Founded in 1990 in Sweden by vocalist and guitarist Mikael Akerfeldt, Opeth specialized in fusing progressive-rock, folk music, and heavy-metal.
Orchid (Candlelight, 1995) cast Akerfeldt's death-metal growling and Peter Lindgren's epically distorted guitar in roles (mid-tempo interludes, acoustic melodies, long and tortured songs) that were not traditionally associated to heavy metal, despite sounding like heavy metal.
Morningrise (Candlelight, 1996), their masterpiece, refined that manner, particularly in the monumental suite Black Rose Immortal.
My Arms Your Hearse (Candlelight, 1998), featuring the new rhythm section of drummer Martin Lopez and bassist Martin Mendez, sounded both more aggressive and more traditional. It featured some of their most brutal compositions (April Ethereal, Demon Of The Fall).
Still Life (Peaceville, 1999) placated the rage and indulged again in sophisticated arrangements and dynamics, particularly in the 11-minute The Moor, the atmospheric Moonlapse Vertigo, and the majestic Face of Melinda.
Blackwater Park (Music for Nations, 2001) added Blackwater Park, Bleak, The Drapery Falls to their canon, and reached a broader audience.
Deliverance (Music For Nations, 2002) summed up their art and technique. Wreath, a majestic eleven-minute gothic fantasia that proceeds from agonizing doom-metal to fast hard-rock and to quasi-grindcore, By The Pain I See In Others, a violent and theatrical ten-minute melodrama with a solemn guitar solo and a desperate vocal refrain in between bursts of madness, and especially Deliverance, a 13-minute tour de force of different (but smoothly amalgamated) dramatic forms that runs towards a catastrophic climax, increase the level of musical and emotional complexity; while the suspenseful and melodic ten-minute ballad A Fair Judgment represents the romantic zenith of the album. Master's Apprentice offers a more conventional death-metal nightmare (but the second half changes personality twice).
Opeth mellowed down a lot on the symphonic Damnation (Music for Nations, 2003), an album heavy on the electronic keyboards and made of relatively shorter songs.
Tracks: Window Payne, In my Time of Need, which is probably the standout, Death whispered a lullaby, Closure, Hope Leaves, To Rid the Disease, Ending Credits (Instrumental), Weakness.
Ghost Reveries (Roadrunner, 2005) is a keyboards-heavy album that does not change the equation as much as it first appears to. The hyper-romantic Ghost of Perdition is simply more of the same formula that Opeth has been experimenting for six years. Pieces such as The Baying of the Hounds and Hours of Wealth are more "progressive" than usual, and perhaps the execution has reached a new level of craftmanship, but overall the album is devoid of real innovation or real emotion.
Thanks to Murray for submitting the biography.
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Hail | Reviewer: Charl | 5/31/11
Every other band spontaneously combusts in the presence of Opeth. I cannot wait for their new album to be released in September(2011) :) Insane lyrics, insane vocals, insane guitaring, insane drumming. What more could you ask for?
THE FLOWER | Reviewer: EFI POULIASSIS | 12/2/09
I LOVE YOUR MUSIC, I LOVE YOUR SONGS, I USE TO HEAR THEM EACH TIME THAT I AM THROUGH THE PEOPLE I CAN DREEM WITH YOUR MUSIC AND YOUR FACES. I AM IMPRESSED ABOUT YOUR BEAUTY FACE AND YOUR NICE VOICE, I HAVE YOUR POSTER INTO MY ROOM. YOU ARE LIKE AN ANGEL.
Opeth beyond imagination... | Reviewer: Besim | 11/3/09
Huh... every comment was a real feeling about this band. I thought i will never find people that like Opeth as I do.I'm really mad about them, and i have to say that they turned me away from many other bands that i liked. It's just i can't listen any other band as I do with Opeth. They have everything i want: death metal,grunts,clean vocals,guitar solos,mellow sad song which they take me away from this world especialy: Benightet,Pattern in the ivy,burden and many others.. but don't mean that the others are shit... U just have to listen to them and u'll understand me...
their music is like drugs: If u get into Opeth, U'll never walk aside!!!
Greetings to all from The Great Albania!! \w/
Oh my stars! | Reviewer: Some Guy | 9/2/09
I came across Opeth a couple of years back because my sister listens to their music non stop and it's only a few weeks back that I realized how amazing they are!
First song I heard was To Bid You Farewell, and at first, I was convinced that they were an English band, mainly because their melodic style reminded me of people like Edgar Allan Poe and the historic era.
