Where do you see Opeth go next?


Opeth, ergo sum.
May 22, 2001
This is a question for everyone, but perhaps it will be easier to answer for those that have discovered Opeth's album in the correct chronological order.

After the stunning Orchid there was really nothing that could prepare me for the masterpiece Morningrise, and I could never have forseen it. I was expecting something more brutal, something more raw... nothing so BEAUTIFUL.

When MAYH arrived I was expecting a development of Morningrise towards slower, cleaner music. But it is definitely more brutal, more raw, the way I had thought Morningrise would be. At the same time it was clearly a development and not a step back in time.

When Still Life arrived I had learned my lesson and didn't speculate. I knew one thing, however, it would be another masterpiece. And I think it is partly a development from Morningrise, and partly a development from MAYH. The soft parts are softer, the raw part are more raw, and even chaotic. Just listen to the true black metal parts of "Serenity painted death", and then "Benighted"...

I'd venture to say that Blackwater Park is a development from all 4 albums. I feel that this album stands for everything that is Opeth, not just one part of Opeth but all at the same time. But then, I felt like that for every new album they put out until the next...

But where is Opeth going next? As usual, I have no clue.
do you?

By the way, have you noticed that every other album Opeth decides to throw in short prologues / interludes / epilogues? It happened on Orchid, MAYH, and Blackwater Park, but not Morningrise or Still Life. Shall we guess that they'll be gone again for #6?
Well, BWP clearly followed that trend as the heavy parts of Leper Affinity and the title track are heavier than just about anything else Opeth had done and the beginning of Dirge is softer than anything Opeth had done. They seemed to push their extremes, still hitting every point inbetween.

Many thoughts occur to me as to where they go from here... one is that Orchid and Morningrise together really had "a sound". When MAYH came out, it was a different style that's followed through Still Life to BWP. It's like Opeth has had two "eras" thus far... due to the break until the next album with the touring and Mike doing his side-project, I think the sixth volume will ring in a third era for Opeth. What that entails, exactly, I have to idea.

I do have a wish, however (if I may). Still Life and Blackwater park saw a trend develop in the songwriting style not previously present... the use of repeated passages of music, and sometimes rhyming lyrics... a stronger song structure, as it were. What really attracted me to the first three records was the lack of this. When I heard Morningrise, it was like "well, that's a cool riff... now this is a cool riff... and now THIS is a cool riff..." never, once each had played its course, hearing the same piece twice. On a 66 minute record, this was knock-out amazing to me. Also, on those first three records I found there to be more of an "epic" quality. The songs all sort of melded together to form an ever-changing whole (especially MAYH). With BWP, Mike discussed at some point how each of the songs have individual identities, and how Steven Wilson's "experiment more in the production" ideas really helped with this. What I would like to see now is the band take what they learned there and turn around and make a more epic... even "wandering" (a word I've heard applied) album utilizing this to add to their unpredictable varitey even more.

The other side of this, of course, is that all of this thought is meaningless as whatever music comes out of Mikael will be brilliant, it always has, so he should take that in whatever form it may come and not think about these sorts of things.

ANYWAYS, this is a progression that makes sense to me and I feel may be the best (in theory), but as for what's actually going to happen... can anyone really know?
Very good points Hoser, especially about the Eras. Though I have a hard time drawing a line between the two eras you suggest, I feel that a break in the songwriting will definitely make a difference for the future and could be the beginning of a new Era. I wonder how long Opeth will have fun and create new music together though... I hope forever!

I also take great pleasure in the "epic" qualities that opeth have presented in the past, but I feel that their songs on Still Life and Blackwater Park still have this. I know the songs on BWP have nothing in common, but the length of them help to maintain the epic feeling.

Can anyone imagine an Opeth album with 10-15 4 minute songs?? I don't think so.
all valid points.

Here's what I think/hope, hehe.

