Opeth, High on Fire, Nachtmystium All Ages Critic's Choice Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., Sept. 24, 5:35 p.m. 2008

Swedish metal powerhouse Opeth has been turning out records for more than a decade but only relatively recently made a dent in the market outside Europe, breaking into Billboard’s American top 200 with 2003’s Damnation (Koch). As a kind of self-reintroduction, this year the band released The Candlelight Years, a limited-edition box set of its first three albums, along with its ninth, Watershed (Roadrunner). Festival cancellations and front man Mikael Akerfeldt’s bout with chicken pox (very un-metal) set back this summer’s European tour, but if all goes well tonight’s show should be a corker. The new album is more accessible on first listen than much of the band’s past output, and tempts me to use words like “masterpiece”: cool, folk-tinged metal has never sounded more crisp and fiercely beautiful. As usual, the tracks here are long and rich, the folk and prog flourishes rooted in a solid base of old-school heaviness. —Monica Kendrick

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