So we are finally done with the marvelous discography of Opeth, and it has certainly been a fantastic journey through the twists and turns of an amazing career. Despite several member changes and style changes throughout the years, there have always been two constants for the band, one being Mikael Åkerfeldt, and the second being the impressive quality that comes with every new release. No matter what direction the band has taken, it has always felt so natural to them to follow that way, to seamlessly go from black and death metal, to straight up rock. The best part about it all is that we are not nearing the end, that we have several more years of Opeth ahead of us were anything could happen, an unknown future that is very exciting to follow.
They have definitely earned the title as one of the greatest influences in the progressive metal scene, but let us now summarize this fantastic career, and take a look at the best the band has to offer.
3. Still Life
I kind of wished Opeth would do more concept records, because they are pretty damn good at it, with "Still Life" as the true evidence of that. The darkness of the concept is perfectly expressed in the album, with every melody matching the lyrics really well, creating an atmosphere that is complete magic all around. It is a great experience, and a perfect warm up to...
2. Blackwater Park
To many, "Blackwater Park" is considered to be THE Opeth record, and I can definitely see why. This album is incredibly well made from start to finish, taking what the band had done up to this point and refining it even further, very close to complete perfection. This album has everything you would expect from a band like this, crispy clear production, crushing bits that hits you harder than a punch from Tyson, and sweeping melodies that break it up perfectly. It is truly an accomplishment, but somehow, it is not the band's magnum Opeth.
1. Ghost Reveries
I fucking love this album, I really do not need to write anything else. Okay, if I must write something to explain why it is my number one, it is because of the haunting atmosphere that goes through the entire record, that bone chilling mood that is unlike anything else I have heard. Add to its some killer tracks and a band that is at the top of its game, then you get a horrific master piece that is one of the finest progressive metal records you will ever come across.
It feels so wrong to call any Opeth record as the worst, because none of them are truly bad. There were a couple of candidates, but ultimately, I ended up with the debut record. It is a nice debut, but it is very rough around the edges, and the production is dark as hell itself. It still sounds like Opeth, but it is obvious that it was at an early stage, not fully developed yet. So yeah, not a bad album by any means, but it is clearly inferior compared to its brethren.
10. Godhead's Lament
Some mighty fine acoustic work in here.
9. The Leper Affinity
A brilliant opener to a brilliant album.
My absolute favourite from the current era.
7. The Drapery Falls
The grip from the darkness is not letting me go at all.
6. The Funeral Portrait
So much groove in such a dark song, that should not be possible.
5. Demon of The Fall
That eerie ending gives me tons of chills.
God, I love that unorthodox rhythm, catchy as hell, just wont leave my brain!
3. The Grand Conjuration
Does not get much mightier than this, beefiest of Opeth beef that ever beefed.
2. Heir Apparent
Man, you never know what will hit you in this one. A close to 9 minutes of mind abuse that ends in complete bliss.
1. Ghost of Perdition
The song that got me into Opeth in the first place, and it still has not lost its charm. As close to perfection as you can get.
Best album cover
If we only went by looks, I probably would have given the win to "Sorceress", but I absolutely love that the cover of "Heritage" tells a story, and is also a statement by the band. The roots represent the band's death metal past, and the fruit of the tree is the face of each band member, with past members represented as skulls that have fallen off (so Mikael killed them?). It is a painting that has several nice details, definitely worthy of putting under a microscope to scan every inch of this beautiful master piece.
Total discography verdict
What can I really say here? None of the albums have gone under the 7 mark, never even been close to being considered as a bad record. Whenever Opeth unveils a new album, you can be sure that it contains some fantastic music.
The smooth evolution of this band has truly shown how versatile they can be, while still maintaining their own trademark sound. It makes every new album exciting, because you never truly know what you are gonna get.
Band Chemistry: 6/10
Yeah, most of us would agree that Mikael Åkerfeldt is the Lemmy Kilmister of Opeth, there would not be a band without him, yet Mikael does make sure that the other guys are an important part of the band. Too many changes over the years for my taste, otherwise it is not that bad.
Opeth may not have been first, but they are certainly one of the biggest game changers in progressive metal. The addition of death metal has definitely inspired tons of other bands, such as BTBAM, Ne Obliviscaris, Leprous, and Persefone, creating a music scene that is extremely broad and exciting.
It can be a little too confusing at times, but Opeth's lyrics are unlike any other band's, it is more like poetry really. It is all written with such beauty that it is kind of hard to imagine it fitting in a death metal setting, but it fits beautifully.
Album rating summary
My Arms, Your Hearse: 9/10
Still Life: 9,5/10
Blackwater Park: 9,5/10
Ghost Reveries: 10/10
Pale Communion: 9/10
Average rating: 8,291666666666667/10
So which band is next? Well, how about we continue to tick off the Big 4 of thrash metal. We have done Megadeth and Slayer, so that leaves two bands, and I will not reveal which of them I will do next, so you have to wait and see which of these puppets the master will choose... fuck, I spoiled it didn't I?