Opeth Albums Ranked

Opeth is a Swedish progressive metal/rock band from Stockholm, formed in 1989. The group has been through several personnel changes, including the replacement of every single original member. Lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Mikael Åkerfeldt has remained Opeth’s primary driving force since the departure of original vocalist David Isberg in 1992. Opeth has consistently incorporated progressive, folk, blues, classical, and jazz influences into its usually lengthy compositions, as well as strong influences from death metal, especially in their early works. Many songs include acoustic guitar passages and strong dynamic shifts, as well as death growls. Opeth is also well known for their incorporation of Mellotrons in their work. The band rarely made live appearances supporting their first four albums, but since conducting their first world tour after the 2001 release of Blackwater Park, they have led several major world tours. Here are all of Opeth’s albums ranked.

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10. My Arms, Your Hearse (1998)

Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse #2 [Remake] by StygianSaviour on DeviantArt

“My Arms, Your Hearse was a major turning point in Opeth’s career – after the gigs supporting Morningrise half of the original recording line-up departed or were fired, and Mikael Åkerfeldt grew tired of their early sound and composition style, which resulted in a new band with a new approach.”

9. Deliverance (2002)

Deliverance | Opeth CD | EMP

“While containing a fair amount of soft parts, “Deliverance” can be considered, together with the first three Opeth records, one of the most “metal” albums released by the band. The songs are extremely heavy and, at times, decently fast, with the guitar work obviously assuming the main role, always accompanied by the powerful drumming, courtesy of the admirable Martin Lopez.”

8. Pale Communion (2014)

Opeth – Pale Communion (2014, Silver, Vinyl) - Discogs

“Pale Communion was New-Opeth’s second pure prog release, and for me it was a definite improvement over Heritage. While Heritage may have flowed better as an overall album, Pale Communion is simply much stronger on a song-by-song basis. ‘Eternal Rains Will Come’ is a really good opener, ‘Moon Above, Sun Below’ is a nice prog epic, and the closer ‘Faith in Others’ is easily one of my favorite songs from the new-Opeth era.”

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7. Morningrise (1996)

Opeth – Morningrise (CD) - Discogs

“Opeth may have not written any hits and perhaps they never will but their song-writing and composing qualities cannot be questioned. The amazing blending of acoustic parts into progressive death metal songs is commendable, as is their approach of complex but somehow easily intelligible and quite easily memorable music. Of course, you won’t whistle their riffs but it’s not the point anyway. This is not complex for the sake of being complicated. The complexity allows them to explore these lots of themes they come up with.”

6. Heritage (2011)

Heritage (Special Edition) - Album by Opeth | Spotify

“Production is warm. No quantization, no re-amping, no compression wall, no triggering. Nice solid analog live takes that you can hear the musicians behind, flaw and all. An album with tons of personality when a sea of bands over digitalize and copy & paste to make perfect sounding, soulless, music. This album is equal parts music as it is a statement about where metal is today.”

5. Watershed (2008)

Disco de Opeth - «Watershed [Vinyl]»

“The more often I listen to Watershed, the more I appreciate the distinctive shift in Opeth’s music. Sure, there are fewer death and growled parts but slower prog, but the tracks show much more diversity, richness, and detail in ideas and styles at the same time. The whole vibration is more vivid and fleet-flooded. Like a fish in water, that used to swim in honey all the time before. I’m very curious about Opeth’s movement in the future, it’s quite promising I think. The new musicians do very well in that respect as well, especially Martin Axenrot’s drumming is – I know I’m maybe alone with that opinion – a real improvement, but the guitar has improved as well, both in the same direction as the whole thing, into more flexibility and diversity.”

4. Still Life (1999)

Benighted (Remastered) by Opeth on Amazon Music - Amazon.com

“Opeth is not a band; Opeth is not a country; Opeth is a continent, vast, dark and mysterious. There are witches in the woods and wolves roam the desolate wastes, but there are also majestic peaks and decadent palaces, chapels on fire and bloody rebellions. The riffs here are stellar and immediately recognizable as Still Life riffs, though I’m not quite sure how – they just feel different to, say Blackwater Park’s or Deliverance’s. There’s also a lot of acoustic guitar (their best acoustic sections of any album, I think), and the clean vocals are often multi-layered and breathy/dreamy sounding – more so than before or since. The album flies by in a sumptuous orgy of sound. Sometimes I lose my place, but it’s always enjoyable.”

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3. Ghost Reveries (2005)

OPETH | Ghost reveries - Nuclear Blast

“Opeth add keyboards/organ to great effect with this album, although they’re not really an overbearing presence. More great songwriting with very clean production and precise playing. I almost feel it could do with being a bit dirtier sounding, but it doesn’t really need to be. The sprawling, sorrowful, marsh-drowned compositions here create a sensation of epicness which few other bands can match, and the notes alone convey such loss and dread that as pristine as the recording sounds it doesn’t mar the menace. How they manage to conjure up such almost-random, dissonant, and thoroughly compelling riffs is an endless mystery. It doesn’t seem to matter what notes they choose – it always ends up awesome.”

2. Damnation (2003)

Opeth - Damnation Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius

“One of their best albums, where the heaviness is replaced by atmosphere, thus adding more emotion to the music. Everything sounds impeccable, from the great clean vocals to the melancholic guitar lines, the jazzy drums and the keyboards and mellotron, and it doesn’t get boring (as tend to be some of their metal albums).”

1. Blackwater Park (2001)

Opeth – Blackwater Park [Front Cover] | Progressive Music Planet

“Great listen. Opeth are a progressive death metal band which is known for mixing their songs between hard deathly passages with more acoustic and melodic ones, but the results are so great it is only possible to get it by listening to the album. Here is the album where i feel that they handle these passages the best, the album despite being long doesn’t feel like it drags since the band is constantly evolving their melodies and alternating between these two passages, but on the other hand the songs feel very well developed. The first half of the album is simply great, the riffing is amazing, the clean singing great, the harsh vocals awesome and the progressions are great.”