Opeth Welcome Drummer Waltteri Väyrynen (Ex-Paradise Lost) To The Band

Opeth have officially welcomed drummer Waltteri Väyrynen (ex-Paradise Lost) to the band. He will be replacing Martin Axenrot, who exited the group last year.

Opeth issued the following statement:

“We are pleased to announce that the new drummer in Opeth is no other than Waltteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost, Bloodbath, Bodom After Midnight). Walt will take on his duties effective immediately and will play his first show with the band in Tallinn/Estonia on September 14, 2022. He will replace stand-in drummer Sami Karppinen who has been the temporary replacement for Martin Axenrot since the fall of 2021.

The band are currently in rehearsals for the upcoming tour.”

Mikael Åkerfeldt added:

”We just had our first rehearsal with Walt yesterday and it went incredibly well! We were all very nervous beforehand, but Waltteri completely killed it! Pure delivery! We went through 16 songs (!) from start to finish and didn’t have a single correctional comment.

It’s quite remarkable! I was astounded, and so were the rest of the band. He has everything, really. From the required laid-back sensitivity an Opeth drummer needs, via the classic rock, prog rock, metal grooves and onwards to downright mega-intricate technical virtuosity.

On top of that, he knows the songs extremely well (already) both from the recorded versions as well as the sometimes modified live versions. We were hearing drum rolls and beats that we hadn’t heard since the songs were recorded. The audience is certainly up for plenty of air-drum moments connected to their favourite Opeth songs. Walt has got it down, to put it mildly.

On top of everything, Waltteri is an awesome bloke. Genuine. Super nice. Funny. And young! He was born the same year we recorded our debut album, ”Orchid”. Imagine that!

We very much look forward to going on the road together with him. Create new music together. Play all over the world. And to provide a musical future together with us. This is no small feat for a band 32 years of age. I’m very, very excited about him joining us, and I hope that our audience will embrace him with open arms.

I’d also want to take this opportunity to thank Sami for saving our asses when we most needed saving. If it hadn’t been for his efforts, friendship and care we’d probably been ”on ice” as we speak. We’re furthermore happy to keep Sami as part of the Opeth family. His contribution to Opeth is beyond words, and he’ll continue to help make our performances as good as possible. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Sami!

Mikael Åkerfeldt, September 2022″

Drummer Martin “Axe” Axenrot’s Departure From Opeth Was Reportedly Related To His COVID-19 Vaccination Status

It appears Martin “Axe” Axenrot’s departure from Opeth was related to his refusal to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The news was confirmed by Paradise Lost vocalist Nick Holmes, who performs with the drummer in Bloodbath.

Holmes told Blabbermouth the following when asked about Axenrot’s current status in Bloodbath:

“He’s still in the band as far as I’m aware. I haven’t seen him for three years, maybe more. Waltteri’s [Väyrynen, PARADISE LOST] been playing drums with BLOODBATH more than Axe has in the last couple of years.”

He also added:

“I mean, [Martin] was working with OPETH prior to the pandemic, so he decided to take a backseat to the live shows and Waltteri did the [BLOODBATH] live shows ever since. He’s still in [BLOODBATH]. The whole pandemic — he didn’t want to get the vaccine, so that caused issues with travel and touring with OPETH when they started to go out again six months ago. That caused them issues there. It’s come over to BLOODBATH for sure.”

Voivod Added To Opeth’s November European/UK Tour

Voivod have been added to Opeth’s upcoming European/UK tour. Here’s the dates for that run:

11/10 Copenhagen, DEN – Grey Hall
11/12 Wiesbaden, GER – Schlachthof
11/14 Berlin, GER – Admiralspalast
11/15 Wuppertal, GER – Historische Stadthalle
11/16 Paris, FRA – Salle Pleyel
11/17 London, UK – Eventim Apollo
11/19 Utrecht, NET – TivoliVredenburg
11/20 Utrecht, NET – TivoliVredenburg
11/21 Zurich, SWI – Komplex
11/23 Barcelona, SPA – Razzmatazz
11/24 Bilbao, SPA – Santana 27
11/25 Madrid, SPA – La Riviera
11/26 Lisbon, POR – Sla Tejo

Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) Releases Soundtrack For Netflix’s “Clark”, Tobias Forge (Ghost) & Myrkur Appear In The Series

Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) has created the soundtrack for Netflix’s “Clark.” That six-episode series was directed by Jonas Åkerlund (“Lords Of Chaos”, etc.) and it stars Bill Skarsgård (“It”, “Castle Rock”) as Swedish criminal Clark Olofsson. Fans can watch the show now and stream the soundtrack on the service of their choice HERE. Physical copies will also be available on July 22.

Åkerfeldt commented:

“Writing the music for ‘Clark‘ is probably one of the most rewarding things I’ve done musically. It was so fun. Challenging but fun. I wanted to do a good job, of course, and provide music that would fit with the rather bizarre tale of Clark Olofsson. I had to conjure up a sound for him. His sound. It’s all in my head, I guess, but it felt like I was on to something after having finished the first track. The immediate feedback from Jonas Åkerlund was almost overly positive. So I just took it from there.

During the pandemic, I wrote so much music for this project, but I like to think I didn’t stray too much from the ‘original sound of Clark.’ The finished soundtrack record is a downright wish-mash of musical styles. Some sounds I’m familiar with. Other sounds were brand new to me. Or old, depending on how you see it. Brand ‘old’?

The album doesn’t really make musical sense at all, and that’s pretty much the purpose. Writing music to portray the multi-faceted story of a man like Clark Olofsson was bound to generate some type of musical insanity. It (the music) is just all over the place. Oddly enough, so is my own personal taste in music.

