Opeth is a Stockholm-based progressive metal band that was founded in 1990 as a death metal group by singer David Isberg. The band has seen many changes in its lineup in which the only exception is Mikael Akerfeldt who is the guitarist, songwriter and singer of the band. The other members include Martin Mendez on bass guitar, Martin Axenrot on percussion and drums, Fredrik Akesson on backing vocals and guitar and Joakim Svalberg on percussion, backing vocals, synthesizer and keyboards.
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The group is known to have regularly incorporated elements of various other genres such as jazz, classical, blues, folk and progressive into its lengthy compositions, while it has also featured characteristics of death metal and black metal in its beginning work. Many of their songs feature lengthy passages of acoustic guitars with dynamic shifts along with both clean vocals and death growls. The band hardly made any live appearances to promote its four initial albums, but has since their 2001 release titled Blackwater Park, has taken several extensive world tours. Their blend of various genre elements has made Opeth tickets a particular treat among progressive rock fans.
Opeth is known to have issued ten studio albums along with three live albums, three live DVDs as well as two boxsets. Their studio offerings released between 1995 and 2011 include Heritage, Watershed, Ghost Reveries, Damnation, Deliverance, Blackwater Park, Still Life, My Arms, Your Hearse, Morningrise, and Orchid. Hit singles by the band include Deliverance, The Drapery Falls, Still Day Under the Sun, Windowpane, Master’s Apprentices, In Time of Need, The Grand Conjuration, Soldier of Fortune, Ghost of Perdition, Porcelain Heart, Burden, Mellotron Heart, The Throat of Winter, Slither and The Devil’s Orchid. The group issued its debut album titled Orchid in 1995, but did not experience any significant success in the United States until 2008, even though their offering Ghost Reveries gained popularity there.
In 2008, the band released their ninth studio product Watershed that reached number twenty-three on Billboard 200, while it took the top position on Finnish album charts in its initial release week there. The band sold more than two million DVDs and albums all over the world, including three hundred thousand collective Soundscans of the group’s albums Deliverance, Blackwater Park and Damnation in the USA.
In 2011, Opeth released its tenth studio offering called Heritage, which is marked as its last recording with keyboardist Per Wiberg. He was replaced by Joakim Svalberg who then accompanied the group on its promotional Heritage Tour 2011-2012, in which they played shows through Europe, and North America. The band played with other acts such as Katatonia and Pain of Salvation, and went on to perform in other regions including Japan, Turkey, India, Greece, Sweden and South America. In early 2012, the band performed in Bangalore for the first time while still continuing the Summerstorm festival. The same year, Opeth performed with Mastodon on a tour of North America, headlining at specified concerts with support from Ghost.
Mikael Akerfeldt is the main songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and lyricist of Opeth, and is responsible for directing the band’s sound. At a very young age the artist was inspired by heavy metal bands from the likes of Morbid Angel, King Diamond, Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath, Death, Slayer, Iron Maiden and the most significant of all, Judas Priest. According to Akerfeldt the greatest metal album of all time is Sad Wings of Destiny. Before opening most of their shows, Akerfeldt performs Judas Priest’s Here Come the Tears. Upon discovering folk music and progressive rock in later year, where both the genres deeply impacted the group’s musical direction, Opeth began combining progressive rock with death metal. The band’s music is quite diverse in mixing elements from various genres within the same song at times, for instance combining solo piano bits with Eastern melodies, stoner rock sounds and ambient soundscapes all at once. This is a band that is fearless when it comes to being honest to their music. Grab some cheap Opeth tickets and make sure not to miss the maestros in their live act.
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