Observing Opeth: A Discography Breakdown

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More discography diving with Boss the Ross.

As you already know, I have started a series in which I take a plunge into a band, swim through their discography and report back to you my findings. The kicker is that it has to be a band I’m not overly familiar with. My inaugural article discussing Enslaved had some positive feedback, and I returned with Behemoth. I am now here to present Opeth to the good people of the Toilet.

Now, many of you may say to yourself “Boss plz! You had to have heard Opeth before!” To which I reply, yes. Yes I have. HOWEVER, ahem, I had only listened to maybe 1/4 of the band’s hefty discography and Old Man Doom thought it would be a good idea. Also, with Opeth’s twelfth album Sorceress coming out on September 30, I believed now to be a good time to catch myself and y’all up with what this band has done in their 26 year history.

Onwards!


Orchid [1995] & Morningrise [1996]

With a simple, graceful cover depicting an orchid, Opeth are introduced to the world.”Unique” is how I would describe this 1995 debut; for the most part Opeth sit in the heavy realm of death but seem to dip their toes ever slightly into black metal’s cold bleakness. One thing is for certain, however. Musically, it gushes prog. The melodically minded structure and meticulous riffing nods directly to what Åkerfeldt described as a hybrid of “Wishbone AshBlack Sabbath and Bathory.” The acoustic folk guitar and piano interludes coupled with the clear vocal patterns were something not overtly utilized in Death Metal at the time and help to discern Opeth from your average band.

Morningrise shows a clear progression for the band; album median “Black Rose Immortal” alone is worthy of high praise. The kicker here? This album was released only one year after Orchid, absolutely no sophomore slump for Opeth. They jumped straight out of the awkward teen phase, found their identity and embraced it. Another large step for the band, in my opinion, was production value. Orchid wasn’t bad, but Morningrise takes it one step further in creating a perfect atmosphere for the darker songwriting that is showcased. In fact, a darker atmosphere altogether can be felt throughout Morningrise, even evident on the stark contrast of the black and white cover image that replaces the colorful orchid.


My Arms, Your Hearse [1998] & Still Life [1999]

Opeth. You’ve done it. My Arms, Your Hearse is absolute bliss. This coherent and brilliant concept album is a somber masterpiece of darkness with more emotion than I wish to express on any given day. Peaks of alpine riffs and death growls effortlessly give way to the valleys of flowing acoustical passages and solemn vocal melodies. In such a river of sounds it is easy to get lost within the flow; so lay back, float and let the water (Opeth) be your guide. Every aspect of My Arms, Your Hearse is compelling, and it is apparent that the band put a great deal of thought and time into writing the material present. Also noteworthy is the influence that symphonic black metal, not unlike Emperor, has on this album, as is very evident on the heavier tracks.

Still Life is a perplexing album to describe. Opeth showcases their most intricate writing to date interspersed with some very simple and straightforward, traditionally influenced Heavy Metal riffs. And this is just speaking of the electric performances. The band allows the acoustical passages to really push the somber and melancholic emotion of this album to its limits. Åkerfeldt displays a developed vocal performance as well, adding a depth to his growling while his cleans demonstrate more refinement. Both of the techniques facilitate a change within their respectful places of the light and dark formula Opeth utilizes. It is worth noting however that even the “light” moments are full of darkness on this depressive concept album.


Blackwater Park [2001]

And thus starts Opeth’s ascent into the progsphere. Up until this point Opeth have dabbled in Progressive music and utilized many of the tropes within the genre, but had yet to write their own page in the Prog book of history. Blackwater Park is that page; hell it could be a whole chapter. Worth noting is the origin of the album title: Blackwater Park is the name of an obscure 1970s Prog Rock band that released one album. Somehow Åkerfeldt discovered them and deemed them worthy not only of an album title but also a major influence. By blending together their love of Prog structure and Death Metal riffs, Opeth helps to create a fluid piece of music to entrance listeners through thick and thin. The production of this album is also a key factor to its success. Every instrument has its own unique tone that stands clear in the mix, but also merge together for a well executed “Wall of Sound” atmosphere. The clean vocal melodies are just plain brilliant!


Deliverance [2002] & Damnation [2003]

“VALHALLA! DELIVERANCE!” Oh, wait, wrong use of “Deliverance.” Deliverance, the Opeth album that is, takes on a far more serious tone than the band’s last effort. It is intriguing to hear more overall emphasis on the heaviness and less on the flow of musical passages. While enjoyable, I found this to be somewhat of a letdown honestly (perhaps even a regression). There were many times that I found myself headbanging, but not many moments with any head scratching (the good kind) or mind-blowing. Deliverance reminds me of the heavier aspects the band played on Morningrise, instead of continuing with Blackwater Park.  Key points on this album though are the drumming, employing a fast technical jazzy technique, and Åkerfeldt has a few vocal deliveries that are some of his best yet.

