Best Opeth Albums

Opeth have redefined the definition of death metal by adding progressive, jazz, and folk elements into the mix. With epic songs, the wide range that vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt brings to the table, and the technical prowess of all its members, Opeth have evolved from a straightforward death metal band with acoustic pieces to a full-on progressive metal band.

Keyboardist Per Wiberg had a big part in this transformation, especially on later Opeth albums. Through it all, Opeth has maintained a loyal fan base, earning the respect of the metal community.

1
'Blackwater Park' (2001)

Opeth - 'Blackwater Park'
Opeth - 'Blackwater Park'.

Opeth’s fifth album was where the band finally found a perfect balance between their heavy, aggressive side and their softer, progressive side. With the help of producer Steven Wilson, of Porcupine Tree fame, Opeth crafted a masterpiece, one that is still hailed by many as the band’s best album.

The title track is a magnificent display of musicianship, while the acoustic-driven “Harvest” and the subtle beauty of opener “The Leper Affinity” show Åkerfeldt maturing as a songwriter. Buy from Amazon »

2
'Ghost Reveries' (2005)

Opeth - 'Ghost Reveries'
Opeth - 'Ghost Reveries'.

With keyboardist Per Wiberg on as a full-time member, Åkerfeldt and company took a big risk with Ghost Reveries. Leaning towards the progressive side, the influences that bands like Camel had on Åkerfeldt growing up shone through in tracks like “Atonement” and “Hours Of Wealth.”

Closer “Isolation Years” is a wonderful ballad and the one-two punch of “Ghost Of Perdition” and “The Baying Of The Hounds” stands as one of Opeth’s finest moments. Buy from Amazon »

3
'Still Life' (1999)

Opeth - 'Still Life'
Opeth - 'Still Life'.

A dark tale about a man returning to a town he was banished from to find his lost love, Opeth’s fourth album was a brilliant and underappreciated concept album.

Unlike their previous concept album, 1998’s My Arms, Your Hearse, the story of Still Life is more engaging and thought-provoking. Songs like “Face Of Melinda” and “Godhead's Lament” are fan favorites that are still played live to this day.

4
'Deliverance' (2002)

Opeth - 'Deliverance'
Opeth - 'Deliverance'.

What was originally supposed to be part one of a double album turned into a separate release, a sharp contrast to Opeth’s next album, the mellow Damnation. Deliverance was structured similarly to the band’s sophomore album Morningrise, with long tracks making up the majority of the running length.

The title track has a memorable outro, “A Fair Judgement” is beautiful and depressing at the same time, and “Master’s Apprentices” qualifies as one of the heaviest songs of Opeth’s career. Buy from Amazon »

5
'Orchid' (1995)

Opeth - 'Orchid'
Opeth - 'Orchid'.

Opeth’s debut album was considered groundbreaking for its time. Opening with the 14-minute epic “In Mist She Was Standing,” the band made an immediate impact on death metal fans. While Akerfeldt's vocals lacked the power and intensity of later releases, and the dry production left a lot to be desired, the essence of what made Opeth a hit among underground metal fans was present, even at the early stages of the band’s career.

The guitar work throughout Orchid is fantastic, with “Forest Of October” and “The Twilight In My Robe” containing phenomenal lead work from Åkerfeldt.