Opeth was formed in Sweden in 1990 by guitarist Mikael Akerfeldt and vocalist David Isberg. They were joined by drummer Anders Nordin, bassist Nick Doring and guitarist Andreas Dimeo. There were a few lineup changes and by the time they recording their debut album the bassist was Johan DeFarfalla and guitarist Peter Lindgren. Isberg had also exited and Akerfeldt took over the vocal duties. Their debut album Orchid was released in 1995.
Opeth's second album, Morningrise, was released in 1996. Their brand of progressive death metal was attracting more and more fans and drew the attention of Century Media, which released their first two albums in the US along with their following release, 1998's My Arms, Your Hearse. There were also a couple more lineup changes in this period, with drummer Nordin and bassist DeFarfalla leaving the band. They were replaced by bassist Martin Mendez and drummer Martin Lopez.
With their next several albums they cemented themselves as one of the best and most interesting bands in metal. One of the trademarks of Opeth is that you never know what to expect from album to album. They are always coming up with something new, and that culminated with 2002's Damnation, a mellow acoustic album. They returned to a more traditional sound with 2005's Ghost Reveries, which was named the best metal CD of 2005 by this site. 2008's Watershed was also selected as the best CD of the year. With 2011's Heritage they abandoned death metal and embraced progressive rock. That continued with 2014's Pale Communion.
Current Opeth Band Members:
Mikael Åkerfeldt - Vocals/guitar (Bloodbath, Edge Of Sanity, Eruption, Katatonia, Steel)
Peter Lindgren - Guitar (Steel, Sylt I Krysset)
Martín Méndez - Bass (Requiem Aeternam)
Joakim Svalberg - Keyboards
Martín López - Drums (Amon Amarth, Requiem Aeternam)
Former Band Members:
David Isberg - Vocals (1990-1992) Andreas Dimeo - Guitar (1991)
Kim Pettersson - Guitar (1991)
Mattias Ander - Guitar (1992)
Nick Döring - Bass (1990-1991)
Johan DeFarfalla - Bass (1991, 1994-1996)
Stefan Guteklint - Bass (1992-1993)
Anders Nordin - Drums (1990-1997)
Per Wiberg - Keyboards (2003-2011)
1994 Orchid (Candlelight)
1996 Morningrise (Candlelight)
1998 My Arms, Your Hearse (Candlelight)
1999 Still Life (Peaceville)
2001 Blackwater Park (Music For Nations)
2002 Deliverance (Music For Nations)
2003 Damnation (Music For Nations)
2005 Ghost Reveries (Roadrunner)
2008 The Roundhouse Tapes Live (Peaceville)
2008 Watershed (Roadrunner)
2011 Heritage (Roadrunner)
2014 Pale Communion (Roadrunner)
Best Opeth CDs
The top five Opeth releases, as selected by About.com Heavy Metal.
Essential Opeth Album:
This was a really difficult decision. Opeth has so many good albums you can't go wrong. I particularly like this album because it is so unique and diverse. The songs are masterfully written, and the vocals range from melodic to brutal. Even though it's their fifth album, it's a good starting point if you're not familiar with Opeth.