Supporting the release of their already critically acclaimed new album Sorceress, Opeth are touring Europe. On November 18th they played the 013 venue in Tilburg. Opening the show for Opeth were Sahg, a Norwegian rock-doom band. They played very well, but it was very hard to pinpoint their style, shifting between melancholic melodic old school doom, alternative rock, heavy metal and most of all everything sounding very much like the late 90’s early 2000’s. In the more up tempo songs had more of a death metal feeling, but in general the band seem to lack a common vision and coherent style.
After about half an hour’s wait the fans, who’ve crowded into the room from well before Sahg started, get what they clearly came for. Opeth take the stage, opening with their title track Sorceress. Known for their excellent live shows there’s really nothing you can comment about Opeth, the sound was excellent, even up at the balcony in the back, the songs were masterfully played, the lighting adding atmosphere to the songs. The signature Mikael Akerfeldt growls were the most impressive feature of the show for me. It’s incredible to hear Åkerfeldt switch smoothly from a deep growl to smooth, light singing. The harmonies were spot on too, something that can be quite difficult to achieve in general.
With an extremely varied setlist, with old songs going as far back as Blackwater Park and My Arms, your Hearse, and only three songs from the new album. If one goes by the whooping fans this seemed deeply satisfying, and even a small pit is formed somewhere near the end of the show. The excitable fans whooping and yelling through some of the outros, intros and dry wit infused chats Åkerfeldt does between songs, was the only disturbance in the sound of what was an excellent show.
With a somewhat unimpressive and confused opener, Opeth pull it all back up to the excellent level we’ve come to expect from them, with a set that quenches a thirst for the older material among the fans.