After several months away from his drumming duties in Opeth Martin Lopez has permanently decided to leave the group. After being plagued by illness and anxiety attacks Lopez decided he wanted to concentrate fully on his own project, currently unnamed. His replacement will be Martin "Axe" Axenrot who's been filling in for the last 5 tours and who also recorded with the band during the recent BBC sessions.
Mikael Åkerfeldt: "However sad I and the rest of the band feel in light of Lopez departure I want to thank him for his incredible work with Opeth and immense dedication to the band. We recorded some classic stuff together and he obviously had an enormous impact on our sound. I now feel very excited to hear the material of his own band. In the meantime Opeth fans can rest assured that we'll continue jamming it out with Axe and we all have high expectations about our coming musical ventures"
The band posted the following message on their website:
"We can now officially announce that Opeth has signed a worldwide contract with Roadrunner records. The rumours were true! The new album is set to be released sometime in the late August or early September of 2005.
Opeth has cancelled their Vienna/Austria Aerodromme festival appearance (May 27) due to the recording taking longer time than expected. We are very sorry for the fans who expected to see Opeth there, but we hope to return to Austria as soon as humanly possible!
The recording process is going well. One song is mixed and done, another one in the process of being mixed. Solos are being recorded as well as death screams. Some songtitles? "Ghost of perdition", "The baying of the hounds", "Isolation years" and "Harlequin forest" The record plan to be done by June 1.
Opeth has posted the following message on their website:
Per Wiberg has now officially joined Opeth as a permanent member of the band. As most of you know he's been touring with Opeth since their "Damnation" record. Spiritual beggars fans should not despair as he will continue playing and recording with them.
The band is currently hard at work in Fascination street studios. 9 titles have been recorded and at this moment Hammond organs and Mellotrons are being put down to tape. The recording is being supervised and engineered by Jens Bogren and produced by the band. Some song titles have been confirmed and will be posted here soon.
Several North American journalists will visit the studio in mid May for interviews and exclusive listening sessions.
Sweden's OPETH are on the verge of inking a new record deal with Roadrunner Records, informed sources have told BLABBERMOUTH.NET. The band, who were previously signed to the now-defunct British label Music For Nations Records, recently entered Fascination Street studios in Örebro, Sweden to begin recording their eight album, tentatively due later in the year.
OPETH will take part in the inaugural Sounds of the Underground tour, which is slated to kick off June 25 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Other bands scheduled to take part in the trek include CLUTCH, LAMB OF GOD, GWAR, POISON THE WELL, FROM AUTUMN TO ASHES, UNEARTH, EVERY TIME I DIE, CHIMAIRA, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, MADBALL and DEVILDRIVER.
"Mikael Åkerfeldt has been confirmed as the vocalist for the first and last Bloodbath gig. This will take place at Germany's famous Wacken open air festival on the 4th of August. The band will perform songs from all three albums including the non-Åkerfeldt death-bomb "Nightmares made flesh" that featured Peter Tägtgren on vocals. The all star line-up will consist of: Anders Nyström (Katatonia), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Dan Swanö (legendary multi musician), Martin Axenrot (Nifelheim, Witchery etc) and Mikael Åkerfeldt. Be there or....well, of course you'll be there!!
Opeth will be entering Fashination street studios on March 15 to record their 8th yet untitled opus. The band are currently in rehearsal mode, which is a rare occasion having recorded the last 4 records without rehearsing. The recording will be overseen by the uprising recording mogul Jens Bogren. As of today no names for production duties have surfaced and it looks like the next record will be a band produced effort. Nothing has been decided regarding who's taking care of the mix either so we'll have to keep you wondering.
Congratulations are in order for Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt and his wife Anna, who became the parents of a baby daughter, Melinda, this past Monday (Sept. 13). It is the couple's first child.
As previously reported, Åkerfeldt has started writing material for the group's next album, tentatively scheduled to be recorded sometime in the early spring of 2005. Opeth are officially free agents as a result of having been dropped by BMG/Zomba after their previous label, Music For Nations, was folded into parent company Zomba Records Group (the world's largest independent music group). The band are looking through new label offers at the moment
Sweden's OPETH are officially free agents as a result of having been dropped by BMG/Zomba after their previous label, Music For Nations, was folded into parent company Zomba Records Group (the world's largest independent music group). The band are looking through new offers at the moment.
