Opeth

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Here's the set list from earlier this month in Amsterdam. Which of these tracks would you like to see performed... http://t.co/XiORaEEafc


At a Glance

Formed: 1990 (24 years ago)


Biography

In a metal scene glutted with traditionalists and bandwagon jumpers, Opeth continue to create epic, iconoclastic music, inventing the rules as they go along. From the jazz-inflected rhythms and acoustic embellishments of their 1994 debut, Orchid, to the Middle Eastern flavors and stoner metal riffs of 2001's Blackwater Park, these Swedes continue to venture where others couldn't fathom and have returned with a treasure trove of songs for their new effort, Ghost Reveries, that makes most so-called sonic adventurists seem positively one-dimensional.

Critics and fans alike are effusive about ... Read more

In a metal scene glutted with traditionalists and bandwagon jumpers, Opeth continue to create epic, iconoclastic music, inventing the rules as they go along. From the jazz-inflected rhythms and acoustic embellishments of their 1994 debut, Orchid, to the Middle Eastern flavors and stoner metal riffs of 2001's Blackwater Park, these Swedes continue to venture where others couldn't fathom and have returned with a treasure trove of songs for their new effort, Ghost Reveries, that makes most so-called sonic adventurists seem positively one-dimensional.

Critics and fans alike are effusive about the band's vital contribution to the world of rock. “Opeth continually expands the definition of what metal can be,” says Rolling Stone. Alternative Press states “Opeth has swelling appeal – and greatness,” with the Village Voice (NY) adding “Opeth carry prog atmosphere to epic extremes…most every song drags you through 10 minutes of melancholy more magnificent than the Swans or Joy Division.” With journalists making comparisons to bands from Pink Floyd to The Mars Volta, it is easy to see why Opeth command such a diverse audience.

With their 2002 and 2003 companion discs, the dizzying, dense Deliverance and the haunting Damnation, Opeth seemed to have taken their sound to its utmost limits. But with their eighth album, Ghost Reveries, the band managed to push its dynamic music even further, fluidly mingling elements of death and black metal with folk, goth, classical and jazz touches.

“We want every album to sound different than the last one, so wanted to explore all sorts of new avenues this time,” says frontman Mikael Akerfeldt. “I think it's ridiculous to try to attach a genre to our music, and we've gradually built our sound to the point that we can do whatever we want. The fans I want to have are the fans that are interested in music. It doesn't really matter what specific style they prefer.”

A stellar marriage of style and substance, Ghost Reveries is a sonic journey that showcases Opeth's musicianship and songwriting through a multitude of moods, textures and complex rhythm and tempo shifts. “Ghost of Perdition” starts with a thunderous beat, caustic, angular guitars and abrasive vocal growls before shifting into a tribal passage colored with cinematic keyboards and melodic vocal harmonies. Three minutes in, the song turns acoustic and ethereal, then, following a crushing staccato riff, it seesaws for another eight minutes between gale force savagery and celestial introspection.

“Beneath The Mire” is just as epic, blending grinding riffs, ringing guitars, chiming organ, marching beats, baleful piano and galactic solos with vocals that veer from raw and bloodied to soaring and imagistic. “I didn't want to leave anything open with the arrangements of the songs. I paid attention to detail. I wanted to make it clash. I wanted it to be a bit uplifting. All the parts in the songs have a purpose they mean something, even if to get you to the next part. I made sure on the new album in the early phases of writing the songs that there is no filler. Every part, every second has a meaning to the song.”

The first single, “The Grand Conjuration,” one of the most evocative tracks on Ghost Reveries, is a feast of artistry and acrobatics that's a touch less complex than some of the other songs on the album. “It didn't start out that way,” Akerfeldt laughs. “In the beginning it was completely different and very technical. But it didn't feel right after we rehearsed it. So, I went home and scrapped the whole technical side of things and did a more down to earth, dark sounding song.”

A couple of factors contributed to the new styles of psychedelia and space metal on Ghost Reveries. First, Akerfeldt has been listening to a lot of English, German and Scandinavian music from the '60s and '70s, like Amon Duul II and Can which has inspired him to take his sound to the dark side of the moon. And, new keyboardist Per Wilberg (ex-Spiritual Beggars) helps Akerfeldt realize his vision with an arsenal of classical, gothic and supernatural sounds. Wilberg, who was hired to play with the band on its last tour, was been brought on as a full-time member for Ghost Reveries. “He plays keyboards like no one else, he's got a great voice, he can play guitar and he writes music, so I'm excited to have him,” Akerfeldt says. “Basically, I wanted him to be in the band from day one, but I was afraid to ask him because I thought he might say, no.”

