OPETH Albums Ranked from Less Great to Great [REVISITED]

Opeth 2019
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06. Damnation (2003)

The greatest thing about this prig-rock release from Opeth is its sheer personal approach. This is an album that is a shattering contrast to the band’s usually heavy material. For those unfamiliar with the group’s work, it might come as a suprise that there is actually no trace of metal, save extreme metal in any of the songs. Instead of longer, more technical compositions, Mikael Akerfeldt conveys his meaning through more conventional outlets, concentrating more on sheer emotion as opposed to ‘brutality’ or progressiveness, although the progressive elements are certainly evident. (Conor Fynes)

05. My Arms, Your Hearse (1998)

My Arms Your Hearse‘ shows Opeth experimenting with a binding narrative that would later be improved on with the next. In terms of lyrics, Mikael Akerfeldt weaves together a story that fits the music very well, although it isn’t quite as engrossing or effective as the story in Still Life, it helps to tie the album together. More or less, the story revolves around the spirit of a man who died looking down on the woman he loves and being dismayed that she does not grieve for him. However, it is later revealed that her love has blinded her to the reality that he has in fact died, and is therefore in a state of denial. It’s a very simple concept, but Akerfeldt works both his music and lyrics to maximize the dramatic effect. (Conor Fynes)

04. Ghost Reveries (2005)

This album has everything that could be asked for in a progressive death metal release… There is a sufficient level of weirdness to maintain interest for many, many listens, and there are parts that can only be described as earth-shatteringly heavy. However, despite these heavy leanings, Akerfeldt still manages to sneak in some more mellow, melodic ballads (such as the vocally powerful Hours Of Wealth and the ever beautiful Isolation Years) into the album’s tapestry.

03. Watershed (2008)

With 2006′s Ghost ReveriesOpeth burst out onto the world stage and became a household name in the world of metal. Now, with new members and a fresh new perspective, Opeth has released yet another fantastic album. Falling just short of perfection, Watershed offers a dose of some great Opeth material, paired with some rather half-baked material. There are some instant classics on this album, such as the innovative track The Lotus Eater, which stands as being both the highlight of this album and one of the best, strangest songs Opeth has ever recorded. (Conor Fynes)

02. Blackwater Park (2001)

Blackwater Park, commonly referred to as the pinnacle of Opeth’s consistent career, was giant leap forward for the band on all fronts. The only way to truly enjoy a band like Opeth is to allow time to work its magic. It takes persistence and a real ear for creativity to notice the subtleties of the art that goes into the making of Blackwater Park. Even though to full effect may not immediately strike, the more effort one puts into Opeth, the more rewarding the music will sound over time. Whether it’s a simple guitar riff, a melody, a solo, or something as simple as a well executed drum fill, Opeth never ceases to amaze with their artistic prowess in creating innovative progressive music.

01. Still Life (1999)

This is the first Opeth album (their fourth chronological release) that can widely be considered to be a near-perfect masterpiece. While albums such as Morningrise did show signs of brilliance, the overall execution was imperfect, and there was still room for improvement. Still Life is a fine representation of what a dose of intelligence can do for the metal industry. The end result is a cohesive, beautiful and technical album that seamlessly blends metal, progressive, and jazz leanings into a rich musical tapestry. However, possibly more so than any other album in my collection; this album took a long time to truly sink in, but it was certainly worth it.

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