Damnation is remarkably lighter than Deliverance, and for that reason I believe I enjoyed it even more. If this discog dive was an actual journey, Damnation would represent a calm clearing with a flowing brook amidst a dense forest, a place to relax for a moment before continuing. Åkerfeldt delivers some of his most endearing performances to date, and this is the first Opeth album with completely clean vocals. I can understand how this may be a turn-off for some, but aesthetically this album doesn’t beckon for growling. Rather, the dark themes of the lyrics are enhanced by the solemnity of his clean technique. Musically this album feels more like a deliverance than a damnation, and vice versa with Damnation, especially with the uplifting track “End Credits.”

Note: after completing this dive, I did a little research and found out Damnation and Deliverance were initially intended to be a double album; the record company didn’t like this so Opeth split the songs stylistically to create two very different albums. The more you know!


Ghost Reveries [2005] & Watershed [2008]

After the breath of Damnation comes Ghost Reveries and with it the return of death growls and a more classic sounding Opeth album. It jumps back to Opeth’s churning pot of electric and acoustic riff tradeoffs that would have worked out perfectly as a follow-up to Blackwater Park. Unfortunately, this backpedal makes D&D (haha!) seem like a mistake in direction rather than a new path to forge with Opeth trying to recuperate. A key difference to this album is its production and tone; it is predominantly brighter sounding than the rest of Opeth’s output thus far. The songwriting is solid as always, though somewhat lacking, and utilizes an almost funk/groove aesthetic within the heavier riffing. Due to these points, I don’t find this as compelling as most of their albums so far, but still think of it as a decent album.

Watershed starts off with the beautifully delicate “Coil,” setting a very distinct mood for the album. Immediately I am drawn back to Damnation, and my ears are graced with an elegant female vocal performance. So far, so awesome. My peaceful, yet sorrowful frame of mind is immediately disrupted as the opening chord is struck from “Heir Apparent” which, when coupled with “The Lotus Eater” is one of Opeth’s heaviest moments on record ever. This was going to be an exciting listen. As I continue, I subtly pick out moments reminiscent of past albums, and it becomes clear what Opeth’s intention were. Watershed is a culmination of its predecessors. Simply put, that is what you get with the album. I found it extremely enjoyable and loved the addition of a more traditional keyboard/organ sound on a few of the songs. With the fade out of “Hex Omega” I can almost feel myself closing a book, a perfect conclusion to the band’s former legacy. “Now,” I wonder to myself, “what stories lie ahead?”


Heritage [2011] & Pale Communion [2014]

And now we find ourselves at the biggest turning point in Opeth’s discography, Heritage. Opeth have played Prog throughout their career, but this is the first overtly classic Prog album they’ve written and, as such, is very divisive for fans of the band. Now I can totally understand why people were disgusted with the album, but at the same time I like it when bands progress, change their sound, and reinvent themselves. It allows them to grow as musicians and tread new territory. Sometimes this can be a blunder and bands fall on their faces; Opeth however shows us who they are as musicians. Åkerfeldt has dropped hints toward this direction since day one – he was just waiting for the right moment. Personally, I enjoyed the album quite a bit (bite me) and believe it to be a shining light in the band’s diverse discography.

Opeth continue their journey through the upper progsphere with Pale Communion, an album that is both lighter and heavier than Heritage. At times I can hear bits of Watershed seeping through the dividing wall of Heritage and back into Opeth’s sound, and then songs like “Goblin” disrupt any thought I have and remind me what I’m listening to. Overall there lies a darker tone surrounding the album, much like the shadows in the artwork,  but the jazziness adds a subtle hint of joy to the riffs. Many of the passages are mind-bending and reminiscent of older works, though they sound like the band falling back into old habits instead of creating new mazes to traverse. It has been a long and windy road to get to this point, and Opeth seem to have no intention of stopping anytime soon. Only time will tell how the band progresses from here.

For a little extra fun I’ve even ranked the albums this time. Oh, boy! LISTS! This is highly opinionated and based solely on my listening experiences for this article. The order is subject to change at any given time.

1. My Arms Your Hearse
2. Blackwater Park
3. Watershed
4. Heritage
5. Morningrise
6. Damnation
7. Pale Communion
8. Still Life
9. Orchid
10. Ghost Reveries
11. Deliverance

Thanks for sticking with me through these dives. I am forever grateful for your support. Please comment below, tell me where I went wrong and tell me who to dive into next. Opeth has a new album out this week. Check it out and let me know what you think. Cheers everyone!

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    more like NOPEth huehuehue

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      DERP!!!!

  • I think the two most annoying gripes in all of “metal” is the collective butt-hurt against In Flames and Opeth. It is so God damn annoying.

    *readies sword*

    GL

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      In Flames was always too happy. Opeth was an amazing band at one point, before proggy poop…..

      • Interesting.

