Opeth

By Request, Part 1 - Orchid:


  • Total voters
    10

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Maybe he left Opeth because of vaccine mandates? That'd make him AntivAxe.
Confirmed by Nick Holmes here:
 

Detective Beauregard

Independent as a hog on ice
As much as I love Damnation, I’ve never found it to be a sad album. Most of the songs have a reflective, almost ethereal quality to them… but to me they do not strike a depressing chord.

I also typically ignore lyrics, so there’s that.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
As much as I love Damnation, I’ve never found it to be a sad album. Most of the songs have a reflective, almost ethereal quality to them… but to me they do not strike a depressing chord.

I also typically ignore lyrics, so there’s that.
I'd agree there's probably plenty of other songs in their discography that are sadder, but Damnation is still pretty damn gloomy.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member

In the true spirit of Maidenfans, I'm going full fan fiction on this one - I think he's joining Opeth.

Their current stand-in drummer is also Finnish (recommendation maybe?), and Waltteri also subbed in for Axe in Bloodbath.

I'm a fucking genius, bow down Fan Fiction peasants.
 

Saapanael

Ancient Mariner
The house sound left a bit to be desired but Mikael’s on-stage charisma made up for it. The guy is really funny. I was satisfied, and since I’m not a MASSIVE Opeth fan, I don’t have a whole lot more to tell. Everyone performed well, it was a good night of metal and beer.
 

Detective Beauregard

Independent as a hog on ice
I'd agree there's probably plenty of other songs in their discography that are sadder, but Damnation is still pretty damn gloomy.
Most of the album has this "mist over an autumn forest" vibe, save for Windowpane, which is a total snow song. The whole album just makes me feel fuzzy inside.

The house sound left a bit to be desired but Mikael’s on-stage charisma made up for it. The guy is really funny. I was satisfied, and since I’m not a MASSIVE Opeth fan, I don’t have a whole lot more to tell. Everyone performed well, it was a good night of metal and beer.
You saw a pretty solid set, too. A near-perfect sprinkle of each of their sounds: happy, happier, and outright cheerful.
 

JudasMyGuide

The resident reactionary
So, after 7 years or so I'm going to a hard/heavy concert again tonight - seeing Opeth in Prague. I was actually supposed to see them last March, but because of Covid the date was pushed first to September 2021 and then again to now.

I never quite understood how passionate people are about spoilers - and I still don't - though I'm kinda torn between looking at the setlist and letting myself be surprised. Opeth are probably one of the few metal bands (along with Maiden and Dream Theater) where I know pretty much every song by heart, so I feel I could go in blind.

Anyway, I know it's gonna be awesome, there isn't a song I'd genuinely dislike by them (apart from Will O' the Wisp, which I only disliked for a rather specific reason of being way too similar to Jethro Tull to a parodic degree - especially Mikael's voice and the inflections, just listen to the "You're stuck to the failures of your life" line - and I even warmed up to that one)... yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. I'll post my impressions later.
 

JudasMyGuide

The resident reactionary
So, like I said, I enjoyed it absolutely and completely. All my concerns or criticisms below seem to me in the realm of nitpicking, particularly about some of the setlist choices ... but it had a good flow, it was enjoyable from start to finish and the band was in an excellent form, at least in my book.

And yes, before we go further, I admit that I am a bit of an Akerfeldt-bitch, meaning while I love the "legendary" albums, I tend to understand and often enjoy very much a lot of the weirder stuff that Mikael seems to be inspired by - I mean, I loved Heritage and Sorceress and - although I risk some of you not reading further - Pale Communion just might actually be my least favourite Newpeth album (though I still enjoy it a lot)... heresy, I know, I know, just putting it here because some of you might see some of the things I say much differently. So, as always, caveat emptor.

I skipped the opening act and instead bought beer and for the first time (really!) some actual mech - a Blackwater Park hoodie! Absolutely loving it.
(Yes, I am ashamed to say that all of my other metal T-shirts and stuff was bought separately, never at a concert. Heck, I think I never saw Cannibal Corpse live, unfortunately, although I'm still kinda proud of my Eaten Back to Life tee. Whatever, I digress)

The new drummer was... okay. I mean, he's no Lopez, but compared to Axenrot, I was probably way too much in the mood to notice the difference. He did
both the Harlequin Forest and the Deliverance outros
justice, so I'm not sure what more should I expect. Seems like an overall nice bloke, he fit with the rest of the band really well, at least IMHO, I wish him but the best.

It's funny, I guess I actually never noticed Fredrik Åkesson's visage before, I was surprised to see he's this Shane Embury-Brent Hinds-type of bloke. He was really enjoyable and not a mistake in sight. More on him below, especialy a certain (spoilerific) performance.

