[[caption-width:300:The dudes themselves. Opeth logo visible in the background.]]
Opeth is a heavy metal band formed in Stockholm Sweden by David Isberg and Mikael Åkerfeldt. After the band was formed, David later quit, and left the band with Mikael, who became the main vocalist and guitarist.

In 1995, Opeth released their debut album ''Orchid'', which was critically praised for its unique style of death metal, having twin guitar harmonies, also adding acoustic guitar, piano, and clean vocals, something rather unusual for the Scandinavian death metal scene. A couple of years later, they released ''Morningrise'', which continued to explore the techniques used in ''Orchid''. While it was quite popular, Opeth noticed that other metal bands began to copy them and Mikael urged the band to change their signature style. This lead to the release of the dark ConceptAlbum ''My Arms, Your Hearse''. A couple of years later, they released the fan favorite ''Still Life'', in which they began to deconstruct their sound. However, they never went on tour because their music which, while well liked, was not mainstream.

This all changed with the release of ''Blackwater Park'', which many fans and critics considered then to be Opeth's magnum opus. After the massive success of ''Blackwater Park'', they began their first world-wide tour. Within a six month period of time, they released two albums: ''Deliverance'' and ''Damnation''. The former is considered to be the band's heaviest work while the latter is a more elegant acoustic based album. While ''Deliverance'' was well-received, ''Damnation'' instantly became a fan favorite, most notably the song ''Windowpane''. After extensive touring, they released 2005's dark and majestic ''Ghost Reveries'', which (just like other previous albums) became an instant hit. After the release of ''Ghost Reveries'' however, Peter Lindgren and Martin Lopez (guitarist and drummer, respectively) left the band, leaving Opeth's future in doubt. Nevertheless, in 2008, Opeth released ''Watershed'', which has been praised as their deepest and most mature work to date.

Opeth are generally accepted to be one of the poster children for ProgressiveDeathMetal. While they are firmly rooted in Scandinavian death metal, they have shown many elements of ProgressiveRock throughout their albums. They are known to combine elements of heavy metal, progressive rock, Scandinavian folk music, blues, jazz, and acoustics into their songs. While Mikael has stated that groups that inspired Opeth were ones like Music/{{Slayer}}, Music/{{Black Sabbath}}, Music/{{Death}}, and CelticFrost, he fully admits that other bands like Music/{{Yes}}, Music/{{Camel}}, and other progressive bands inspired the progressive rock side of them. They are well known to try something new even after an extremely successful album (ā la ''Blackwater Park'' and ''Ghost Reveries''). They remain one of the world's most popular DeathMetal acts, and are considered to be engaged in the work of opening up that scene to a wider audience, as their acoustic, jazzy, and folkish elements can easily draw fans of those styles into a position to appreciate the legitimate musicality of the abrasive, sonically violent, and dissonantly deconstructive nature of the death metal soundscape.

Opeth is not a band for everyone however. Their songs are extremely long (the average clocking in between eight and ten minutes) and musically complex. This makes their music very difficult to listen to without some dedication. A large majority of their songs demand repeated listening for full appreciation. This can make listening tedious to those who find the music alienating either for its lack of simple accessibility or death metal sensibilities. One critic put it this way: "It is very hard to be a casual Opeth fan, due to the length and complexity of their songs."

Not to be confused with {{Otep}}, as they often are.

Opeth's discography:
* ''Orchid'' (1995)
* ''Morningrise'' (1996)
* ''My Arms Your Hearse'' (1998)
* ''Still Life'' (1999)
* ''Blackwater Park'' (2001)
* ''Deliverance'' (2002)
* ''Damnation'' (2003)
* ''Ghost Reveries'' (2005)
* ''Watershed'' (2008)
* ''Heritage'' (2011)
* ''Pale Communion'' (2014)

Current Band members:
* Mikael Akerfeldt: vocals, guitar, bass on ''My Arms Your Hearse''
* Fredrik Akesson: guitar
* Martin Mendez: bass
* Martin "Axe" Axenrot: drums
* Joakim Svalberg: keyboards

Past Band members:
* David Isberg: Original guitarist and vocalist
* Johan Defarfalla: bass (1991-1996)
* Anders Nordin: drums and piano in ''Silhouette'' (1991-1996)
* Peter Lindgren: guitar (1991-2007)
* Martin Lopez: drums (1996-2007)
* Per Wiberg: keyboards (2005-2011)

* Nathalie Lorichs sang the second verse and chorus on the song "Coil" from ''Watershed''.
* Steven Wilson of PorcupineTree has provided backing vocals on ''Blackwater Park'', ''Deliverance'' and ''Damnation'', and was producer for those albums.
* Renowned Swedish flautist Björn J:son Lindh played flute on the song "Famine" from ''Heritage''.
* Peruvian percussionist Alex Acuņa (who has performed with many other notable musicians, including Music/ElvisPresley) also played on "Famine".