      • God

        I’m interested in your thoughts on Damnation? Its not really metal at all but I found myself loving that album probably more than anything they have released besides MAYH.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          At the time, I really thought it was a great album. I suppose I still do, it’s just missing the aggression at times. I always enjoyed their softer sections, though. And I actually saw that album (Damnation) in it’s entirety summer of 2003, with other rad softer songs. It was amazing to see To Bid You Farewell live.

          EDIT: Porcupine Tree opened up too and they were great.

          • God

            I bet. Very jealous I still haven’t got to experience them live. I hear they dabble in their back catalog a little more than you’d think.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I honestly haven’t seen them since 2003. But as far as old shit then, they only played Advent, and usually nothing from Orchid except Forest of October. But I can’t say nowadays.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            I’m gonna see them next month and will report back, but since they have the new album out I assume it will be mostly that material.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Let us know what old shit they play.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Wilco

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Wilco is playing too? WHAT KIND OF A FUCKING ROCK SHOW IS THIS?!?!?!?!!?

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Hahahaha!
            Not exactly what I meant, but take it as you will

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Oh, I should’ve just said…

            “DERP”

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            DERP always works, bro.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            derp

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            See.

          • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            U MAKE IT TO BLIND GUARDIAN LAST NIGHT????

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            YES I DID!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ
          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            We got TIME STANDS STILL!!!!

            And Nightfall, Into the Storm, Holy Grail and MAJESTY!!!

            With the other standards, 9th Wave, Bard and Mirror

          • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            IMAGINATIONS IN FULL ALSO COOL!!!!!!! MORDEDS SONG IZ THE SHIT!!!!!!!
            https://youtu.be/ID1W39r_NJw

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Soooo good. Requiem and Story Ends>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          • God

            I just recently got into a few porcupine tree songs. Looking to get into more. Which album would be a great starting point?

          • Fear of a Blank Planet and Deadwing were my gateway 🙂

          • Jack Rabbit

            Deadwing like Link said or Stupid Dream, which is less heavy and has more of a mainstream rock sound. Still really good though

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Shit, no idea. Still don’t own shit by them, hahaha. Sorry Godbro.

          • God

            s’all good Mr. Shit. Just another band to add to my ever growing list of bands that have slipped off my radar.

          • Eliza

            Lightbulb Sun was the one that made me love PT.

          • Lone Biker of the Apocalypse

            When I saw them in Cleveland it was the same thing, but with Opeth opening since it was a co-headlining tour. Still one of the best shows I think I’ve seen.

      • Dave Vincent’s Perm

        Happy music makes me angry.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Dude.

    • tigeraid

      I like Sounds of a Playground Fading. FIGHT ME.

      • Dude, top notch album. I am on your side, lol.

      • Whoracle>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Everything In Flames has done.

        • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          JESTER RACE & CLAYMAN ALSO GOOD!!!!! COME CLARITY VERY GOOD IS GORAK UNPOPULAR OPINION!!!!!!!

          • I dig some tunes of Come Clarity. The Jester Race and Colony are my other choices, but overall I always go with Whoracle.

    • I don’t like Opeth but they’re very, very skilled at what they do. But In Flames has been hot garbage for way longer than they were ever good.

      • God

        🙁

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          You see what you did Joe? You made God sad

          • GOOD.

          • God

            Goodness I missed all you fuckers.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Derp.

          • Where the hell did you go anyway? I mean, Venezuela has internet and that place is fucked. So, it had to be worse than that.

          • God

            Just a bunch of bullshit I’m trying to get under control and all. you know, being the most high isnt exactly stress free.

            In all seriousness and lifting the veil on my persona here, been struggling a lot the past year with anxiety, intense and way too frequent panic attacks, and depression. If Im not at work, Im at home trying to ignore the sense of impending dread. Bless my wifes heart for being my rock in all this. I may not be here without her. Just trying to better myself and make myself happy by doing things I know used to bring me joy. Like coming to this awesome place!

          • Howard Dean

            Even God gets anxiety. Ain’t that a B.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Sorry to hear about your situation man, I hope everything gets better for you.

          • God

            Thanks man, I appreciate it.

          • Bro. I made a quick comment trying to be hilarious, without reading the whole thing and just the first lines. Sorry.

            Hugs for you, I know what it’s like to be about with anxiety attacks and it’s one of the worst feelings ever. I hope your stay over here calm you a little and help you in some way.

            If you need help, just ask me around. I will always be there for you 🙂

          • God

            Thanks Link!

          • You’re mostly welcome.

            I lived with anxieties nearly all my life and never went to psychologists, I just eased the panic calming down myself and hanging out with cool people 🙂

            I wish you the best, man!

          • Hang in there bud. We are always here if you need to chat about something. Glad you are doing OK.

            GL

          • Also, on a lighter note, since we now know you and the misses are expecting, should we completely prepare for the second coming of Jesus? If so, I got some things I need to do first.