Mikael's growls were spot-on, honestly, I was worried about those but he sounded awesome. I mean, yes, maybe he doesn't sound as awesome as he did on the albums 20 years ago, he has a bit more of that croak now, but it was an absolutely fine and dignified performance - nothing like those bonus tracks off Sorceress (that was probably my biggest fear).

I also liked the light show - it was a small venue and the lights were... I guess you could say basic, but I liked how well they gelled with the music, how certain songs were done in certain colours - okay, maybe I'm easily impressed, but I genuinely liked the presentation.

The rest I'll put under the spoiler tag, as they seem to keep the same setlist, at least for the recent shows:

After a short intro I didn't recognise (it was decidedly not Garden of Earthly Delights) they started with Dignity and Heart in Hand. It took me a while to realise they are singing in Swedish (and yes, I mean "they" - I never noticed the vocal tag Mikael has with Fredrik there before). Sure, I know the Swedish version is supposed to be the "official" one and it was therefore probably a given, but I still didn't expect it. Don't know, I guess I have Opeth connected with English too much - I mean, you want to hear "THE SUN SETS FOREVER OVER BLACKWATER PARK!" in growls and not something like "Solen går ner för alltid över den svarta vattenparken!" or whatever.
Kidding. (And sorry for my butchering of the beautiful Swedish language via Google Translate).
The opening two songs were pretty decent - I personally love In Gouda, Venison and I think these two opening tracks are among the best stuff the Newpeth ever did, so I was definitely happy. It had a punch, it was well done with the rhythmic lights on stage, overall a very good performance, with great dichotomy between the heavier and the softer parts, good groove, everything.

Mikael then greeted Prague, saying that while he hates travelling personally, all the cities he has to tour, and he is therefore tired of all the "famous" destinations, he loves Prague and that he actually went on a holiday here with his kid(s?) and girlfriend. A nice thing to say.

Then he asked us if we recalled this little album called Blackwater Park and they went right into The Leper Affinity, which was drowned in the blue lights on stage. You see, that is my "dark horse" of that album - probably not the track I'd pick for my #1, but still one I return to possibly most often from the whole album. I love the relentless push it has, I love the subdued parts... and most of all, I love, love, LOVE that weird epic riff that Mikael plays right before the end (before it switches to piano), it's just undescribably beautiful, a great culmination of the most subtly endearing song of the Blackwater Park album.
That was it for BP, would have loved to see the title track - and it's possibly my biggest complaint, but with these three and the following track, the concert has already won me over anyway, so I don't mind that much.

Then they played Harlequin Forest, an excellent representation of possibly my favourite Opeth album (not so sure about that, there are several contenders for that position, but at least I used to think so). Not much to say about it, except maybe that the flow of the track feels even more natural and enticing when you hear it live. The second half, leading to the culmination in that Deliverance-lite outro, it just packs a certain punch that other bands do not have. At least for me.

Mikael was being funny then again, saying that it must be snowing... either that or that it's the dandruff, so he announced a cut off Heritage, which he recalled people really hated at the time, but at least in the audience there was enough of "wooo"s and not much "booo"s, if you know what I mean.

With that, they performed Nepenthe ... and if they didn't convince at least one naysayer right there and then, I'd eat my hat. I mean, as a "subdued" section of the concert, the kinda-cooldown after 4 mostly energetic (and two ten-minute Oldpeth) tracks, it worked really well. It was mainly a spotlight for Akesson and Svalberg, and they really didn't disappoint. With the pulsating groove, the weird-ass solos and the blinking bright blue and red strobes, it felt really hypnotic, otherworldly. I think it expressed well what the song was supposed to say when they thought it up.
Definitely no complaints from me, a perpetual Heritage apologist.

Hope Leaves was next, it was fine but I guess it didn't add anything to the album version - which was already stellar - for me. Maybe I like some of the Damnation tracks a bit more, though it seems to me Mikael really likes this one. It was probably well placed in the setlist, but it really flew by for me.

