Jordan Blum – Opeth: Every Album, Every Song 

Opeth Every Album Every Song Book Cover

Jordan Blum – Opeth: Every Album, Every Song 
Release Date: 29/04/22
Book Review by Emma Torkington 

If you are not familiar with Opeth have you been living in a cave for the last 30 years? This band has been the influence of many bands that we love today. And now, thanks to the writing and compiling skills of Jordan Blum, we can enjoy their music in a new way. 

Opeth: Every Album Every Song gives a beautiful insight to more than just the music this renowned band has created. It offers a detailed look into every twist and turn, every band change, and every possible thought. 

I have to admit that, while I know Opeth and like a few of their tracks, through reading this book I got to know the band so much more. I didn’t know that much about the line up, and the changes, but this book gave me that insight, and makes listening to their back catalogue even more interesting.

This book breaks down each album and gives you an in depth look at how the band changed and formed their unique sound over the years. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves Opeth, or in fact anyone who is interested in how a band can withstand the tests of time. 

The book is available to buy now from all good bookstores!


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Emma Torkington and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Opeth – Blackwater Park 20th Anniversary Edition

Blackwater Park (20th Anniversary Edition) Album Cover Art

Opeth – Blackwater Park 20th Anniversary Edition
Music For Nations
Release Date: 16/07/2021
Running Time: 76:43
Review by Dawn Smith

When I asked the good people at Ever Metal if I could return to the family as a reviewer, much to my relief, they welcomed me back with open arms. My first job was to look through the album list and pick an album that I wanted to review. One jumped out of the screen straight away!

I had never really given Opeth much thought in the past, only having a copy of “Blackwater Park”, which I had probably listened to three times (at most!) and nothing of the other stuff they had done. Progressive music didn’t really feature on my radar and the album sat at the bottom of the CD pile, gathering dust.

Now, twenty years later, my musical tastes having become a little more diverse, so I felt ready to give the album the attention it deserved and what better way than with the 20th Anniversary Edition?

But first, a little history!

Opeth were formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1989, originally, as a death metal band, and over the years have changed their sound to consistently include elements of progressive, folk, blues, classical and jazz as well as death metal and the death metal growls from the early years. Cleaner vocals have appeared on later albums to the point that their last album “In Cauda Venenum”, released in 2019, featured no growls at all.

The band has had several personnel changes over the years, including the replacement of every single original member and Mikael Akerfeldt, lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter has been the main driving force behind the band since the departure of original singer, David Isberg in 1992.

Speaking of the band’s changing sound Akerfeldt has been quoted as saying “I don’t see the point of playing in a band and going just one way when you can do everything. It would be impossible for us to play just death metal – that is our roots, but we are now a mishmash of everything, and not purists to any form of music. It’s impossible for us to do that, and quite frankly, I would think of it as boring to be in a band that plays just metal music. We’re not afraid to experiment, or to be caught with our pants down, so to speak. That’s what keeps us going.”

In 2001 the metal word was in a post-grunge state, but Opeth were forging a unique creative path and after four albums of imaginative and immersive heavy metal, the first being “Orchid” released in 1995, the band were ready for a career- defining statement and that came in the form of “Blackwater Park”.

Originally released on March 12th, 2001, “Blackwater Park” was the band’s fifth album, and soon become their magnum opus, their flagship album. It became known as the “thinking metal fan’s album” and was something to challenge the listener. It opened the band up to a much wider audience, including the metal underground and the progressive rock world inclusive! To quote the band’s own notes to the album, it “saw the Swedish metallers kick open prog’s ornate doors, fed death metal through the cosmic kaleidoscope and introduced a generation of music nerds to a world of limitless musical possibilities.”

The album was produced by Steve Wilson, a move that was to be the start of a lifelong friendship and Mikael Akerfeldt says that “Blackwater Park was the stepping stone in professionalism for us!”

The album can be summed up as a mix of melodic moments, spine-tingling atmospherics and crushing heaviness, or just simply musical perfection. With the bonus live version of ‘The Leper Affinity’ and several songs over ten minutes long, the album’s popularity has proved that music fans, and metalheads in particular, are more open-minded than they are given credit for, and that metal music can have depth, subtlety, sophistication, and imagination.