            /thx

            GL

          • God

            start preparing. second coming is sometime in March!

          • TOVH INSIDE SCOOP: “JESUS TO RETURN IN MARCH”

          • Hey we’re always here for you man, here or on FB.

          • God

            I need to get back into the facebook group. is it still closed or can I just search for it?

          • It’s still closed, but it’s permalinked at the very top of the blog here.

      • 🙁

        *sheathes sword*

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          You see what you did Joe? You made GL sad

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            GOOD.

          • Sad dad is sad about sad comment about said sad dad, which is quite sad, really.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            All I got out of this was sad.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            You sad dad bastard.

      • more beer

        I knew I couldn’t be the only one here who doesn’t like this band.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    The last album I owned is Watershed. That being said ranking Orchid so low is a bummer. It has their best track ever, The Apostle in Triumph.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Orchid is a really awesome starting point and I appreciate that album a lot, but I think they got better with the next few.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Yeah, by My Arms, Still Life, and Park they were untouchable.

  • Jason Kolkey

    Your rankings are very different from mine, with the important exception of My Arms Your Hearse, but I’m totally with you on appreciating all phases of Opeth.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      I can understand why people don’t like it all, but each phase is special in its own right.

      • Jason Kolkey

        Now I’m thinking about it, and I think mine would go like this:

        1. My Arms Your Hearse
        2. Still Life
        3. Blackwater Park
        4. Damnation
        5. Ghost Reveries
        6. Watershed
        7. Orchid
        8. Morningrise
        9. Deliverance
        10. Pale Communion
        11. Heritage

        With the caveat, again, that I dig nearly all of the catalog to varying degrees. And while Deliverance is the lowest of the heavy albums when I think of it in an analytical way, I absolutely love that album for the first three songs – it just falls off a bit on the back end. Basically, I really, really like Opeth.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          I can dig your list, except 10 and 11 haha 😉

        • Howard Dean

          My list:

          1. (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)
          2. Skynyrd’s First and… Last
          3. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Gold & Platinum
          4. Skynyrd’s Innyrds
          5. Lynyrd Skynyrd (Box Set)
          6. The Essential Lynyrd Skynyrd
          7. What’s Your Name
          8. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Old Time Greats
          9. Skynyrd’s First: The Complete Muscle Shoals Album
          10. Lynyrd Skynyrd: The Collection
          11. FUCKING PLAY FREE BIRD GODDAMNIT!! FUCK! I PAID GOOD MONEY TO HEAR YOU PLAY FUCKING FREE BIRD. FUCKING PLAY IT! ENDLESS BIRD, MOTHERFUCKER! WON’T YOU FLY?! FREE BIRD!

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Uh, Second Helping?!?!?!?

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Not enough FREE BIRD

          • Howard Dean

            Whoa, did we post that shit at the same time?! Righteous. Spooky stuff, Beargod.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            You know what they say – Great minds and greater phalloses.

          • Howard Dean

            NOT ENOUGH FREE BIRD ON IT

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Point taken

          • more beer

            Did you get transported back to 1976? Or are you possessed by JJD?

          • Howard Dean

            I think I was channeling the spirits of the Van Zants for a moment.

          • more beer

            Hahaha!

  • Orchid, Morningrise, My Arms, Your Hearse & Still Life are the only albums I need by this band. Morningrise is probably my all time favorite though, followed by Still Life. Morningrise is just one of the most beautifully grim sounding albums of all time. Majestic!

    Rad write up dude, I don’t think I could have done this.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Black Rose Immortal! Fuck!

      • Dude, what’s frustrating is that no one will be able to write a metal song that exceptional ever again.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Dude, you’re so on point with that. They wrote shit that would take me 10 years to right and be content with. It’s insane.

          • It truly is remarkable when you think about it. 4 classic albums in 4 years, including Black Rose Immortal!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, just dumb.

          • xengineofdeathx

            They pretty much went on a Metallica or Death like Run. Only a few bands in metal have ever done that with their first 4.

          • Good point!

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Absolutely amazing track!

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Thanks dude!

      • God

        Beautiful. What a great album and I bet it sounds amazing on vinyl.

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Want!

      • Eliza

        Must so awesome to have it.

      • PostBlackenedWhaleGaze

        A friend of mine got me Morningrise on vinyl a couple years back. I had it on display on top of my record player for so long. That album is near perfect. Opeth were the metal minstrels on that album. Like Wishbone Ash and Uriah Heap if they were evil wizards.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          “Like Wishbone Ash and Uriah Heap if they were evil wizards.” Poetry!

        • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

          Heep and Wishbone Ash are so good.

  • nbm02ss

    My Arms, Your Hearse would be my #1 as well. It’s the only Opeth album I own, though.

  • tigeraid

    So much good. Blackwater Park is a masterpiece.