Now, I said before that I'm not that big of a fan of Pale Communion. Yes, I know. I'm sorry. The opening cut feels really underbaked because the intro promises much more than the extra-short almost-Eagles vocal track that follows, Cusp of Eternity was really easy to overplay for me (and I'm not all that crazy about Mikael's inflections in the verses - he reminds me of a certain Czech pop-singer there and I don't like that), Gobling is fine, but feels much more pointless to me than all of those weird Heritage tracks... and so on. I still like those tracks, it's just the sum is even less than its parts, at least for me. There's no weird jazziness of Heritage, no catchiness and nostalgia of Sorceress, no autumnal Sabbathy feel of ICV. But there is one 10/10 track there. You know which one. Yes, Moon Above, Sun Below is a beautiful journey, from the subtle pulsations of the opening, to those killer riffs, the foreshadowing of some of the ICV vocal lines (at least my ears tell me that, maybe they're off), all to the beautiful and gentle "circles in the water" at the end. And honestly, I really loved hearing it live. It felt really natural, all those changes that at first sounded a bit hodge-podge on the album (kinda going back to the very first two albums, honestly) felt ... good. Natural, even. Loved it.

Now, just as Affinity is my dark horse of BP, Watershed is my dark horse Opeth album in general. I never got around to participate in the Survivor I so wanted (sorry about that - a lot of shit I was going through at the time, I had neither the mind nor the opportunity, I apologise in earnest), but I have a whole write-up prepared for that one. I like every track off that album, even the bonus Derelict Herds (a criminally underrated song, in my book!). But maybe if I had the option, I'd not pick The Lotus Eater in particular. I mean, it's a great song and it must be a rush and a great feel of accomplishment to pull it off live, really, a no mean feat, but I'm not sure if the live version is really worth it. Again, it's a nitpick, I was grooving to it like a maniac, but maybe - especially as a In Cauda Venenum Tour, I can't help but wonder if for example Burden or Porcelain Heart (yeah, I know, I know - I'm fanatical, no-one else like the track as much) wouldn't be a better fit. Even with the overall mood. But maybe they didn't want those particular songs to compete with the next one - see below. But then again, I must admit that as someone who takes Opeth as a "musical experience" of sorts, this one was overall kinda worth it, but I can't shake off the feeling - even as I re-watch it on the audience recordings on YouTube - that this felt like the most pro-forma of the bunch, that they felt the most tired, just kinda going through the motions. I watch both the Akesson and the Akerfeldt solos and I... don't feel much. Solid, no contest, but... kinda underwhelming?

The main set was closed off with All Things Will Pass. I won't lie, I love that track and it's a really emotional and epic closer for both the album and the concert as well. It kinda felt as the opposite of the previous cut - instead of complex, but slightly bored (?) song you get this much more simplistic, but heartfelt rendition, it really felt fitting.

They didn't even let us demand an encore much and went almost straightaway into Sorceress. I might have overplayed that song in the past a bit, but I admit that live it kicks some supreme ass. The acid, jazzy intro, the heavy, "brontosauric" main riff... it was also the only song in the setlist that was performed to mostly red hues in the stagelights and it honestly helped it being distinctive.
Sorceress.jpg

Then there was the "fake" Face of Melinda first part - I'm not sure, but they do this often, don't they? - before the ultimate closer Deliverance. I was maybe kinda disappointed that I didn't get to hear the sick Melinda riff live, but it was all abated by that monster of a song.

Now, I know what you're probably going to say.
Is Deliverance overplayed?
Maybe?

Does the outro feel a bit weaker after its spiritual successor Harlequin Forest being played earlier in the setlist?
I guess?

Does it still rule supreme?
You bet!

I mean, sometimes I feel like I overplayed this track as well when I listen to the album. But not having it on an Opeth concert would be a travesty. It's like Lemmy didn't play Ace of Spades - you know they keep using it, because it works... but it fucking wooooorks. I was so hypnotised I actually remember very little, it just flew by, like the moment of the perpetual "now". The outro was still drumming in my brain when I was walking back to the hotel room, though.

So, there it is. Yep, a lot of praise, not much of restrained criticism. Well, that's what you get. That was my possibly favourite band of all time giving me an experience I loved, loved, loved. Mikael is such a cool bloke.

Okay, I guess that's enough. Judas out.
 
Last edited:

Magnus

Pica Serdica
So, like I said, I enjoyed it absolutely and completely. All my concerns or criticisms below seem to me in the realm of nitpicking, particularly about some of the setlist choices ... but it had a good flow, it was enjoyable from start to finish and the band was in an excellent form, at least in my book.

And yes, before we go further, I admit that I am a bit of an Akerfeldt-bitch, meaning while I love the "legendary" albums, I tend to understand and often enjoy very much a lot of the weirder stuff that Mikael seems to be inspired by - I mean, I loved Heritage and Sorceress and - although I risk some of you not reading further - Pale Communion just might actually be my least favourite Newpeth album (though I still enjoy it a lot)... heresy, I know, I know, just putting it here because some of you might see some of the things I say much differently. So, as always, caveat emptor.

