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Opeth Biography

Home > Music > O > Opeth > Biography

Birth Place: Stockholm, Sweden
Years Active: 1990-present
Genres: Progressive Death Metal, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock

Opeth is a heavy metal band that hails from Stockholm, Sweden, and came together in 1990 when lead singer David Isberg, and songwriter Mikael Åkerfeldt decided to form a band. Over the years the band has seen several line-up changes, with Åkerfeldt still at the helm and the major driving force behind the band's sound, which contains a mixture of progressive rock, folk, blues, classical, and jazz influences. When the band first started out they didn't follow up their earlier albums with a tour, however in 2001 after their first world tour, the band took to touring regularly with each forthcoming album.

Isberg and Åkerfeldt recruited drummer Anders Nordin, bassist Nick Döring, and guitarist Andreas Dimeo; however, Döring and Dimeo left the band almost upon conception and were replaced by guitarist Kim Pettersson and bassist Johan DeFarfalla. DeFarfalla left after the band after their second show and was replaced by bassist Peter Lindgren. Pettersson left next, causing Lindgren to switch to guitar, shortly followed by Isberg leaving in 1992. The band became a trio with Åkerfeldt stepping into the lead vocals role. Stefan Guteklint joined on bass in 1991, but was fired shortly before the band signed a record deal with Candlelight Records in 1994. DeFarfalla rejoined the band in 1994.

Opeth's debut album, “Orchid,” appeared in 1995, and displayed a traditional death metal sound, featuring acoustic guitars and piano. The album was a success with Opeth's growing fan base. Opeth's second offering, “Morningrise” emerged in1996 and featured Opeth's longest song, the 20 minute, “Black Rose Immortal.” The album was a huge success, with the band hitting the road to tour the U.K. and Scandinavia. By 1997 the band had switched labels and signed with Century Media Records. Around this time DeFarfalla was fired from the band and Nordin left with Martín López and Martín Méndez joining.

The band's third album, “My Arms, Your Hearse” met with critical acclaim in 1998, exposing the band to a wider audience. The success of the album led to Opeth's 1999 signing with U.K. label Peaceville Records. The band's debut for the label, “Still Life,” appeared in 2001 in the U.S.

2005 marked the band's signing with Roadrunner records. Lopez left the band a year later and was replaced by Martin Axenrot. The same year saw Opeth on tour with Megadeth as part of the Gigantour in 2006. A year later another blow came when Lindgren announced, after 16 years, that he would be leaving Opeth. Fredrik Åkesson replaced Lindgren. 2008 marked the release of “Watershed,” which became Opeth's highest-charting album to date, peaking at #23 on the Billboard's 200 Albums chart. The band's tenth studio album, “Heritage,” emerged in 2011, which the band followed up with a North American and European tour.