14 Amazing Bands Similar To Opeth

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Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Opeth is a progressive metal band that was formed in 1990. The band is celebrated for their unique fusion of musical styles, incorporating elements of progressive rock, death metal, folk, blues, and classical music into their sound.

Despite numerous lineup changes and most of the original band members replaced, Opeth has remained unwavering in their dedication to creating music. They boast an extensive discography of 13 studio albums, with “Ghost Of Perdition” and “Blackwater Park” among their most revered tracks.

If you love Opeth and want to find some similar bands, then you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ve compiled a list of 14 bands like Opeth that you’ll be adding to your next playlist. Let’s get started.

Opeth by MrPanyGoff (CC BY-SA 3.0)

1. Katatonia

Hailing from the same city of Stockholm, the heavy metal band Katatonia was formed just a year after Opeth. The bond between the two bands extends beyond music: When Katatonia’s lead vocalist Jonas Renkse encountered vocal cord issues, Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth stepped in as a temporary vocalist.

Although often compared to Opeth for their similar atmospheric feel, Katatonia stands out on its own by blending dark, melancholic tones with intricate songwriting. This distinct style is why many progressive metal/rock fans often consider them part of the holy trinity, along with Porcupine Tree and Opeth.

Among Katatonia’s most notable songs that exemplify their musical depth are “My Twin,” “Day and Then the Shade,” and “Ghost of the Sun.” Their blend of doom metal, alternative rock, and death metal influences results in a sound that is distinctly their own and has earned them a dedicated fan base worldwide.

2. Between The Buried And Me

Often abbreviated to BTAM, Between The Buried And Me is an American progressive metal band that came together following the disbandment of two metalcore acts, From Here On and Prayer for Cleansing.

Combining elements of progressive metal, technicality, and a wide array of musical influences, Between The Buried And Me swiftly gained recognition in its own right.

Known for their complex song structures and intricate instrumentation, the band fearlessly fused genres such as metalcore, death metal, and avante-garde metal into their sonic tapestry. This experimental approach to music is often reminiscent of Opeth’s intrepid musical explorations.

The band’s melodic sensibility shines through even within the chaos that ensues during some parts of their songs, such as “Selkies: The Endless Obsession,” “Ants of the Sky,” and “Colors.”

3. Porcupine Tree

Standing tall among influential bands in the progressive metal scene, Porcupine Tree began as a creative outlet for frontman Steven Wilson in 1987. Over the years, the project evolved into a full-fledged band with a distinctive sound that blended elements of progressive rock, metal, and alternative rock.

Wilson has often collaborated with Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt multiple times throughout his career as a producer and musician. For instance, he co-produced several albums for Opeth, including Blackwater Park, which can also account for the similar atmosphere found within both bands’ music.

The band’s songs are a patchwork of emotional depth, sonic intricacy, and captivating storytelling. Some of Porcupine Tree’s biggest hits are “Arriving Somewhere But Not Here,” “Trains,” “Anesthetize,” and “Lazarus.”

After experiencing intermittent periods of hiatus over the years, Porcupine Tree reunited in 2021 and embarked on a subsequent tour the following year. Although their planned live performances in 2023 may mark a potential culmination, the band has not definitively closed their doors.

4. Gojira

Also known as Godzilla, Gojira is a heavy metal band from France that was formed in 1996 by the Duplantier brothers, Joe and Mario. Their music has been described as progressive metal with themes centered around nature, environmentalism, and spirituality.

Aside from their common ground in their musical genre, Gojira and Opeth love crafting intricate compositions that push the boundaries of traditional metal music. Gojira’s lead guitarist Joe Duplantier’s style often incorporates complex riffs and heavy palm-muted sections.

Gojira’s unique approach to music can be heard in some of their most acclaimed tracks such as “The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe,” “Backbone,” and “Stranded.”

Gojira’s impact goes beyond their music. They have become prominent advocates for environmental sustainability, using their platform to raise awareness about the urgent need for ecological consciousness.

5. Dream Theater

Regarded as one of the “Big Three” of progressive metal, Dream Theater has been a dominant force in the rock and metal scene since 1985. Originally known as Majestic, the band underwent a name change due to legal considerations—a move that turned out to be a defining moment in their career.

The name Dream Theater encapsulates the band’s musical ethos: complex compositions, imaginative album concepts, and exceptional musicianship. The band also incorporates elements of symphonic rock, classical music, and arena rock while still maintaining its progressive metal roots—a style similar to Opeth’s.