As complex and experimental as Ghost Reveries is, creating the album was both rewarding and enjoyable. Akerfeldt started writing a year ago when Opeth got off tour and over the course of a few months, cemented the basic structure for the album. During the process, he and his wife had their first child, which helped keep him creatively inspired. “I was really excited about everything and it was a joy to write these songs,” he says. “Some people say some parts of this album sound very hopeful and uplifting, and maybe that's because I became a dad. It was so fucking rewarding and I discovered a love I've never felt for anyone. I think I felt like I was very selfish until I had my kid.”

Instead of heading directly into the studio to record as they had with their last five albums, Opeth got together first to rehearse and fine-tune the songs. As a result, the recording process for Ghost Reveries was both smoother and more collaborative than past efforts. “For our other records, nobody knew what the songs were like, or what the album was going to sound like until they were in there recording,” Akerfeldt says. “But this time I wanted to make it more of a band effort. We'd rehearse and everybody got to say what they thought was good and bad. And I think that really added to the tightness and cohesiveness of the music.”

In March 2005, Opeth finally entered Fascination Street studios in Orebro, Sweden to begin recording. Instead of working with Porcupine Tree member Steven Wilson, who produced the last three Opeth discs, Akerfeldt decided to self-produce and then have Jens Borgen engineer and mix. “I love Porcupine Tree and I learned so much from our time with Steven, but I think no one knows the way Opeth sounds in my head except me, so I wanted to do it myself this time,” he says.

Half of the tracks on Ghost Reveries are over 10 minutes long only the album closer, “Isolation Years,” clocks in at less than five minutes. Ironically, it's not the epic songs that Akerfeldt finds challenging. “We've been making long songs since the first album, so I find it much harder to write a short song that I like,” he says. “The longer stuff comes very naturally.”

Ghost Reveries isn't just a mindblowing spectacle, it's the sound of a band setting unreachable goals, and achieving them with grace. “There's no other band on the planet like us,” says Akerfeldt, matter-of-factly. “We love death metal, so there are some Morbid Angel parts in there, but there are also, Pink Floyd and King Crimson influences, as well as Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake. We love to surprise people...” Surprises abound on Ghost Reveries – music lovers of all varieties will find something unexpected at every musical turn.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

In a metal scene glutted with traditionalists and bandwagon jumpers, Opeth continue to create epic, iconoclastic music, inventing the rules as they go along. From the jazz-inflected rhythms and acoustic embellishments of their 1994 debut, Orchid, to the Middle Eastern flavors and stoner metal riffs of 2001's Blackwater Park, these Swedes continue to venture where others couldn't fathom and have returned with a treasure trove of songs for their new effort, Ghost Reveries, that makes most so-called sonic adventurists seem positively one-dimensional.

Critics and fans alike are effusive about the band's vital contribution to the world of rock. “Opeth continually expands the definition of what metal can be,” says Rolling Stone. Alternative Press states “Opeth has swelling appeal – and greatness,” with the Village Voice (NY) adding “Opeth carry prog atmosphere to epic extremes…most every song drags you through 10 minutes of melancholy more magnificent than the Swans or Joy Division.” With journalists making comparisons to bands from Pink Floyd to The Mars Volta, it is easy to see why Opeth command such a diverse audience.

With their 2002 and 2003 companion discs, the dizzying, dense Deliverance and the haunting Damnation, Opeth seemed to have taken their sound to its utmost limits. But with their eighth album, Ghost Reveries, the band managed to push its dynamic music even further, fluidly mingling elements of death and black metal with folk, goth, classical and jazz touches.

“We want every album to sound different than the last one, so wanted to explore all sorts of new avenues this time,” says frontman Mikael Akerfeldt. “I think it's ridiculous to try to attach a genre to our music, and we've gradually built our sound to the point that we can do whatever we want. The fans I want to have are the fans that are interested in music. It doesn't really matter what specific style they prefer.”

A stellar marriage of style and substance, Ghost Reveries is a sonic journey that showcases Opeth's musicianship and songwriting through a multitude of moods, textures and complex rhythm and tempo shifts. “Ghost of Perdition” starts with a thunderous beat, caustic, angular guitars and abrasive vocal growls before shifting into a tribal passage colored with cinematic keyboards and melodic vocal harmonies. Three minutes in, the song turns acoustic and ethereal, then, following a crushing staccato riff, it seesaws for another eight minutes between gale force savagery and celestial introspection.

“Beneath The Mire” is just as epic, blending grinding riffs, ringing guitars, chiming organ, marching beats, baleful piano and galactic solos with vocals that veer from raw and bloodied to soaring and imagistic. “I didn't want to leave anything open with the arrangements of the songs. I paid attention to detail. I wanted to make it clash. I wanted it to be a bit uplifting. All the parts in the songs have a purpose they mean something, even if to get you to the next part. I made sure on the new album in the early phases of writing the songs that there is no filler. Every part, every second has a meaning to the song.”