!!Opeth shows example of:

* AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent: Played with most of the time, though their 2011 release, ''Heritage'', probably beats the rest of their catalogue in this department.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Martin ''Axenrot''. It certainly helps that his nickname is "Axe".
* BreatherEpisode: While songs like "Hours of Wealth" and "Patterns in the Ivy" count, the best example is ''Damnation'', which is wedged between the heavy ''Deliverance'' and the extremely dark ''Ghost Reveries''.
** And just to remember some other breather songs, there's "Silhouette", "Requiem", "Madrigal" and "For Absent Friends".
*** And subverted as well, as the heaviest song on "Ghost Reveries", "The Grand Conjuration", is stuck between the two lightest and shortest songs on the album, "Hours of Wealth" and "Isolation Years"
** "Burden" is a very peaceful, if mournful, prog-rock ballad, which follows the extremely heavy "Heir Apparent," and very heavy and experimental "The Lotus Eater."
** "Benighted" from ''Still Life'' is a very mellow, acoustic song between "Godhead's Lament" and "Moonlapse Vertigo." It is also much shorter than both songs.
* CarefulWithThatAxe: Plently examples.
** Song "Advent" features quite many sudden screams between the constant growls. "The Leper Affinity" has a solid one near the climax ('defeaning shrieks pierced the '''NIIIIIIIGHT!!''''). Also the start of "Ghost of Perdition", halfway through "The Grand Conjuration", etc.
* ConceptAlbum: Quite a few...
** ''My Arms Your Hearse'' is a story about the ghost of a man who follows his wife in suspicion that she wasn't truly sad after his death.
** ''Still Life'' is about a medieval atheist who returns to face the Christian government and regain his love, Melinda (WARNING: Major {{Downer Ending}})
** The songs on the album ''Watershed'' are connected by the theme of parting with the loved one and subsequent alienation from society.
* CoverVersion: The band has covered Music/CelticFrost, Music/IronMaiden, Music/DeepPurple, Robin Trower, Marie Fredriksson, Music/AliceInChains, and (at a recent live show) Music/BonJovi.
* DeadpanSnarker: Mikael is pretty renowned for this. See his speech under FunnyMoments.
* EpicRocking: Their longest song, "Black Rose Immortal", lasts 20:14 and many of their songs exceed 10 minutes in length. Eight minutes is probably about Opeth's average song length.
** The average is currently 7:31.5 (not counting live and re-release tracks).
* ILoveTheDead: The subject of "The Leper Affinity".
* LastNoteNightmare: "Burden" - [[{{Nightmare Fuel}} nothing said]]. Also "A Fair Judgement".
** "Nectar" manages to get ''two'' in the space of about a minute.
* LoudnessWar: Their metal albums are pretty squished, even the ones [[Music/PorcupineTree Steven Wilson]] produced. ''Damnation'' isn't that dynamic either. By the time of ''Pale Communion'' they had stopped doing this.
* MinisculeRocking: Much of the instrumentals such as "Requiem", "Madrigal", and "Patterns in the Ivy".
* [[MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness Moh's Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness]]: Generally around 9, but they go all over the place. ''Damnation'' in particular is pure 3/4.
** Interestingly, many individual songs vary wildly between rankings, such as "Dirge for November," which starts about a 2/3 for the first couple minutes, then rockets straight to a 9 pretty much without warning. Almost every song on ''Watershed'' has these extreme variations as well.
** It's actually sort of pointless to rank Opeth songs using this scale, since their songs, and indeed, even different parts of the same song have so much variation in them, it becomes less necessary to rank the songs individually, so much as to rank them minute by minute. A tedious chore, since many of their songs are well over ten minutes long.
** Their 2011 album, ''Heritage'', would be in the 3-7 range for the most part. It's quite a bit more straightforward and less scattered than other Opeth records (except, of course, for ''Damnation''), so it's much easier to rank on this scale. ''Pale Communion'', their latest, follows in a similar vein.
* MoodWhiplash: Oh god ''YES.'' This is your average reaction to a song by Opeth: "Who the fuck put DeathMetal into my jazz?!"
* MurderBallad: ''Still Life'', ''Ghost Reveries''.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted twice, When Martin Lopez was replaced by Martin Axenrot.
* ProgressiveMetal
** [[TechnicalDeathMetal Progressive]] ''[[TechnicalDeathMetal Death]]'' [[TechnicalDeathMetal Metal]].
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: '''THE! GRAND! CON! JUR! AAAA! SHUUUUNNNN!'''
** Also, pretty much the entire lyrics of "Blackwater Park" (song). "THE SUUUUUN SEETS, FOREEEVEEERRR, OVER, BLACKWATER, PAAAAARRRRKKKK!!!"
* RedOniBlueOni: Two examples:
** Mikael and Martin Mendez, the former being a very energetic and brash man and the latter being very quiet, rarely speaking in interviews.
** ''Deliverance'' and ''Damnation'', the former being the band's heaviest work while the latter is the band's softest work.
* SelfDeprecation: Much of Mikael's [[DeadpanSnarker snark]] during their live shows usually revolves around calling the next song "The most boring song on the album" and mocking the [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible pretentiousness]] of their music. [[StealthInsult Or maybe mocking their fans.]]
* SincerestFormOfFlattery: Mikael has stated that the song "Ending Credits" off ''Damnation'' is "totally a {{Camel}} ripoff". Given how he's also said how much of an influence they are to him, the song becomes more of a tribute than a FollowTheLeader kind of thing.
* SopranoAndGravel: Mikael is a shining example of the one-man version. He is effortlessly able to change between a towering, operatic clean voice to a deep, crackling death growl. It's much better exemplified by "The Lotus Eater".
* TheStoic: Martin Mendez, and the fans love him for it.
* SubliminalSeduction: There's a section in "Hessian Peel" that parodies the infamous "Stairway to Heaven" backmasking UrbanLegend. There are a couple of other examples of deliberate backmasking in their catalogue, such as the intro to "Demon of the Fall" and the hidden track after "By the Pain I See in Others".
* SurprisinglyGentleSong: "To Bid You Farewell", "Credence", "Epilogue", "Benighted", "Face of Melinda", "Harvest", "For Absent Friends", several others, plus the entirety of ''Damnation'', ''Heritage'', and ''Pale Communion'', all of which qualify as [[SurprisinglyGentleSong Surprisingly Gentle Albums]].
* TogetherInDeath: "White Cluster", the ending track for ''Still Life''.
* XMeetsY: Music/DreamTheater meets Music/{{Deicide}} (minus satanic lyrics).