Then I heard other songs like 'For Absent Friends and 'Bleak', which both blew me away with their utter brilliance and effortless intricacy. I came across some information and I found out hat they are Swedish, and they are by far, the most amazing band to come across from those lands. Their style is unlike any other, Mikael's lyrical sense is widely poetic and deep, and the power buried within most of their songs is beyond my imagination. The fact that smooth, relaxing songs can be composed aswell (For instance, Benighted) also amazes me.
This is a true band, making true music, and their music will never discontinue my amazement.
My personal favorite band | Reviewer: AkerfeldtIsGod | 2/24/08
A friend turned me on to Opeth a few years ago, and ever since they have been my favorite band, and may have even passed Pink Floyd as my favorite band of all time. I have always been into metal, but these guys blew my mind. I find it hard sometimes to listen to other metal bands (except perhaps Lamb of God and Chimaira), because their music just isn't as powerful and doesn't create the atmosphere that Opeth seems to conjure out of thin air. Akerfeldt is the true workhorse behind the band, writing most, if not all, of the music and lyrics. You can classify Opeth however you want, progressive metal, death metal, whatever. To me they are and always will be a genre within themselves that no one can touch. The switch to Roadrunner spooks me a bit, though, and the departure of Lopez and Lindgren:( ,was hard to swallow. But it's still Opeth....
Simply awesome! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/4/08
Ya, I know! I agree that most good reviews have the very same title as mine. But, I mean it, because my playlist for the last one week doesn't contain songs from any other band apart from Opeth! (Yep, it has their 60 songs on shuffle)
I really started listening to good music only 2 years ago. So, I listened to all the classic rock songs, all the famous ones until very recently. I also experimented with a lot of genres, varying from jazz to hard rock(not yet into metal, till Opeth of course).
Finally I landed on Opeth. The first song I heard was Windowpane. That sounded very beautiful back then, but it sounds sick(almost as if it is just too normal!) compared to their other songs that I have been listening to recently. (Sorry, that's just my personal view) Next, I heard "To bid you Farewell". Aah, one of the most melodious songs ever! I could close my eyes and listen to it all day long. (And I did do that for a few weeks not so long ago!)
Even then, I couldn't bear myself to listen to the other Opeth songs just because I wasn't accustomed to growling. Then I heard that Steven Wilson was involved with a lot of Opeth projects. Being a huge Porcupine Tree fan, I decided to give it another shot. From then on its been a beautiful ride :)
I guess the reason that Opeth is so enticing is because its music is so powerful and so different from the normal stuff that we hear. They are the only ones that I know of who uses acoustic guitars so beautifully, in harmony, with electric and distortion guitars. The superb riffs and transition in the vocals from growling to melodious singing almost makes me high on music!
My current favourites are:
The Baying Of The Hounds
Demon Of The Fall
The Drapery Falls
The Lepper Affinity
This list keeps changing every week or so. Being a huge fan of Progressive music(Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater etc), I am hoping that Opeth will bring more out on that genre. One thing is for sure. Opeth is so ahead of its times that it will be remembered(30-50 years ahead maybe), for breaking the genre-barriers and making melodious and inspiring music. Two words: Simply awesome!
Very impressive | Reviewer: Stan | 8/21/07
I discovered this band by way of a listing of Steven Wilson's side work. Being a huge Porcupine Tree fan, I was curious to know what other projects Wilson has been involved in. I learned that he produced the last four Opeth albums. His influence can certainly be heard on each of them.
Opeth is by far the most sophisticated band of its type. (Most death metal is - forgive me - rather cartoonish, lyrically and vocally speaking, and therefore hard for me to take very seriously except as platforms for good guitar and drum work.) Akerfeldt and Lindgren are nothing short of brilliant as songwriters; I hope future albums don't show any ill effects from Lindgren's recent departure, and I suspect they won't. I can't wait to hear what these guys create next.
stumbled...... | Reviewer: nick stephen | 6/18/06
stumbled upon Opeth while browsing and,although death-metal has never been my bag listened to,and was amazed by,'The Drapery Falls' from 'Blackwater Park'.Nothing I have heard from their other output has failed to impress me.Melancholy but strangely uplifting,clean but guttural,brutal but gentle-a band of contrasts.What a find......
opeth | Reviewer: Me | 5/7/06
Opeth are an absolutely FANTASTIC band. They are amazingly unique. They are death metal with light acoustic sections. I've yet to find a band who can merge the opposite genres so well. Mikeal the vocalist mixes EXTREMELY low but coherrent monstrous death growls and then has really clean beauitful vocals. The guitarwork is intricate and slow. They are classified as progressive death, but I'd also say they are doom metal in some songs. The lyrics are amazingly poetic, uncommon for a death metal group, (most death metal band usually concentrate on death.)
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