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Opeth: Reissues

Prog metal pioneers re-revisit their early years

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 has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.