Death-Metal band Opeth came to life in the late '80s, in Stockholm, SWEDEN. Originally comprised of vocalist David Isberg, guitarists Mikael Åkerfeldt and Andreas Dimeo, bassist Nick Döring and drummer Anders Nordin, the band began writing, rehearsing and recording new material, but didn't manage to release any full-length album until 1995.
That year, after the band signed with the British label Candlelight Records,
Åkerfeldt took the lead vocal role and enlisted his longtime friend
Peter Lindgren to play guitar, bassist Johan De Farfalla stepped in replacing
Döring and with Nordin on drums the quartet recorded Opeth's debut
Autumn 1996 saw the group unleash a second LP titled "Morningrise", it contained their longest songs, just five of them, ranging in length from ten to twenty minutes. The tracks all take their time developing, shifting back and forth from full-on Metal sections, marked by distorted dual guitar riffs and growling vocals, to calm, jazz-influenced melodic sound with acoustic guitar-based passages and more softly sung vocals. Opeth toured in support of the album, including a stint with Cradle Of Filth.
Shortly afterwards De Farfalla and Nordin parted ways with the group. Åkerfeldt then revised the line-up of the band, adding a brand new rhythm section of Uruguayans bassist Martin Méndez and drummer Martin López. In spring 1998 Opeth put out its third album, "My Arms, Your Hearse", which was also the last release for Candlelight.
Securing a new deal with the U.K. underground label Peaceville, the band's next album, "Still Life", was released in October 1999. There the band experimented with progressive-Rock enhanced with Black-Metal.
Following their first U.S. concert and a string of live dates around Europe, the Stockholm metallers headed back in the studio to record the highly praised "Blackwater Park", with at the helm Porcupine Tree frontman Steve Wilson, whose contributions as producer lend an unprecedented fluidity to Opeth's restlessly inventive arrangements. The disc was finally released in March 2001 through Music For Nations.
Roughly a year later, the band began recording not one but two new studio albums; the original concept was to unveil both works simultaneously but label pressure would result in "Deliverance" arriving in November 2002 and "Damnation" the following April. "Deliverance" became the Opeth's first LP to chart in U.S. peaking at #19 on the Billboard's Top Independent list and "Damnation" had nudged higher to #14. Around this time the band got to perform on the same stage with Lacuna Coil all over Europe and with Porcupine Tree in North America.
Announcing in April of 2005 that touring keyboard player Per Wiberg had been enrolled as a permanent member of the band, Opeth entered the studio during May to craft a new album, "Ghost Reveries", which was issued in August 2005 on Roadrunner Records. In the U.S. the disc sold 15,000 copies in its first week of sale to debut impressively at #64 on The Billboard Top 200 chart; elsewhere, "Ghost Reveries" made its presence felt in the national sales rankings across Canada, Finland, Denmark, France, Norway, Holland, Italy and Germany. Most impressive of all was a #9 score in Sweden.
Two years López quit due to the panic attacks his medical condition
brought on. Then, Peter Lindgren left, after 16 years, due to his apprehension
at Opeth's mounting fame.
To fill the vacant seats, Åkerfeldt pulled in drummer Martin Axenrot and guitarist Fredrik Åkesson. Thus reconfigured Opeth continue the time-honored band tradition on "Watershed", their second album for Roadrunner. With this, their ninth effort, the Swedish titans continue to shake things up, turn the corner and push the limits of their sound. Opeth released the new record in June 2008.
In September 2011, the Scandinavian prog-Metal band put out its next album, "Heritage".