  • Howard Dean

    Granted, I haven’t listened to Orchid in a few years. But “Wishbone Ash, Black Sabbath and Bathory”?? I think the motherfucker was high when he said that.

  • Stanley

    “The order is subject to change at any given time”.

    Yes. I want to see Still Life at #1 by this time next week.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      I knew I was going to get shit for that! I’m waiting for MoshOff to really tell me off

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Also, I’d like to take this moment to ask you MY HEARSE AT #1 WHAT THE FUCK MAN?

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Uhhh… I like that album a lot.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          That doesn’t surprise me. It’s a killer record.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Man, it’s, like, my least favorite “old” Opeth album.
            Y’all wrong, WRONG I TELLS YOU

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            What’s your favorite?

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Still Life & Morningrise on a shared podium.

          • WOO!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Hard to argue with that too.

      • Mosh Hoff

        YOU’RE DAMN STRAIGHT MISTER.

        AND FINISH YOUR BRUSSEL SPROUTS.

      • Mosh Hoff

        Still Life and Damnation are tied for me, those two albums are flawless.

        And I respectfully do not agree about BP, very overrated album.

        • Blackwater Park goes there and just miss in the woods, man. I do not understand the fixation with that album besides the first two songs.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Because that album is fucking rad!

          • I don’t know, I press play in that album and fall asleep in the third song onwards, jajajaja!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            You fall asleep on Harvest?!?!?! You son of a bitch!

          • Harvest is amazebro

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Bro.

          • Mosh Hoff

            True, but in general I get the feeling it’s a (black)watered down version of Still Life.

          • Mosh Hoff

            Link knows.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            I like BP a lot, and it seems to me that it was their first as a prog metal band instead of a death(/prog) metal band.
            But likewise I’ve never quite got why it’s held in such awe as opposed to MA,YH or SL. Or even Damnation.
            But then, Ghost Reveries seems to have become almost universally loved and I don’t get that either.

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            That’s a paddlin’

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          It is interesting to see how much love Damnation gets here, wasn’t expected

          • Is a good!

            – Bear & Link (2016).

          • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            GORAK AGREE!!!!!

          • Eliza

            Anyone can appreciate the masterful compositions from Damnation, even if someone’s more into the heavier side of Opeth.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    HERETIC! BURN THE WITCH!
    Still Life or GTFO!

  • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    STILL LIFE & GHOST REVERIES UNFUCKWITHABLE & UNSMASHABLE!!!!!!!!!!! ME NOT DIG DAD ROCK STARBUCKSCORE OPETH!!!!!!!!!

  • God

    Damnation probably gets the most rotation out of all the Opeth albums for me. If I’m ever on a late night drive, that album, anything by Katatonia, and Anathema are 90% of what I’m listening too during a somber trip through the twilight hours of the day.

  • atchdav

    I saw them live during the Heritage tour and shouted for Black Rose Immortal between songs until Åkerfeldt said that the current lineup doesn’t know any of the older material (I think he’s the only original member of the band now). This disconnection from the bands earlier, heavier material and Åkerfeldt’s prog leanings probably explains the present slOpeth iteration of the band.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Wow, that sucks!!

    • Howard Dean

      After he said that the band doesn’t know the old stuff and that they wouldn’t be playing any of it, I would’ve started yelling “Free Bird” every 30 seconds until Akerfeldt and I got into a fistfight.

    • Jason Kolkey

      Oh, you’re the guy at every show who annoys the shit out of me by yelling about a song you know perfectly well is not on the set list – and in this case is over 20 fucking minutes long. Nice to see you.

      • Howard Dean

        PLAY DOPESMOKER! AND PLAY FUCKING FREE BIRD! FUCK, YOUR BAND SUCKS! BOOOOOOOOO!!

      • atchdav

        I normally keep my mouth shut but I was pretty disappointed with how mellow the setlist was. I knew that Åkerfeldt had ascended into the progsphere and expected mostly newer material but I had hoped he’d throw a few bones to the fans who’d stuck with the band over the years.

    • Eliza

      An Opeth and Katatonia concert. That’s beautiful.

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™

      I saw them last year, I didn’t mind the set list at all
      http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/opeth/2015/enmore-theatre-sydney-australia-1bc831dc.html

  • W.

    I like everything Opeth did up until Heritage. I still kind of liked Heritage but got bored after a few listens. Pale Communion put me to sleep. I’m fine with Mikey doing what he wants, but that thing he’s doing now ain’t for me. I’ll just still with My Arms, Blackwater Park, and Watershed (with occasional listenings of the other stuff).

    • Eliza

      Same here, except that I also love Ghost Reveries.

  • Jack Rabbit

    Agree with your top two. Those are both, imo, perfectly crafted albums. Blackwater Park was my first extreme metal album, and I honestly think it remains my favorite album of all time.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Right on!

  • Man, it’s been YEARS since I haven’t spinned Morningrise and My Arms. I always stay at Still Life and Ghost Reveries (Which have my favorite Opeth song, Ghost of Perdition).