The first single, “The Grand Conjuration,” one of the most evocative tracks on Ghost Reveries, is a feast of artistry and acrobatics that's a touch less complex than some of the other songs on the album. “It didn't start out that way,” Akerfeldt laughs. “In the beginning it was completely different and very technical. But it didn't feel right after we rehearsed it. So, I went home and scrapped the whole technical side of things and did a more down to earth, dark sounding song.”

A couple of factors contributed to the new styles of psychedelia and space metal on Ghost Reveries. First, Akerfeldt has been listening to a lot of English, German and Scandinavian music from the '60s and '70s, like Amon Duul II and Can which has inspired him to take his sound to the dark side of the moon. And, new keyboardist Per Wilberg (ex-Spiritual Beggars) helps Akerfeldt realize his vision with an arsenal of classical, gothic and supernatural sounds. Wilberg, who was hired to play with the band on its last tour, was been brought on as a full-time member for Ghost Reveries. “He plays keyboards like no one else, he's got a great voice, he can play guitar and he writes music, so I'm excited to have him,” Akerfeldt says. “Basically, I wanted him to be in the band from day one, but I was afraid to ask him because I thought he might say, no.”

As complex and experimental as Ghost Reveries is, creating the album was both rewarding and enjoyable. Akerfeldt started writing a year ago when Opeth got off tour and over the course of a few months, cemented the basic structure for the album. During the process, he and his wife had their first child, which helped keep him creatively inspired. “I was really excited about everything and it was a joy to write these songs,” he says. “Some people say some parts of this album sound very hopeful and uplifting, and maybe that's because I became a dad. It was so fucking rewarding and I discovered a love I've never felt for anyone. I think I felt like I was very selfish until I had my kid.”

Instead of heading directly into the studio to record as they had with their last five albums, Opeth got together first to rehearse and fine-tune the songs. As a result, the recording process for Ghost Reveries was both smoother and more collaborative than past efforts. “For our other records, nobody knew what the songs were like, or what the album was going to sound like until they were in there recording,” Akerfeldt says. “But this time I wanted to make it more of a band effort. We'd rehearse and everybody got to say what they thought was good and bad. And I think that really added to the tightness and cohesiveness of the music.”

In March 2005, Opeth finally entered Fascination Street studios in Orebro, Sweden to begin recording. Instead of working with Porcupine Tree member Steven Wilson, who produced the last three Opeth discs, Akerfeldt decided to self-produce and then have Jens Borgen engineer and mix. “I love Porcupine Tree and I learned so much from our time with Steven, but I think no one knows the way Opeth sounds in my head except me, so I wanted to do it myself this time,” he says.

Half of the tracks on Ghost Reveries are over 10 minutes long only the album closer, “Isolation Years,” clocks in at less than five minutes. Ironically, it's not the epic songs that Akerfeldt finds challenging. “We've been making long songs since the first album, so I find it much harder to write a short song that I like,” he says. “The longer stuff comes very naturally.”

Ghost Reveries isn't just a mindblowing spectacle, it's the sound of a band setting unreachable goals, and achieving them with grace. “There's no other band on the planet like us,” says Akerfeldt, matter-of-factly. “We love death metal, so there are some Morbid Angel parts in there, but there are also, Pink Floyd and King Crimson influences, as well as Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake. We love to surprise people...” Surprises abound on Ghost Reveries – music lovers of all varieties will find something unexpected at every musical turn.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

In a metal scene glutted with traditionalists and bandwagon jumpers, Opeth continue to create epic, iconoclastic music, inventing the rules as they go along. From the jazz-inflected rhythms and acoustic embellishments of their 1994 debut, Orchid, to the Middle Eastern flavors and stoner metal riffs of 2001's Blackwater Park, these Swedes continue to venture where others couldn't fathom and have returned with a treasure trove of songs for their new effort, Ghost Reveries, that makes most so-called sonic adventurists seem positively one-dimensional.

Critics and fans alike are effusive about the band's vital contribution to the world of rock. “Opeth continually expands the definition of what metal can be,” says Rolling Stone. Alternative Press states “Opeth has swelling appeal – and greatness,” with the Village Voice (NY) adding “Opeth carry prog atmosphere to epic extremes…most every song drags you through 10 minutes of melancholy more magnificent than the Swans or Joy Division.” With journalists making comparisons to bands from Pink Floyd to The Mars Volta, it is easy to see why Opeth command such a diverse audience.

With their 2002 and 2003 companion discs, the dizzying, dense Deliverance and the haunting Damnation, Opeth seemed to have taken their sound to its utmost limits. But with their eighth album, Ghost Reveries, the band managed to push its dynamic music even further, fluidly mingling elements of death and black metal with folk, goth, classical and jazz touches.

