Over a 30-year career, Swedish rockers Opeth have transformed their sound from death metal to a complex mix of prog, psychedelia, jazz, classical, and acoustic folk.
∙ The quintet, whose original goal was to be the “most evil” band on Earth, took their name (“City of the Moon”) from the fictional Phoenician city in Wilbur Smith’s 1972 novel, The Sunbird.
∙ Their 1998 concept album, My Arms, Your Hearse—which wove in melodic, acoustic sounds—was their first to be released in the US and Europe simultaneously.
∙ Rolling Stone ranked their theatrical magnum opus, 2001’s Blackwater Park, as the 28th Greatest Prog Rock Album and 55th Greatest Metal Album of All Time.
∙ The first part of their ambitious electric-acoustic two-album set, 2002’s Deliverance won that year’s Grammis Award (the Swedish Grammys) for Best Hard Rock Performance.
∙ In 2005, Ghost Reveries was named Metal Album of the Year by Loudwire, which also ranked it No. 3 on its list of the Top 100 Hard Rock/Metal Albums of the 21st Century.
∙ Opeth’s 13th studio album, 2019’s In Cauda Venenum—their first to be issued in an all-Swedish version—debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart.