Named after a city which appears in a Wilbur Smith novel, the Swedish death metal band Opeth is difficult to describe in that the act incorporates a wide variety of influences into its overall sound, including folk, ambient, jazz and gothic elements.
When founder Mikael Åkerfeldt was 8 years old he bought his first record namely "The Number Of The Beast" from Iron Maiden. In 1986 he got his first electric guitar and immediately started practicing.
His long-time friend Anders Nordin had a big brother who used to play drums in a metal band and the two friends started jamming together in his cellar in Sörskogen, Sweden. In the end of 1987 they came up with the name Eruption for their band. In the beginning they played mostly death metal covers like Bathory, Death and other bands. In 1988 they were a full band
After a number of personnel changes Opeth had a stable line-up in 1990. Opeth were eventually signed to the English Candlelight label and released two seminal albums, Orchid (1995) and Morningrise (1996).
Both works immediately grabbed listeners' attention with their astonishing virtuosity and the breadth of their influences, and it is little surprise that Opeth were soon asked to support the super-skilful death metal band Morbid Angel.
The po-faced snootiness dissipated a little on My Arms, Your Hearse, featuring new drummer Martin Lopez. On this album the band allowed themselves to indulge in the rawer death metal sounds of .....