and acoustics. Serves as a nice break from the insanity that preceded it. A heavy solo follows and ends with a haunting passage.

"Hours of Wealth" is a superb ballad / softer song of sorts. This song is a testament to how good Akerfeldt's clean vocals are, and showcases a side of OPETH that I really like. The clean guitar riffs and solos are definitely a nice touch for the album. Overall a very nice peaceful song with an eerie mood.

"The Grand Conjuration" is a very heavy song, probably the heaviest on the album. The main riff has an interesting rhythm and is catchy. The solo around 3:25 with the main riff in the background makes this an amazing song. This song probably has the most death growls on it, at least some of the better ones.

All of the other songs are really good as well. "Ghost Reveries" is definitely one of OPETH's best and serves as a gateway to their other albums like it did for me. I highly recommend it to anyone, this is some phenomenal music and it might get you into a new genre.

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 Orchid by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.18 | 412 ratings

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Orchid
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by VOTOMS

2 stars Opeth's debut was a waste of time of my life. They are the superstars of the progressive extreme music. This album is not their pride, and not a big deal. Orchid is a melodic and blackened death metal album, sounding different than most of the swedish death metal acts. The songs are lenghty. Five 10 minutes track, but don't go for that, only bad expectations, and this is the worst point of the whole album. To write a lot of lenghty tracks in a debut without a concept or regular musical structure, playing standard melodic death metal riffs section by section. The duration of the tracks are boring, seems to never end, and the guitar riffs are cliche melodic metal, any finnish band could do the same and better. Somehow, these guys were famous in some towns for attracting the neo-gothic / gothic metal fans, including a lot of girls, something unusual to death metal bands. I don't think this is depressive enough for that, this is very far from Katatonia. Maybe because of the dark melancholic feeling and the cover art of the album, but I still don't agree with this 1995 gothic reception. This debut album is lame for any musician or even Opeth fans. The fine moments are the environmental and dark ambient passages. But nothing could save those uncantchy tracks.

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