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Opeth: Ghost Story

Are Opeth still a death metal band? In 2005, Classic Rock investigated this Swedish conundrum as the band released Ghost Reveries

When it comes to music, Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt is a bit of an anorak.

The snow-peaked, malevolent beauty of Opeth’s immaculately sculpted new album, Ghost Reveries, makes that fact clear. But it’s talking at length with the guitarist, vocalist and songwriter (and, he admits, Classic Rock _subscriber) that reinforces his passion. “I still sometimes work at my local Gothenburg record store,” he says at one point. “It’s not that I need the money, but I like recommending great music to customers. Things like Van Der Graaf Generator’s _Pawn Hearts; twisted and dark stuff, with a disharmonic feel.”

This isn’t what you’d expect of somebody from a band with ferocious black and death metal roots and obligatory flowery logo, but since their formation in 1990 Åkerfeldt has gently nurtured the Swedish band from metal underground cult status to a broader-based and colourful style that integrates his love of progressive and psychedelic rock. 

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