A Progression In Metal, The Rise Of Opeth

For all the Opeth connoisseurs out there who share in the adoration of this phenomemal multi genre, multi talented metal band.
The name Opeth was taken from the novel Sunbird by author Wilbur Smith, and was originally spelled Opet (without the “h”). In the book, Opet is the name of the location for an ancient empire which translates to “City of the Moon”.

Opeth is a Swedish heavy metal band from Sörskogen, Stockholm formed in 1990. Though the group has been through several personnel changes, singer, guitarist, and songwriter Mikael Åkerfeldt is Opeth’s only founding member and primary driving force throughout the years. Opeth has consistently incorporated progressive, folk, blues, classical and jazz influences into their usually lengthy compositions, as well as strong influences from death metal, especially in their early works. Many songs include acoustic guitar passages and strong dynamic shifts, as well as both death growls and clean vocals. Opeth rarely made live appearances supporting their first four albums; but since conducting their first world tour after the 2001 release of Blackwater Park, they have led several major world tours.

Mikael Åkerfeldt (guitar, vocals) and Fredrik Åkesson (guitar) of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH are featured in the first episode of FreqsTV’s original series “Into The Machine”, an exploration of modern progressive music. Check it out below.
Opeth on Into the Machine

Opeth fans have been divided ever since the band released two separate albums, Deliverance and Damnation. Some liked the change of the mellow jazzy, metal sounds with clean vocals and others hate bombed the alternative to Mikael’s previous death metal growls. 

Music fans seem to have an adverse reaction to change from their favourite bands, this has rung true for decades with the great cautionary tale of Metallica’s release of the “Black” album, dubbing the band as sell outs and accusing them of going too soft.

With Opeth’s latest release of “Pale Communion,” fans were anticipating a heavier album and were again divided with the first release of “Eternal Rains.” 

The track is the opener to the record and ventures very deep into progressive rock territory with the extended instrumental opening before welcoming ghostly vocal harmonies overtop.

I’m a die hard fan. I find myself returning to the Ghost of death metal’s past, sometimes even further, under the weeping moon to the Moon above, then back to Earth again with Still Life.
Opeth – Moon Above, Sun Below

OPETH Frontman Says The Band Would Be “Pure Death Metal” If They Ever Got Heavy Again.

Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt was in Metal Hammer magazine, where he spoke mainly about the band’s ventures into a progressive rock sound and how he feels metal lacks rebellion anymore. It’s an interesting read! That being said, the magazine took to their website to post up some quotes from Åkerfeldt about the things they learned in speaking to him, such as how Opeth would sound if they went back to being heavy as fuck!

   “If we made another heavy record, it’d be pure death metal with blastbeats and shit.”

It’s no secret I adore the band’s new direction, but man… how cool would it be if we got an EP of straight up death metal Opeth? He also touches on the backlash from fans.
Opeth – Deliverance – Live at Wacken Open Air 2015 

Written By Christy Lee