riginality is a rare commodity in these media-dominated, cynical times, but every now and then a band comes along that produces music of such mind-bending brilliance that only the culturally blind could fail to recognize. Extreme metal, a genre that has produced a high proportion of Rock's most distinctive voices in recent years, may not have as yet fully infiltrated the mainstream, but a major breakthrough seems at hand. The vanguard for that movement is Sweden's mighty Opeth, the essential metal band of the 21st century, who seventh release, Damnation, tear down the genres walls and frees it to be cast in a whole new light."
Opeth began their rise in Stockholm, Sweden way back in the late '80s when the then teenaged Mikael Akerfeldt was asked to contribute his bass guitar skills to a fledgling incarnation of the band by its founder member, David Isberg. Isberg eventually abandoned the band altogether, leaving Akerfeldt both the band's name, and the task of picking up the creative pieces. This he did, eventually recruiting what is now acknowledged as the first, real line-up of the band: Akerfeldt on guitar and vocals, Stefan Guteklint on bass guitar, Anders Nordin on drums, and Peter Lindgren on guitar. Today the band features Martin Axenrot (drums), Martin Mendez (bass), and Per Wiberg (keyboard).