    Great writing, I enjoyed it very much! Opeth is a very difficult band to analyze 🙂

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Always thought Ghost of Perdition was so boring. Weird.

      • Jack Rabbit

        I think its a good song, but Baying of the Hounds and Harlequin Forest overshadow it

      • Well, in your defense the album is a very hit and miss. I used to love it, but final listenings of Ghost Reveries put me in a boring mood.

        I think it is because Still Life growed in me more than that one.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        It was one of the first Opeth songs I really, really liked. But personally the whole GR has gone through a huge inflation for me.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Thanks Link! This was a lot of fun, wayyy better than the Behemoth dive

  • years ago I got ahold of special editions of Ghost Reveries and Watershed, which include a bonus DVD with its respective album mixed in DTS-MA and Dolby Digital. It’s str8 fire, friendos!
    So it’s not quite vinyl, but it sounds breathtaking in 5.1 channels with a good sub

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      That sounds like an excellent time, next time I’m in your neck of the woods I’m bringing my 5.1 2112 and we will jam all 3!!!

      • Wowowow! Rush mah man!

        • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          RUSH COME TOILETTO ONCE!!!!! GORAK WENT!!!!
          https://youtu.be/vc9X9b3PI7A

          • You like Rush too….it’s like we’re the same person

          • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            RUSH ROCKS ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I also love Akerfeldt clean vocals. I also don’t love when he’s a pretentious asshole, jajajaja.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mGUPcXrqz0

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      His voice is really superb, sucks he is pretentious at times

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Pretentious or not, you write a song that good, bro.

      • Mosh Hoff

        See this is why I can’t get 100% behind their new direction. It’s not that it doesn’t have growls/screams, it’s that the songs are far from being as breathtaking and hair-raising as they used to.

        • I think it is called getting old. Some things just do not tickle your fancy the same way they once did…

          • Mosh Hoff

            “Humbug, these kids and their memorable songs!”

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          You nailed it, bro.

          • Mosh Hoff

            I’ve listened to Still Life more times than I care to count and I still (heh) get chills every time I hear this song and a lot of other sections.

            I listen to the newest albums and, while interesting to me musicwise, I just don’t really feel anything else.

            RIP Lopeth

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, I totally agree. Which does make a lot of sense, because proggy shit can be pretty soulless.

          • Mosh Hoff

            Rush being the notable exception.

    • Probably my favorite off of Still life.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl2BRe_BYtY

    • Jason Kolkey

      I’ve always found him to be dryly humorous and self-deprecating.

      • Ted Nü-Djent ™

        Same. A fairly affable chap if there ever was one

    • Stanley

      Best riff on the album, Face Of Melinda 4:38. Boosh.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    From the last album I own. Such a killer track.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orwgEEaJln0

    • Waynecro

      They did a pretty sweet cover of “Would?” by Alice in Chains as a single when this album came out.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TefH4QuCVqA

      • Hell yeah, also “Circle of Tyrants” and my favorite “Remember Tomorrow” by Maiden!!

      • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        NEVER HEARD BEFORE!!!!! THANX MR PREZ!!!!!!!

      • Eliza

        I didn’t know of the existence of this cover, it’s good.

      • Ted Nü-Djent ™

        I LOVE their cover of Soldier of Fortune

        https://youtu.be/y2a6LyIYYok

      • wut?

  • Hubert

    Ghost Reveries is actually one of my favorites from them just because it’s a bit weird. I also really like Heritage while I didn’t care for Pale Communion.

    • cxj

      Ghost Reveries has it all, thus it’s their most complete.

  • Mosh Hoff

    For the h*ck of it, not that anyone cares:

    1 Still Life
    2 Damnation
    3 Ghost Reveries
    4 Deliverance
    5 My Arms
    6 Blackwater
    7 Watershed

    The first two I need to revisit because I haven’t in a long time, and the last two I don’t think should be ranked alongside the rest.

  • Bossthe, I loved reading this (as I do all your Discography Diving with Da boss features)!
    Unpopular opinion time:
    Deliverance >>>>>>>. Few Opeth moments can top the several minute outtro of the title track. Master’s Apprentices features some of their fastest riffing. And Fair Judgement is just pure beauty with a cool doomy second half.

    • Eliza

      I agree, Deliverance is amazing, but so is most of Opeth’s discography. It’s impossible to pick a favourite album of theirs for me.

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        But you must!!

        • Eliza

          If I had to choose, I’d go for Blackwater Park.

          • Waynecro

            Nice! Blackwater Park is my favorite as well (“The Funeral Portrait”!!!), though Still Life is a close second. But, goddamn, do I love “Demon of the Fall” from My Arms, Your Hearse.

          • Eliza

            Good choices. What do you think of Ghost Reveries?