One thing that sets Dream Theater apart from other prog metal bands is their ability to tell stories through their music. Many of their albums have a central concept or theme that ties all the songs together into a cohesive narrative.

Dream Theater has released several critically acclaimed songs over the years, including “Metropolis—Part I: ‘The Miracle And The Sleeper” and “On The Backs Of Angels.”

6. Anathema

Initially called Pagan Angel, Anathema came into the doom metal and progressive rock scene in 1990. Known for their visionary artistry and creative songwriting, the band quickly gained a devoted following.

Their music can be described as emotional, melodic rock with spacey soundscapes that transport listeners into a new-age realm. Anathema’s early albums highlighted their songwriting prowess, releasing hit tracks like “Empty” and “Fragile Dreams.”

The mid-90s saw Anathema experimenting with more progressive and electronic elements, which fans of Opeth and Porcupine Tree will undoubtedly appreciate. This ability to seamlessly weave together disparate genres set them apart from the pack, and as such, earned them accolades from critics.

While Anathema planned to release an album in 2020, they announced an indefinite hiatus. Nonetheless, Anathema has remained a vital part of the metal and progressive rock scene for over three decades.

7. Riverside

Founded in 2001, the Polish progressive rock band Riverside started out as a casual “experiment” by musician friends Piotr Kozieradzki, Piotr Grudziński, and Jacek Melnicki. What began as a modest exploration of their collective talents quickly blossomed into the band it is today.

Riverside’s music has often been compared to other progressive and atmospheric rock bands like Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater, both of which share similarities as well with Opeth. Their sound incorporates elements of metal, rock, folk, and jazz, making for a truly unique listening experience.

Their hit tracks “River Down Below” and “02 Panic Room” showcase the band’s range, from delicate acoustic sounds to heavier passages. Riverside also has an affinity for lengthy compositions, as evidenced by their nearly 13-minute epic “Escalator Shrine.”

To date, Riverside is still actively touring and releasing new music. Their latest album, Wasteland, was released in 2018. The album marks a drastic departure from the band’s prior sound and features heavier and more electronic elements than before.

8. Agalloch

Formed in 1995, Agalloch is a progressive metal band that combines elements of black metal with acoustic folk-inspired music. The band has been highly praised for its unique combination of various metal styles, including doom metal, post-metal, and folk metal.

Tracks like “Limbs,” “and “In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion” are fine examples of the band’s captivating blend of folk and metal. Agalloch’s lyrics delve into themes of nature, introspection, and the human experience. They also often incorporate elements of mythology and folklore into their songs.

While Opeth incorporated elements of progressive rock and death metal, Agalloch combined black metal with acoustic folk-inspired music. Both bands displayed a mastery of dynamics, effortlessly transitioning between heavy, aggressive sections and introspective, melodic passages.

Despite Agalloch’s disbandment in 2016 after two decades in the music scene, this didn’t halt the members’ creative journeys. Each member has pursued various musical projects, and in 2023, the remaining members reunited for a performance.

9. Queensrÿche

American heavy metal band Queensrÿche rose to fame in the 1980s with their unique blend of progressive and melodic metal. Although formed in 1982, Queensrÿche’s breakthrough came with the release of their concept album Operation: Mindcrime in 1988.

The album, hailed as a progressive metal masterpiece, showcased the band’s exceptional musicianship, intelligent lyrics, and Geoff Tate’s powerful vocal range. Following their commercial success, Queensrÿche released several hit tracks including “Silent Lucidity” and “Jet City Woman.”

Similar to Opeth, Queensrÿche’s music embraced a progressive approach that went beyond the traditional confines of heavy metal. Both bands shared a penchant for incorporating complex song structures, intricate guitar work, and a willingness to explore various musical genres within their compositions.

The band’s commitment to their craft and the quality of their recent releases have kept them relevant in the metal scene. With a career spanning over four decades, Queensrÿche continues to create new music, even in recent years. Their latest album, Digital Noise Alliance, was released in 2022.

10. Mastodon

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Mastodon is a band that has earned a place in the pantheon of essential progressive metal groups. They have been consistently ranked among the most technically proficient bands in the genre since their inception in 2000.

Mastodon and Opeth are often compared, drawing attention to their mutual emphasis on intricate song arrangements and powerful melodies. Nonetheless, Mastodon distinguishes itself by skillfully weaving together influences from sludge metal, stoner rock, alternative metal, and psychedelic metal.

