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Opeth is a Swedish heavy metal band that formed in 1990 in Stockholm. While the band has been through several personnel changes, singer, guitarist, and songwriter Mikael Åkerfeldt has remained Opeth's driving force since joining shortly after its inception.

While firmly rooted in Scandinavian death metal, Opeth incorporates progressive metal, progressive rock, folk, blues rock and jazz into their usually lengthy songs. Many compositions include acoustic guitars and strong dynamic shifts, as well as growling and clean vocals. The band rarely played live to support the first four albums, though later conducted its first world tour after the release of 2001's 'Blackwater Park'.

Opeth has released nine studio albums, two live albums, one box set, and one dvd. The band released its debut album 'Orchid' in 1995, but did not experience commercial success until the 2003 release 'Damnation', which debuted at number 192 on the Billboard 200. The band's ninth studio album, 'Watershed', was released on June 3, 2008.

As Opeth's primary songwriter and lyricist, vocalist-guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt's influence dominates the sound of the band. Although he did not found the band, Åkerfeldt is the only member to appear on every release. Influenced at a young age by heavy metal bands Åkerfeldt later discovered progressive rock and folk music, both of which had a profound impact on the sound of the band. Opeth's distinct sound mixes heavy metal with acoustic passages, while also incorporating elements of progressive metal, progressive rock, and jazz. In 2008 they recorded the Mari Fredriksson composition 'Den ständiga resan' for one of the three special editions of their album 'Watershed'

On the web:

- Opeth's website: http://opeth.com

What do we think:

DB: OK, here I am stretching our theory a bit because Opeth mainly does not sing in their own language. Although through the grunts you won't understand a word anyway so I might as well be Swedish for that matter. I could have taken an act like Burzum but there are already enough polliticaly incorrect acts on the site and let's face it Opeth is musically and artistically much better. But the prime reason why I want to mention them is that their music is very distinct for Scandinavia. Like explained in the country-sections metal Scandinavia played a big part in the development of the music scene and is also one a the genre's that follows it's own course in stead of let themselves be dictated by Anglo American MOR. There is also another reason. When Finish metalband Lordi won the Eurovision everybody was amazed and some even appaled. The Fins were accused to have send a carnival act and going cheap. In fact they finally send an act that represented what their music scene stands for and were very serious about it. The show in Helsinki also had the metal-feel worked out even more with Apocaliptica as entre act. Metal plays a significat role in Scandinavia, understanding that is to understand acts like Lordi.. or even better Opeth.

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Within Temptation (Netherlands)

Daniel Landa (Czech republic)


♪♪♪ - Morningrise - 1996

♪♪♪ - My Arms, Your Hearse - 1998

♪♪♪♪ - Watershed - 2008

Further listening:

Orchid - 1995; Still Life - 1999;Blackwater Park - 2001; Deliverance - 2002; Damnation - 2003; Ghost Reveries - 2005

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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