Opeth: Reissues

Prog metal pioneers re-revisit their early years

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

There are few bands in heavy music more revered than Opeth, and one of the principal reasons for that level of adulation is that the prog metal pioneers have never made a duff album.

Newly reissued (and not for the first time) in snazzy digipacks, their first three albums have stood the test of time extraordinarily well and reaffirm what a wonderfully revitalising breath of fresh air Mikael Åkerfeldt and his henchmen provided back in the mid-90s.

Although undeniably more primitive than later efforts, ORCHID [8] was an astonishing and laudably assured debut that emerged with the Swedish death metal scene as its backdrop, while veering purposefully away from it and into far more diverse and imaginative territory.

MORNINGRISE [8] was even more ingenious and epic, as songs like Advent and The Night And The Silent Water heralded the maturing of Opeth’s core sound.

But it was the dark, edgy and texturally fecund MY ARMS, YOUR HEARSE [9] that sealed the deal, with dynamic and emotionally charged moments like Demon Of The Fall and April Ethereal confirming that this unique and cherishable band were operating on their own exquisitely ambitious plane.

If you don’t own these already, you know what to do./o:p

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.