I think opeth will stay very much the same as they are on bwp, but will retain much of the epic quality of the earlier albums. I think they will do another concept album soon too. I think they will eventually do another 20 min or longer tune which will be the centrepiece of the album. I think they will be more progressive and insane and be every bit as harsh/sweet as they've ever been. I think they will become the most outstanding group of players in all of metal and the music will be so slick and complex only the most serious prog metal freaks will have the attention span for it. It will remain very dark and very painful. While this is happening and the music is becoming at once more listenable and unlistenable, I think they will get more and more fans and eventually I think this form of extreme prog death will start a new genre where the focus is on emotion and talent rather than just style and brutality. You can call it melodic death metal but opeth doens't sound anything like any MDM band I've ever heard. It'll be a genre which emcompasses all genres and has no limits. The ultimate form of artistic expression.

bleh, Monday,

There were parts of BP where I could picture a violin or even something like a saxophone working beautifully. Amorphis didn't really pull of the whole sax thing, but maybe opeth could. More piano as well!
So what should we classify Opeth as, Emotional metal?
Well, works for me ;)

I don't think they will start a trend though, and I wonder if that would be good!

On Amotphis: I think that Am Universum is definitely a success. I never liked the earlier albums, but this one rocks.
Same thing goes for Katatonia's Last Fair Deal Gone Now (And I didn't like their earlier work either).
As I have stated here before, I think Opeth will continue down a path that leads them further, and further away from "Death Metal". Over the course of time, I see them going in a direction, similar to the one that Amorphis has chosen.

As artists mature, especially artists that write music within any progressive genre, they tend to become more song focused, and less concerned about how technical their music is. I think the other element of this progression, is that as people grow older, their tastes change. The simple fact that Mikael now wishes to work on a side project, a side project that will be a complete departure from what Opeth is, is a clear indication of maturation. Maybe this will lead to the next Opeth CD being even more brutal than anything they have done in the past, as Mikeal may sufficiently scratch the itch to write and perfrom music that is more mellow in nature. However, I believe that eventually, Opeth will depart from the style of music for which they are now loved.

Personally, as I love many different genres of music, I don't really care which direction Mikael takes Opeth in. Where ever he leads them, it will lead to amazing music.

Personally I wonder if Opeth will do like so many bands already have done: give up the death metal vocals and do a record with only clean vocals. I think this would be great, but in order to only have clean vocals, their music must change too. A record like Still Life haven´t worked with only clean vocals.
Personally I wonder if Opeth will do like so many bands already have done: give up the death metal vocals and do a record with only clean vocals. I think this would be great, but in order to only have clean vocals, their music must change too. A record like Still Life haven´t worked with only clean vocals.
i think a lot of fans (such as myself) will feel extremely betrayed if that happens. being innovative is one thing, being true to yourself and your music must go hand in hand with that for the perfect musical creation.

I can understand how you might feel betrayed if Opeth's musical direction changed. However, suggesting that if their musical direction changed, that they would no longer be true to themselves, is off base.

If Mikael reaches a point, where "death metal" (or whatever it is that you wish to classify Opeth as), no longer excited him, and another musicl direction does excite him, then he would only be untrue if he continued to play "death metal".

Being true to yourself means doing what you want to do, not doing what your fans expect of you.

>emotional metal?

Opeth is Opeth. And I definitely think they will make more Opeth music. I never did like this whole classification thing. Suffice it to call Opeth metal.

And I hope they never lose the complexity. I like complexity.

I like how you put that.... and I think they will continue to throw rocks into the emotion pool.. and create 'eerie circles above the water'. It will become music that speaks to you. I've been tapping into this idea for my bands music for a while.. (cause I used to do a lot of acid back in the day and sit there and just listen to music all night long.. all forms.... until you are so in tune you become posessed by the music... you are the music. you understand its language to perfection.)
So I think they will continue to try to amalgamate emotion in the sound and emotion triggered by the words and the sound of the vocals to produce music which pounds you with a language... spoken in pure emotion. This will be their progression I think... expansive as the manifestations of Nature.

And to me Opeth's music reminds me of Nature. Which I think further backs up this notion.
It can grow anywhere in anyway in any form, with fluidity and complexity in structure unriveled by any man-made expression, just like plants and any Natural marverl.

I think this is becoming a genre (now lets label for the sake of understanding) called Naturalistic. The most progressive and evolutionary kind of music ever to evolve from the human mind pool over the millenia of our tiny existance.
I know that when I will be asked to say what genre my music is I'll say 'Naturalistic'. Its the only explanation of what I've been wanting to do.... and I think Opeth are doing to some extent, and will evolve into.

What do you guys think?