          • Waynecro

            I like Ghost Reveries a lot. It’s pretty heavy, and it has a ton of great riffs and melodies. I still get the feels from the opening of Hours of Wealth and Isolation Years. Some of the songs are a bit repetitive, though.

          • Eliza

            ReverieHarlequin Forest is the highlight of GR for me, but I like all of it obviously.

          • Waynecro

            Dude, totally! That song jams hard!

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      It has really good moments, but at the time wasn’t clicking with me as a whole.

      • purr-fectly understandable. there’s always got to be a least favorite, even among several excellent choices. the Monica to their Friends, if you will.

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          I don’t understand that reference, but okay

          • Just meaning if all the items are awesome, still gotta pick a least awesome!

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            I got the sentiment, but you lost me at Monica

            Its like ranking Clutch albums, i hate putting one at the bottom

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Yeah me too, I can never decide which Clutch album really deserves that bottom point.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Not even mad.

          • Scrimm

            All of them

          • BYAH!

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Aw man 🙁

          • Scrimm is a braver man than I am.

          • Scrimm

            I can’t hold em in forever!!

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            🙁

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            I’m sayin’

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            Clutch fan here. They have albums that I don’t listen to much. I think their later material is their best work tbh

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            TED>>>>>>

            Clutch’s discography is constantly in rotation for me, I find each album compelling in its own right. I would hate to think they reached their peak already so anytime someone says their newest material is their best I won’t argue.

        • W.

          Friends is terrible. Shame on you, Jimmy.

          • ME GORAK™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            UPVOTED
            ALSO MONICA TOTALLY BANGABLE!!!!!!

          • …or I’m aiming for laughs, which is the case here

    • Howard Dean
    • Mosh Hoff

      CHUN-CHUN-CHUN-CHUN
      CHUN-CHUN-CHUN-CHUN-CHUN
      CHUN-CHUN-CHUN-CHUN
      CHUNNN-CHUN-CHUN-CHUN-CHUN-CHUN
      C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-CHUNNN
      CHUNNN-CH-CH-CHUNNN-CH-CH-CHUNNN-CH-CH-CHUNNN-CH-CH-CHUNNN-CH-CH-CHUNNN-CH-CH-CHUNNN-CH-CH-CHUN-CH-CH-CHUN

      • Spanish rhythmic transcription is hilarious.

        • Mosh Hoff

          That involved more counting than I was anticipating.

      • *piano in background”

  • Eliza

    Based on my personal preference, I categorise Opeth albums: There are the three holy trinities, the first one being compromised out of Orchid, Moriningrise and My Arms, Your Hearse. The second one is Blackwater Park, Ghost Reveries and Still Life. The last trinity is made out of Watershed, Deliverance and Damnation. Then there are Heritage and Pale Communion, which I like ok. I can’t wait to see what Sorceress is going to be like.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      An apt description!

      • Eliza

        From the point of view of a total fangirl, yes.

    • All 3 songs of Sorceress released so far are not of my taste.

      I even had to argue with a guy on Twitter which was trying to ditch me because I didn’t liked those songs! 🙁

      • Was it Chris Barnes?

      • Eliza

        I only really love Will O The Wisp, because it has a strong Damnation vibe going on. The other two songs are fine, but I find them a bit weird compared to Opeth’s sound throughout the years. I’m guessing the album will have a wider variety than the last two, so I’ll probably like it better.

  • Scrimm

    I can describe Opeth’s entire discography with one word. Good read Boss!

  • You’ll are gonna break the comments section today.

    • Good! It’s been a while. (Staind reference for Scrimm there)

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      I’m glad this one is getting the chats rolling!

  • JWEG

    All of my possible picks for a longish metal discog dive seem like bands you’ll know too well.

    Maybe I’ll suggest something totally not metal instead. Next time, though. I don’t have access to all my collection to pick from now.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Throw some names at me, you never can tell! I slack sometimes

      • Eliza

        It’d be cool if you wrote one these posts on Tiamat one day.

        • I upvote this. That’s a band I always forget to listen.

          Listened Wildhoney a huge while ago and forgot about them.

          • Eliza

            I listened to Wildhoney too, and I liked it. I’m planning to listen to more from them, but I don’t have time to listen to anything these days.

      • Paradise Lost!

        • Eliza

          I’d love to see this too.

        • Ted Nü-Djent ™

          Good choice. Healthy and varied discog that would make for a good read

      • Airbourne

      • VAN HALEN

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          A man after Scrimm’s heart!

      • JWEG

        How about Wuthering Heights?

        • Señor Jefe El Rosa

          Never read that one

          • JWEG

            If i was going to start a TovH book club that’s not where I’d start TBH.

            Seems only the last album is on bandcamp:
            https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/salt

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Haha, I couldn’t resist 😉

            I’ll keep them in mind!

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            I still hold out hope for a Hammers Of Misfortune discog dive. Or maybe Enforcer

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            Only time will tell!