As previously reported, OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt has started writing material for the group's next album, tentatively scheduled to be recorded sometime in the early spring of 2005. Åkerfeldt has also visited No Man Studios in Hemel Hampstead, U.K. to lay down some guitars and backing vocals for the next, as-yet-untitled PORCUPINE TREE record. Mikael plays guitar on one track and sings backing vocals on another five songs. The album is due for release late this year.
OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt has started writing material for the group's next album, tentatively scheduled to be recorded sometime in the early spring of 2005. In other news, Åkerfeldt recently visited No Man Studios in Hemel Hampstead, U.K. to lay down some guitars and backing vocals for the next, as-yet-untitled PORCUPINE TREE record. Mikael plays guitar on one track and sings backing vocals on another five songs. The album is due for release late this year. Also on the OPETH-related front, it is likely that OPETH will put out an audio version of the Shepard's Bush (DVD) concert. If this becomes a reality, there will be some "fantastic and super-exclusive extra features," according to a posting on the band's web site. With regards to their label situation, the band write, "Music For Nations is likely to close their doors within a near future, leaving their roster in the hands of BMG. What will happen to the bands is so far unknown, but it's possible that OPETH will be without a record contract in the near future. This is an effect of the massive merge between Zomba Records and BMG."
OPETH main songwriter and guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt recently spoke to MetalReview.com about the drummer Martin Lopez's anxiety attacks, which caused him to miss a few dates on the band's recent North American tour. "We had to cancel a few shows and we feel very bad about that so we decided we were going to be very open with it," Mikael said. " basically suffered panic attacks and anxiety attacks and severe depression from working too hard and touring so much. It got to the point where he called me up the day before the first scheduled Jordan gig saying that he couldn't go and he was just a wreck. So we took some rest before this gig and then the same thing happened when we went to Frankfurt where we had a connecting flight to Canada and he said he couldn't go, he had to go home and we had to support him with that. He went back home, we missed 3 gigs. Well, he missed them, we did the gigs anyway with our drum tech and Gene Hoglan . He went to a psychologist and they did tests on him and it's actually some stuff in his blood that makes his heart beat faster and that's the reason why he's been depressed. Now he's getting medication and I think the biggest breakthrough for him was knowing what it was because he was literally going insane. And he was seriously thinking that maybe he'd have to leave the band and he was scared that we would fire him. But from Seattle, which was the first gig on this tour, he was back and I think he's happier now because he knows we've been doing this for such a long time and it's like a rejuvenation for him in a way to be back."
OPETH was forced to cancel their Edmonton show yesterday due to their drummer, Martin Lopez, reportedly being sick and still in Sweden. According to someone who spoke to the band (they ended up doing an autograph signing instead), Martin is currently seeing a Psychologist in Sweden after a recent Panic Attack, in which he has recently had problems with. OPETH has found a replacement drummer, and is using the time to rehearse the songs with him. It is also 'unlikely' that the band will play a rescheduled Edmonton show on Thursday, but it is possible. The calgary show may or may not be played tonight, as there's no word on their official site.
OPETH have been forced to cancel their previously announced gig in Jordan due to sickness.
The following is OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt's official statement on the matter:
"It's seem to be a dark spell upon OPETH at this moment. First Chile and now Jordan. I'm in a terrible state myself right now but will try to explain to you our reasons for cancelling.
" Martin Lopez called me 10 minutes before I was supposed to get in the cab for the airport saying he couldn't go. He's suffered a stress-related breakdown and said he simply couldn't do this. We've never cancelled a gig ever before due to the state of the band, so I knew he was serious when he said this. He has a doctors appointment and my guess is that he's suffering from panic or anxiety attacks. This is the reason why we decided to cancel this gig in Amman, Jordan.
Sweden's OPETH recently returned from their first-ever Scandinavian tour. The band performed live in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The Finns finally had a chance to see the band live in concert for the first time ever, and OPETH tried to repay their "debt" by playing a set over two hours 20 minutes long in Helsinki. Surprise for this tour was the inclusion of "April Ethereal" from the 1997 album "My Arms Your Hearse". This has only been played live twice before back in 1997.
The long-awaited DVD, "Lamentations - Live at Shepards Bush Empire" will be released in late November through Music For Nations. American release is set for the end of February 2004.