With thirteen studio albums under their belt, along with live albums and DVD’s, the band have proven they are now one of the most consistently extraordinary live bands on the planet, and one I need to see…soon!

01. The Leper Affinity
02. Bleak
03. Harvest
04. The Drapery Falls
05. Dirge For November
06. The Funeral Portrait
07. Patterns In The Ivy
08. Blackwater Park
09. The Leper Affinity (Live)

Mikael Åkerfeldt – Lead Vocals, Guitars
Peter Lindgren – Guitars
Martín Méndez – Bass
Martin Lopez – Drums
Steven Wilson – Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Mellotron, Guitars
Markus Lindberg – Percussion


Blackwater Park 20th Anniversary vinyl versions

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn Smith and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Opeth – In Cauda Venenum


Opeth – In Cauda Venenum
Moderbolaget / Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 27/09/2019
Running Time: 67:44
Review by Cliff Scowen

First of all, I’m not going get drawn into the which Opeth is better the old or new, guttural growls or clean vocals, as Opeth fans are intelligent enough to figure it out themselves.
Secondly, having been a massive fan since the “Orchid” album people may think I am a bit biased in my review. Well I’m not. I don’t have to be when an album is this good. In nearly 30 years, I’ve seen Opeth evolve from a full-on death metal band to the prog metal legends they are today.
So, to album number four of clean vocals. The title means ‘Poison In The Tail’, frontman Mikael Akerfeldt recorded two versions one in English and another in Swedish and we get 10 tracks covering 70 minutes of majestic music.
Opener ‘Garden of Earthly Delight’ is a delightful, atmospheric piece with its choral chanting and voice overs, setting the tone of what’s about to follow. With the opening track seamlessly slotting into ‘Dignity’ with some seriously cool percussion and heavy riffs, it’s good finding Akerfeldt in great voice early into the album.
The first single from the album ‘Heart In Hand’ sees us in refreshingly classic Opeth territory, Axenrot’s drum fills alongside Akesson’s riff made it nigh on impossible for me not to nod my head.
’Next of Kin’ has a much darker feel, haunting choirs set around a crystal clear acoustic guitar and I guess you could call ‘Lovelorn Crime’ the albums ballad, hearing those piano chords entwining with Axenrot’s drums and Martin’s bass and a deeply felt solo is a joyous thing to hear, a true masterpiece.
The surreal sound of ‘Charlatan’ seamless musical interludes is backed by operatic monks and ‘Universal Truth’, a huge melody with faultless piano work is so full of angst and emotion. We see ‘The Garrotter’ next with its alluring intro and it’s almost jazzy feel certainly keeps Svalberg busy on keyboards.
We, then, hit more familiar ground with ‘Continuum’, Akerfeldt pushing his band and musical boundaries as only Opeth can. Akessons use of the wah-wah pedal is outstanding and so to closer ‘All Things Will Pass’ which has an almost anthemic feel to it, has enough musical hooks to catch the ear of the listener. I have heard that Akerfeldt’s voice sounds rawer on the Swedish version but I’m putting that down to him singing in his native tongue, just as “Ghost Reveries” was back in 2005.
“In Cauda Venenum” is another watershed moment in their distinguished career, an album combining all the mesmerising qualities of its predecessors “Heritage”, “Pale Communion” and “Sorceress “and taking it to another level.
A very easy……10/10
Standout Tracks: ‘Continuum’, ‘Universal Truth’, ‘Lovelorn Crime’
In Cauda Venenum Track listing (English/Swedish):
1. Garden Of Earthly Delights / Livet’s Trädgård
2. Dignity / Svekets Prins
3. Heart In Hand / Hjärtat Vet Vad Handen Gör
4. Next Of Kin / De Närmast Sörjande
5. Lovelorn Crime / Minnets Yta
6. Charlatan
7. Universal Truth / Ingen Sanning Är Allas
8. The Garroter / Banemannen
9. Continuum / Kontinuerlig Drift
10.All Things Will Pass / Allting Tar Slut
Band members
Mikael Akerfeldt – Guitar/vocals,
Fredrick Akesson – Guitars,
Carlos Martin – Bass,
Martin Axenrot – Drums,
Joakim Svalberg – Keyboards.
Review reproduced here with kind permission of Cliff Scowen and MDR
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Cliff Scowen. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of said parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.