          • Ted Nü-Djent ™

            Don’t tease me!

      • JWEG

        If you’re in the mood for folk metal you could do one of my gateway bands through that subgenre, and the only ones I’ve mostly stuck with (that didn’t split up like Eluveitie):

        – Tyr
        – Manegarm
        – Arkona

        Obviously on the last one I mean the Russian female fronted one, not the Russian neonazi one.

        Or the Polish neonazi one…

        • Ohhh, Boss maybe like Týr.

          • Señor Jefe El Rosa

            I like the few Tyr songs I’ve heard

  • 1. I
    2. Never
    3. Really
    4. Got
    5. Into
    6. Them
    7. TBH
    8. Fam

    • Eliza

      How could you??? At least you like Neurosis now, that’s something.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I did give them a chance. Listened to every full length they released up to and including Watershed, but it either didn’t click with my sensibilities at the time or didn’t resonate with me enough to want to listen to it very much.

        • Eliza

          I tend to be understanding in cases like this, but I can’t help overreacting because I’m such a huge fan of Opeth. Anyways, as always, it’s totally fine if you don’t like them.

          • I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me one day :'(

            For what it’s worth, I did like Blackwater Park well enough when I listened to it. I might give them another shot some time when the mood and surroundings are right.

          • Eliza

            Don’t worry, for I have already forgiven you. Things like this do not matter that much.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      1. You
      2. Stupid
      3. God
      4. Damn
      5. Son
      6. of
      7. a
      8. Bitch

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    Awesome article Boss! And your pretty spot-on with my own opinion(s) about most of the band’s discography. I disagree on Ghost Reveries though, I like it more than Watershed and certainly would’ve ranked it higher than 10th place. Maybe it’s because I have a lot of memories tied to the album when it was released, it was quite an interesting and fun period of time in my life haha.

    My top 5 favorite Opeth albums:
    _1. My Arms, Your Hearse
    _2. Blackwater Park
    _3. Morningrise
    _4. Damnation
    _5. Ghost Reveries

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      That’s an interesting take on it! Due to the nature of my dive I just binged Opeth for the past month, so I really have no life connection to any specific album. However, I do really enjoy learning which albums people connect with.

    • Eliza

      Ghost Reveries was the first Opeth album I’ve ever listened to, so I have done memories of it too. Good ranking.

  • Waynecro

    Thanks for this killer article, Boss. Fantastic work! Opeth used to be one of my favorite bands.

    • Eliza

      What happened? 🙁

      • Waynecro

        Heritage, Pale Communion, and Sorceress.

        • Eliza

          Sorceress has not happened yet, and I hope form the bottom of my heart that it will be good.

          • Waynecro

            I managed to hear the entire album recently. I really, really wanted to like it, but I totally did not.

          • Eliza

            Since I only really like one of the singles from the album, I’m not going to be surprised if I don’t enjoy all of it, but I hope I’ll like at least half of it.

          • Waynecro

            I certainly hope you enjoy it more than I did. I actually struggled to get through most of it.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Thank you Mr. President!

  • xengineofdeathx

    Have a special place in My heart for MAYH. The Leads, and acoustic passages mesh the best to me with the heavier stuff out of any Opeth album. But don’t get me wrong, I love everything they’ve done.

  • sweetooth0

    The last time I saw Opeth was when they toured with Mastodon and Ghost. Me and my bro left part way through the set because they were boring as fuck and we ran out of beer money. The old death metal stuff is solid though, but they don’t play any of it anymore, which is super lame.

    • Stanley

      The first time that I saw Opeth was at the Mean Fiddler in London in 2003. My wife fell asleep in the bar on one of the benches. As she still had beer money left, she must have thought they were boring as fuck.

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™

      I saw them last year and it was predominantly older material

  • Coolstorybro

    Ghost Reveries that low? Heresy, good sir.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      It just stuck out kinda weird to me, I’m going to spend more time with this discography and I’m sure the order will change more than once

  • Cockypock Aioli

    omg I had to comment because it hurts how wrong most of you are. You guys have inferior opinions regarding Opeth. It hurts.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      As I stated this is a highly opinionated article, I am by no means saying anything here is definitive. I do appreciate your input though so please feel free to discuss!

      Thanks for reading!

      • Cockypock Aioli

        hehe just havin’ a little fun. Anything other than love and devotion to Opeth is “inferior” to me.

  • Guppusmaximus

    When you dive in, make sure you don’t land on that bed from ‘Deliverance’. It looks fairly old and will probably break under the pressure.

  • The Mighty Thorange

    Great article dude! Opeth have been one of my favourite bands for a long time now. Best albums for me are Blackwater Park and Watershed, and for the record, I fucking love their new stuff but that’s probably because I love old 70’s prog. I totally understand why others can’t get into their newer stuff though.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Thanks for the support!.

      I am in agreement with your new stuff assessment.