If you know me well enough, one of my favorite bands that was responsible for getting me into progressive music and it’s subgenres is the legendary OPETH. In fact, all of their albums are legendary. I’m not the greatest guitarist by any means, may be able to hold my own but know enough music theory and have seen enough bands smaller and bigger to know what’s what. The pricks that constantly bring down the band because they don’t write death metal into their ever so expansive sound anymore is extremely childish and borderline ignorant. People are acting like they tossed that sound totally away. Wanna know what’s funny? A 45 to 60 minute set can include anywhere between 6 to 8 Opeth songs and generally include 1 song from their “treacherous trio” of the last 3 albums (Heritage, Pale Communion and Sources which are FANTASTIC you elitist pricks!). Guess what? The other couple songs are generally from the days when they wrote death metal into their sound…..people are acting like they ditched that era, and frankly haven’t. Mikael’s voice may have softened, but when you’re in your 40’s switching between singing and growling it’ll hurt your voice even more. Non musicians totally don’t get that and say “they’re a pussy” and to “man up” or whatever insults they’ll throw their way. IT ISN’T EASY FOLKS. They generally end their set with MY personal favorite opeth song Deliverance, and still jam songs from Ghost Reveries and Blackwater Park as well. Crap I saw stuff from their Candlelight Records era in a random setlist post on social media somewhere with “Advent” on their set list before! In his mid 40’s, that only gets tougher to do switching vocal styles so you have to make that choice. Fans may have been happy if he continued down the road….but Opeth’s career would end short and not maybe even make it past 10 albums. I personally applause Mikael, for the longevity of his great band (technically it’s not his, he joined after it started as a bassist in the late 80’s going into the 90’s).
Another complaint perfectionists and death metal elitists have is Akerfeldt is ripping off classic progressive artists. He admitted Goblin inspired him for the instrumental track from “Pale Communion”. I think all artists do that at one point in their career, unintentionally or not it will just eventually happen there’s only so many chords and notes in the musical alphabet (words in the english language, as well). I’ll come forward and admit it…..oh well. I enjoy the last 3 albums as much as their first handful of albums (Deliverance being my favorite album, Ghost Reveries on the same level as that album introduced me to Opeth). The musicianship is top notch, and Frederik got to actually write some music for a change (knowing he was a hired hand for Arch Enemy). Akesson’s addition has made the band only stronger on lead guitar, and am admittedly a huge fan. Yes, I loved the classic lineup with Petr and Lopez (guitar and drums respectively). Can’t deny the talent and how important Akkeson and Axenrot have been filling two huge voids (remember Axe is in Bloodbath the death metal project Akerfeldt helped start and ended up leaving, while Martin is still their drummer). It’s not like Opeth started writing bad music….and as egoistic as it sounds its still true a real artist writes music FOR THEMSELVES. You don’t like the music? Tough shit, that’s what they wanted to do. Whine about it and say they won’t be there without their fans (which is true to an extent) but how boring can one be when a band or artist releases the same album over and over? Heritage, Pale Communion and Sorceress are fantastic albums. Fans think they “suck” because there’s no death metal and the band is memed more because of it. I got into Opeth because of their vast dynamics, going from progressive death metal one section then randomly cooling it down to a psychedelic or classic rock section the next moment. Do I miss it dearly? YES! Do I constantly whine everywhere about it? NO! Why, do you ask? Because they’re still writing great music, but without death metal.
I also love Watershed, another “bad juju” album considered by the death metal fanatics of the Opeth fan cult. In fact, it’s damn near perfect mixing their prog death metal sound and ever growing influence of classic progressive music. “Hessian Peel” is such a weird ass song mixed with so many sounds it’s a joyride. “Heir Apparent” is amazing as well a straight forward death metal headbanger, with some prog musical twists and turns to keep it entertaining.
So sit back and shut the fuck up. Enjoy some recent Opeth tracks below, and cool your jets noobs. Stay brutal my friends!