OPETH Albums Ranked from Less Great to Great [REVISITED]

Opeth 2019
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With the release of new album in September 2019, Opeth have confirmed that they have been on the progressive streak ever since the release of the debut Orchid in 1995. In Cauda Venenum is the release that is slightly their most rounded (in terms of quality) record since the release of 2005′s Ghost Reveries.

Although it feels really awkward to tag an Opeth album as worst, Prog Sphere have made a choice and ranked the band’s albums in an order that we think showcases the band’s quality from the least to the most.

13. Orchid (1995)

As far as Orchid goes, it’s clear that Opeth was still trying to work out some kinks in their act, and while this debut is impressive and gives a good idea of what the band is about, the compositions (and eventually, the production) would be cleared up to make way for some of the best heavy music ever written. A great album for riffs and some really inspired sections, but not quite as good as some of the real gems Opeth has to offer in their repertoire. (Conor Fynes)

12. Morningrise (1996)

This album is the greatest of Opeth‘s early works, and while it might not have the flow or grace of a masterpiece, it’s still a great album, from a great band. While some may have a problem with the production quality, and the ‘black metal’ feel of the music, it’s a very intelligent work. (Conor Fynes)

11. Heritage (2011)

There are plenty of interesting ideas on Heritage, but while listening to this, I get the recurring image of sifting through Trail Mix when I was a kid; having to rummage through the nuts and berries to get the chocolate crisps. Opeth can certainly be hailed for trying something new with their sound, but as far as experiments go, I would consider this as lukewarm, rather than the dazzling masterpiece some may have hoped it to be. (Conor Fynes)

10. Sorceress (2016)

The most recent addition to the Opeth’s catalog brought the band parting ways with Roadrunner Records. Although Opeth have never struck me as a band that gives a damn on what a label thinks, Sorceress is another level of creative freedom. It may be a wrong impression that this new album has something from the both worlds of Heritage and Pale Communion, but it feels like a record that is right between the two preceding albums. One thing is for sure – with Opeth you are never safe when it comes with the album rankings. What is today great, tomorrow may be greater.

09. Pale Communion (2014)

The new album demonstrates a full-bodied return to excellence for Opeth, and confidently demonstrates the amount of potential this new approach has in store. At the very least, it’s a conscious improvement from what I consider to be the weakest point in their career. Sure, If I ever wanted to hear vintage prog traditions thoughtfully explored and modernized, I could turn to Änglagård, another group of Swedes that still might do it better than Opeth. I think part of me would still like to hear Opeth return to their golden ratio of prog and death metal, but for what it’s worth, I’m very glad this album exists. (Conor Fynes)

08. In Cauda Venenum (2019)

In Cauda Venenum is the most focused that Opeth has sounded since 2005’s Ghost Reveries. It’s easy to dismiss the framework as superficial and I do find myself wondering if I’d appreciate this album as much if the English version was all we had to work with, but there is no denying how much these elements strengthen the band’s songwriting. Some listeners will never be convinced by Opeth’s prog rock era but the songs here are engaging enough for me to take notice. At the very least, it’s nice to know that Pale Communion wasn’t a fluke.


07. Deliverance (2002)

As the heaviest of the Steven Wilson produced albums, Deliverance showed Opeth‘s more primal, heavy side as opposed to the emotive rock leanings Damnation would aim for. While the album may have been inconsistent in terms of the song qualities, there would be three songs from the album that would really stand out to me. This title track is one of them (along with Wreath and A Fair Judgement, for those wondering) and while it may not have the subtle dynamics of the other ‘masterpiece’ Opeth tracks, Deliverance blew me away with it’s furious percussions, tasteful riffage and some of the most brutal vocals frontman Mikael Akerfeldt has ever done. To top this all off, the last four minutes of the original track comprised one of the most majestic outros I have ever heard in a song. (Conor Fynes)

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