I skipped the opening act and instead bought beer and for the first time (really!) some actual mech - a Blackwater Park hoodie! Absolutely loving it.
(Yes, I am ashamed to say that all of my other metal T-shirts and stuff was bought separately, never at a concert. Heck, I think I never saw Cannibal Corpse live, unfortunately, although I'm still kinda proud of my Eaten Back to Life tee. Whatever, I digress)

The new drummer was... okay. I mean, he's no Lopez, but compared to Axenrot, I was probably way too much in the mood to notice the difference. He did
both the Harlequin Forest and the Deliverance outros
justice, so I'm not sure what more should I expect. Seems like an overall nice bloke, he fit with the rest of the band really well, at least IMHO, I wish him but the best.

It's funny, I guess I actually never noticed Fredrik Åkesson's visage before, I was surprised to see he's this Shane Embury-Brent Hinds-type of bloke. He was really enjoyable and not a mistake in sight. More on him below, especialy a certain (spoilerific) performance.

Mikael's growls were spot-on, honestly, I was worried about those but he sounded awesome. I mean, yes, maybe he doesn't sound as awesome as he did on the albums 20 years ago, he has a bit more of that croak now, but it was an absolutely fine and dignified performance - nothing like those bonus tracks off Sorceress (that was probably my biggest fear).

I also liked the light show - it was a small venue and the lights were... I guess you could say basic, but I liked how well they gelled with the music, how certain songs were done in certain colours - okay, maybe I'm easily impressed, but I genuinely liked the presentation.

The rest I'll put under the spoiler tag, as they seem to keep the same setlist, at least for the recent shows:

After a short intro I didn't recognise (it was decidedly not Garden of Earthly Delights) they started with Dignity and Heart in Hand. It took me a while to realise they are singing in Swedish (and yes, I mean "they" - I never noticed the vocal tag Mikael has with Fredrik there before). Sure, I know the Swedish version is supposed to be the "official" one and it was therefore probably a given, but I still didn't expect it. Don't know, I guess I have Opeth connected with English too much - I mean, you want to hear "THE SUN SETS FOREVER OVER BLACKWATER PARK!" in growls and not something like "Solen går ner för alltid över den svarta vattenparken!" or whatever.
Kidding. (And sorry for my butchering of the beautiful Swedish language via Google Translate).
The opening two songs were pretty decent - I personally love In Gouda, Venison and I think these two opening tracks are among the best stuff the Newpeth ever did, so I was definitely happy. It had a punch, it was well done with the rhythmic lights on stage, overall a very good performance, with great dichotomy between the heavier and the softer parts, good groove, everything.

Mikael then greeted Prague, saying that while he hates travelling personally, all the cities he has to tour, and he is therefore tired of all the "famous" destinations, he loves Prague and that he actually went on a holiday here with his kid(s?) and girlfriend. A nice thing to say.

Then he asked us if we recalled this little album called Blackwater Park and they went right into The Leper Affinity, which was drowned in the blue lights on stage. You see, that is my "dark horse" of that album - probably not the track I'd pick for my #1, but still one I return to possibly most often from the whole album. I love the relentless push it has, I love the subdued parts... and most of all, I love, love, LOVE that weird epic riff that Mikael plays right before the end (before it switches to piano), it's just undescribably beautiful, a great culmination of the most subtly endearing song of the Blackwater Park album.
That was it for BP, would have loved to see the title track - and it's possibly my biggest complain, but with these three and the following track, the concert has already won me over anyway, so I don't mind that much.

Then they played Harlequin Forest, an excellent representation of possibly my favourite Opeth album (not so sure about that, there are several contenders for that position, but at least I used to think so). Not much to say about it, except maybe that the flow of the track feels even more natural and enticing when you hear it live. The second half, leading to the culmination in that Deliverance-lite outro, it just packs a certain punch that other bands do not have. At least for me.

Mikael was being funny then again, saying that it must be snowing... either that or that it's the dandruff, so he announced a cut off Heritage, which he recalled people really hated at the time, but at least in the audience there was enough of "wooo"s and not much "booo"s, if you know what I mean.

With that, they performed Nepenthe ... and if they didn't convince at least one naysayer right there and then, I'd eat my hat. I mean, as a "subdued" section of the concert, the kinda-cooldown after 4 mostly energetic (and two ten-minute Oldpeth) tracks, it worked really well. It was mainly a spotlight for Akesson and Svalberg, and they really didn't disappoint. With the pulsating groove, the weird-ass solos and the blinking bright blue and red strobes, it felt really hypnotic, otherworldly. I think it expressed well what the song was supposed to say when they thought it up.
Definitely no complaints from me, a perpetual Heritage apologist.

