Opeth Bring Swedish Metal to The Wellmont Theatre Tonight

April 19th, 2013

The Swedish metal band Opeth formed in Stockholm more than two decades ago, influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and “occult-infused Scandinavian death metal.” There have been multiple lineup changes since the band’s debut, Orchid, was released in 1995. But the one constant has been frontman (and guitarist) Mikael Åkerfeldt, who is now joined by guitarist Fredrik Åkesson, drummer Martin “Axe” Axenrot, bassist Martín Méndez and keyboardist Joakim Svalberg. And while Opeth (above, doing “The Drapery Falls” at Royal Albert Hall) have long embraced a heavy metal sound, on their 10th album, 2011’s Heritage (stream it below), the five-piece veered in a new direction, employing clean vocals, progressive rock and even jazz fusion to achieve critical and commercial success. (The Guardian called it “brave, melancholic and often beautiful….”) But of course, this doesn’t mean the band’s gone soft. Make no mistake: When they play live, they still bring it, which you can see for yourself tonight at The Wellmont Theatre.