This unique sonic blend is evident in some of their songs like “Blood And Thunder,” The Motherload,” and “Colony Of Birchmen,” all of which are staples of their live shows.

Mastodon’s impact is not limited to their musical style but also extends to their lyrical themes. They often delve into conceptual storytelling, drawing inspiration from literature, mythology, and personal experiences. Mastodon continues to tour and record, with their latest album, Hushed And Grim, released in 2021.

11. Tool

Another noteworthy progressive metal band that shares similarities with Opeth is Tool. This American alternative metal band is known for their complex and intricate compositions, heavy riffs, and thought-provoking lyrics.

Tool’s music often incorporates elements of hard rock and heavy metal while also showcasing distinctive psychedelic influences. Their signature sound features odd-time signatures, polyrhythms, intense drumming patterns, and the haunting vocals of frontman Maynard James Keenan.

Tool has achieved immense success since their formation in 1990. Their songs such as “Schism,” “Sober,” “Forty Six and 2,” and “Fear Inoculum” showcase the band’s evolution and their ability to push the boundaries of progressive metal.

Despite their success, Tool is known for taking their time between albums, focusing on the creative process and ensuring that each release meets their artistic standards. As of 2022, Tool has expressed their intent in creating their sixth studio album, but no definite year has been given for its release.

12. Pain Of Salvation

Next, we have the Swedish rock band Pain Of Salvation. The band, led by Daniel Gildenlöw, is known for its intricate songwriting, dynamic guitar playing, and powerful vocal performances.

Gildenlöw’s unique approach to musical composition is often compared to the innovative approach of Opeth’s primary songwriter Åkerfeldt. Both meticulously craft their songs, layering multiple instruments and weaving intricate melodies and harmonies throughout their compositions.

This style is evident in some of their songs like “Meaningless,” “Beyond The Pale,” and “This Heart Of Mine.” Pain Of Salvation masterfully blends elements of progressive metal, alternative rock, and symphonic rock that defies conventional boundaries and delivers an enthralling musical experience.

To this day, Pain Of Salvation has remained active in the music scene, proving their enduring presence and unwavering commitment to their craft. With a career spanning over four decades, the band has consistently released albums, the lastest one being Panther, which was released in 2020.

13. Ne Obliviscaris

Next up is Ne Obliviscaris, an Australian progressive metal group, known for incorporating non-traditional elements into their music. They seamlessly blend together elements of classical music with heavy metal riffs and intricate drumming patterns, all while maintaining an intense energy.

Like Opeth, Ne Obliviscaris is a band that pushes the boundaries of genre conventions. One of the standout aspects of Ne Obliviscaris’ music is their use of violin. In addition to their musical complexity, they also incorporate thought-provoking and introspective lyrical themes.

The brilliance of their songwriting can be heard in their songs “The Aurora Veil,” “And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope,” and “Urn (Part I) – And Within the Void We Are Breathless.” These songs, among many others, explore philosophical concepts and existential questions amidst the harsh backdrop of metal.

The band’s dedication and longevity as a band are commendable and have played a significant role in shaping their musical identity. Exul, their latest album, released in 2023, is a testament to their unwavering passion for their craft.

14. Haken

Going to a more recent addition to progressive rock music, Haken is an English band that had its early beginnings in 2004 as an after-school hobby of its founding members: Richard Henshall, Ross Jennings, and Matthew Marshall.

Initially recording only demos in 2007, it was three years later that Haken released their debut album Aquarius, which quickly gained a cult following for their signature blend of intricate rhythms, soaring melodies, and thought-provoking lyrical themes.

Haken’s music draws influences from various genres, including progressive rock, metal, jazz, fusion, and even classical music—a similar approach that earlier bands like Opeth adopted. This eclectic mix of genres is evident in their discography, with tracks like “Cockroach King,” “Atlas Stone,” and “Crystallized.”

The band recently released their latest album in 2023, Fauna, which peaked at #2 on the UK Rock and Metal Albums chart. As one of the most modern and progressive metal bands around, it’s exciting to see what new heights Haken will reach, especially to a global audience!

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Similar To Opeth

And there we have it! Fans of Opeth have plenty of options to widen their listening horizons, each of which offers something unique and exciting while also sharing some of the same progressive metal elements that define Opeth.

From the melodic death metal stylings of Katatonia to the progressive rock leanings of Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater, these bands offer something for every type of metalhead or prog enthusiast.

Did we miss a favorite of yours? Let us know and we’ll add them to the list!

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Written by Dan Farrant
Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.