Hope Leaves was next, it was fine but I guess it didn't add anything to the album version - which was already stellar - for me. Maybe I like some of the Damnation tracks a bit more, though it seems to me Mikael really likes this one. It was probably well placed in the setlist, but it really flew by for me.

Now, I said before that I'm not that big of a fan of Pale Communion. Yes, I know. I'm sorry. The opening cut feels really underbaked because the intro promises much more than the extra-short almost-Eagles vocal track that follows, Cusp of Eternity was really easy to overplay for me (and I'm not all that crazy about Mikael's inflections in the verses - he reminds me of a certain Czech pop-singer there and I don't like that), Gobling is fine, but feels much more pointless to me than all of those weird Heritage tracks... and so on. I still like those tracks, it's just the sum is even less than its parts, at least for me. There's no weird jazziness of Heritage, no catchiness and nostalgia of Sorceress, no autumnal Sabbathy feel of ICV. But there is one 10/10 track there. You know which one. Yes, Moon Above, Sun Below is a beautiful journey, from the subtle pulsations of the opening, to those killer riffs, the foreshadowing of some of the ICV vocal lines (at least my ears tell me that, maybe they're off), all to the beautiful and gentle "circles in the water" at the end. And honestly, I really loved hearing it live. It felt really natural, all those changes that at first sounded a bit hodge-podge on the album (kinda going back to the very first two albums, honestly) felt ... good. Natural, even. Loved it.

Now, just as Affinity is my dark horse of BP, Watershed is my dark horse Opeth album in general. I never got around to participate in the Survivor I so wanted (sorry about that - a lot of shit I was going through at the time, I had neither the mind nor the opportunity, I apologise in earnest), but I have a whole write-up prepared for that one. I like every track off that album, even the bonus Derelict Herds (a criminally underrated song, in my book!). But maybe if I had the option, I'd not pick The Lotus Eater in particular. I mean, it's a great song and it must be a rush and a great feel of accomplishment to pull it off live, really, a no mean feat, but I'm not sure if the live version is really worth it. Again, it's a nitpick, I was grooving to it like a maniac, but maybe - especially as a In Cauda Venenum Tour, I can't help but wonder if for example Burden or Porcelain Heart (yeah, I know, I know - I'm fanatical, no-one else like the track as much) wouldn't be a better fit. Even with the overall mood. But maybe they didn't want those particular songs to compete with the next one - see below. But then again, I must admit that as someone who takes Opeth as a "musical experience" of sorts, this one was overall kinda worth it, but I can't shake off the feeling - even as I re-watch it on the audience recordings on YouTube - that this felt like the most pro-forma of the bunch, that they felt the most tired, just kinda going through the motions. I watch both the Akesson and the Akerfeldt solos and I... don't feel much. Solid, no contest, but... kinda underwhelming?

The main set was closed off with All Things Will Pass. I won't lie, I love that track and it's a really emotional and epic closer for both the album and the concert as well. It kinda felt as the opposite of the previous cut - instead of complex, but slightly bored (?) song you get this much more simplistic, but heartfelt rendition, it really felt fitting.

They didn't even let us demand an encore much and went almost straightaway into Sorceress. I might have overplayed that song in the past a bit, but I admit that live it kicks some supreme ass. The acid, jazzy intro, the heavy, "brontosauric" main riff... it was also the only song in the setlist that was performed to mostly red hues in the stagelights and it honestly helped it being distinctive.

Then there was the "fake" Face of Melinda first part - I'm not sure, but they do this often, don't they? - before the ultimate closer Deliverance. I was maybe kinda disappointed that I didn't get to hear the sick Melinda riff live, but it was all abated by that monster of a song.

Now, I know what you're probably going to say.
Is Deliverance overplayed?
Maybe?

Does the outro feel a bit weaker after its spiritual successor Harlequin Forest being played earlier in the setlist?
I guess?

Does it still rule supreme?
You bet!

I mean, sometimes I feel like I overplayed this track as well when I listen to the album. But not having it on an Opeth concert would be a travesty. It's like Lemmy didn't play Ace of Spades - you know they keep using it, because it works... but it fucking wooooorks. I was so hypnotised I actually remember very little, it just flew by, like the moment of the perpetual "now". The outro was still drumming in my brain when I was walking back to the hotel room, though.

So, there it is. Yep, a lot of praise, not much of restrained criticism. Well, that's what you get. That was my possibly favourite band of all time giving me an experience I loved, loved, loved. Mikael is such a cool bloke.

Okay, I guess that's enough. Judas out.
As I said, I know next to nothing about Opeth but reading your post was a delight. Thank you Judas!
 
Top