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October 12th, 2011 NATHAN CARSON | Music Stories
 

Primer: Opeth

music.primer.opeth_3749OPETH - IMAGE: opeth.com
     
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Formed: In 1990 in Stockholm.

Sounds like: Swedish death metal from the ’90s having a fireside chat with progressive rock from the ’70s.

For fans of: Morbid Angel, King Crimson, Camel, Metallica, Tool, Pink Floyd. 

Why you care: Short of Tool and Metallica, Sweden’s Opeth represents the most successful marriage of extreme metal and progressive rock to date. The band cut its fangs as a studio group, making five critically acclaimed albums and rarely setting foot on stage until 2001 album Blackwater Park was released and the band began a series of world tours. Frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt led his group through a stiff and awkward phase, keeping audiences charmed with his witty stage banter and nerdy acumen. Now, after hundreds of shows (and a few lineup changes) he fronts a premier live act. Opeth keeps pace with Rush and Led Zeppelin as a concert experience. And while loving Opeth has traditionally meant coming to terms with the dichotomy of vocal styles that Åkerfeldt employs—alternately using extreme death-metal growls and winsome folk balladry—latest album Heritage finds the band dropping its metal trappings to create a purely progressive rock experience. Metal fans need not fear, though. Opeth has tried this before and always comes roaring back with a vengeance. There’s something for everyone at this show, but there’s a special something for the stoned, young hand-holding couples from Gresham who know every word to every song.


SEE IT: Opeth plays the Roseland Theater on Sunday, Oct. 16, with Katatonia. 8 pm. $23.50. All ages.

 
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