“We want every album to sound different than the last one, so wanted to explore all sorts of new avenues this time,” says frontman Mikael Akerfeldt. “I think it's ridiculous to try to attach a genre to our music, and we've gradually built our sound to the point that we can do whatever we want. The fans I want to have are the fans that are interested in music. It doesn't really matter what specific style they prefer.”

A stellar marriage of style and substance, Ghost Reveries is a sonic journey that showcases Opeth's musicianship and songwriting through a multitude of moods, textures and complex rhythm and tempo shifts. “Ghost of Perdition” starts with a thunderous beat, caustic, angular guitars and abrasive vocal growls before shifting into a tribal passage colored with cinematic keyboards and melodic vocal harmonies. Three minutes in, the song turns acoustic and ethereal, then, following a crushing staccato riff, it seesaws for another eight minutes between gale force savagery and celestial introspection.

“Beneath The Mire” is just as epic, blending grinding riffs, ringing guitars, chiming organ, marching beats, baleful piano and galactic solos with vocals that veer from raw and bloodied to soaring and imagistic. “I didn't want to leave anything open with the arrangements of the songs. I paid attention to detail. I wanted to make it clash. I wanted it to be a bit uplifting. All the parts in the songs have a purpose they mean something, even if to get you to the next part. I made sure on the new album in the early phases of writing the songs that there is no filler. Every part, every second has a meaning to the song.”

The first single, “The Grand Conjuration,” one of the most evocative tracks on Ghost Reveries, is a feast of artistry and acrobatics that's a touch less complex than some of the other songs on the album. “It didn't start out that way,” Akerfeldt laughs. “In the beginning it was completely different and very technical. But it didn't feel right after we rehearsed it. So, I went home and scrapped the whole technical side of things and did a more down to earth, dark sounding song.”

A couple of factors contributed to the new styles of psychedelia and space metal on Ghost Reveries. First, Akerfeldt has been listening to a lot of English, German and Scandinavian music from the '60s and '70s, like Amon Duul II and Can which has inspired him to take his sound to the dark side of the moon. And, new keyboardist Per Wilberg (ex-Spiritual Beggars) helps Akerfeldt realize his vision with an arsenal of classical, gothic and supernatural sounds. Wilberg, who was hired to play with the band on its last tour, was been brought on as a full-time member for Ghost Reveries. “He plays keyboards like no one else, he's got a great voice, he can play guitar and he writes music, so I'm excited to have him,” Akerfeldt says. “Basically, I wanted him to be in the band from day one, but I was afraid to ask him because I thought he might say, no.”

As complex and experimental as Ghost Reveries is, creating the album was both rewarding and enjoyable. Akerfeldt started writing a year ago when Opeth got off tour and over the course of a few months, cemented the basic structure for the album. During the process, he and his wife had their first child, which helped keep him creatively inspired. “I was really excited about everything and it was a joy to write these songs,” he says. “Some people say some parts of this album sound very hopeful and uplifting, and maybe that's because I became a dad. It was so fucking rewarding and I discovered a love I've never felt for anyone. I think I felt like I was very selfish until I had my kid.”

Instead of heading directly into the studio to record as they had with their last five albums, Opeth got together first to rehearse and fine-tune the songs. As a result, the recording process for Ghost Reveries was both smoother and more collaborative than past efforts. “For our other records, nobody knew what the songs were like, or what the album was going to sound like until they were in there recording,” Akerfeldt says. “But this time I wanted to make it more of a band effort. We'd rehearse and everybody got to say what they thought was good and bad. And I think that really added to the tightness and cohesiveness of the music.”

In March 2005, Opeth finally entered Fascination Street studios in Orebro, Sweden to begin recording. Instead of working with Porcupine Tree member Steven Wilson, who produced the last three Opeth discs, Akerfeldt decided to self-produce and then have Jens Borgen engineer and mix. “I love Porcupine Tree and I learned so much from our time with Steven, but I think no one knows the way Opeth sounds in my head except me, so I wanted to do it myself this time,” he says.

Half of the tracks on Ghost Reveries are over 10 minutes long only the album closer, “Isolation Years,” clocks in at less than five minutes. Ironically, it's not the epic songs that Akerfeldt finds challenging. “We've been making long songs since the first album, so I find it much harder to write a short song that I like,” he says. “The longer stuff comes very naturally.”

Ghost Reveries isn't just a mindblowing spectacle, it's the sound of a band setting unreachable goals, and achieving them with grace. “There's no other band on the planet like us,” says Akerfeldt, matter-of-factly. “We love death metal, so there are some Morbid Angel parts in there, but there are also, Pink Floyd and King Crimson influences, as well as Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake. We love to surprise people...” Surprises abound on Ghost Reveries – music lovers of all varieties will find something unexpected at every musical turn.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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