Even if many would deem Clark ‘a man insane,’ it really helped me in my work. No boundaries (let’s cross them). No rules (let’s break them). Anything goes…”

Notably, several metal musicians also appear in the series including Åkerfeldt, Tobias Forge (Ghost) and Myrkur. You can find a trailer and some footage of Forge and Myrkur’s parts below:

Opeth To Release Extended Edition Of “In Cauda Venenum” In May

Opeth will be releasing an extended edition of their latest album, “In Cauda Venenum,” on May 13. The effort will include the English and Swedish versions of record, new illustrations by Travis Smith, and a CD of bonus tracks. Those songs include: “The Mob” / “Pöbeln,” “Width Of A Circle” / “Cirkelns Riktning,” and “Freedom & Tyranny” / “Frihet & Tyranni.” If you missed it, you can stream “Width Of A Circle” HERE. Furthermore, the “Connoisseur Edition” vinyl box set version of “In Cauda Venenum” will be made available in North American retail stores for the first time on May 13 as well. Both album editions will also be available at the band’s merch table on their North American tour.

Khemmis Added To Opeth & Mastodon’s Spring North American Tour

Khemmis have been added to Opeth and Mastodon’s spring North American tour. Here’s the dates for that run:

04/21 Montreal, QC – Place Bell
04/22 Toronto, ON – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
04/23 Cleveland, OH – The Agora
04/24 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
04/26 Philadelphia, PA – The Met
04/28 Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
04/29 Detroit, MI – The Masonic
04/30 Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Ballroom
05/01 St. Paul, MN – The Myth
05/03 Saskatoon, SK – TCU Place
05/04 Calgary, AB – Grey Eagle Events Centre
05/05 Edmonton, AB – EDM Expo Centre
05/07 Vancouver, BC – Thunderbird Sports Centre
05/08 Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater
05/09 Portland, OR – Keller Auditorium
05/11 Riverside, CA – Municipal Auditorium

Opeth & Mastodon Announce Spring North American Tour

Opeth and Mastodon will be teaming up once again for a spring North American tour. Here’s the dates:

04/21 Montreal, QC – Place Bell
04/22 Toronto, ON – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
04/23 Cleveland, OH – The Agora
04/24 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
04/26 Philadelphia, PA – The Met
04/28 Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
04/29 Detroit, MI – The Masonic
04/30 Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Ballroom
05/01 St. Paul, MN – The Myth
05/03 Saskatoon, SK – TCU Place
05/04 Calgary, AB – Grey Eagle Events Centre
05/05 Edmonton, AB – EDM Expo Centre
05/07 Vancouver, BC – Thunderbird Sports Centre
05/08 Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater
05/09 Portland, OR – Keller Auditorium
05/11 Riverside, CA – Municipal Auditorium

Opeth Part Ways With Drummer Martin Axenrot

Opeth have parted ways with drummer Martin Axenrot due to “conflict of interests.” As a result, the band will now be playing their immediate live shows with fill-in drummer Sami Karppinen (Therion).

Opeth issued the following statement:

“Due to conflict of interests, Martin Axenrot is no longer part of the Opeth collective. His replacement for the North American tour with Mastodon and Zeal & Ardor will be powerhouse drummer Sami Karppinen. His first show will take place today (November 16th) at Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, NC.”

Mikael Åkerfeldt added:

“However sad it is to not have Axe in the band anymore, we’re not in a position to linger on anything that is going to hold us back. We need to soldier on. Needless to say, we’re incredibly thankful that Sami is helping us out, making this tour possible at all. On top of that, he’s quite outstanding, really!”

“All of us wish the best for Axe in all and any of his future endeavors. He has been an incredibly important part of the band for many years now, and we’re all heartbroken it didn’t work out in the end. But that’s life, I guess…”

Opeth, Mastodon, And Zeal & Ardor Announce Fall U.S. Tour

Opeth and Mastodon will be teaming up for a co-headlining U.S. tour this fall. Zeal & Ardor will open.

Tour Dates:

11/16 Asheville, NC – ExploreAsheville.com Arena
11/18 Boston, MA – The Wang Theatre
11/19 Albany, NY – Palace Theatre
11/20 New York City – Hammerstein Ballroom
11/21 Washington, DC – The Anthem
11/23 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
11/24 Atlanta, GA – The Eastern
11/26 Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater
11/27 Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom
11/28 Sugar Land, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
11/30 Mesa, AZ – Mesa Amphitheatre
12/01 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
12/02 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
12/04 Salt Lake City, UT – The Union
12/05 Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom

Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt commented:

“Well, we’re about to start up the ole machine again after our longest (involuntary) break ever. We’ve kept rather silent during all this time. We haven’t done much press or public appearances. No streaming shows and of course, no ‘real’ shows. We’ve kept to ourselves, biding our time. Coming back to North America will be a treat, even if there are conflicting emotions.

We’ve become used to being out of sight. But playing live is such an integral part of being in this band. We need to get back out there to see if we still have it in us. Stepping out on a stage after all this time will surely be a nerve-wrecking experience, but we count on you to help us out. We’ll be traveling with familiar faces however. Together with our friends in Mastodon. But also with new acquaintances, Zeal & Ardor.

Going on tour during these times means serious restrictions of course. It will be strange in so many ways. But once we’re up there we trust the power of music will take over and make us feel secure. We collectively look forward to this (with a slight touch of pure fear).

To wrap this up: Won’t see you in the pub (unfortunately), but we sincerely hope to see you through the limelight. For us, this coming tour is already memorable. Odd!”

As previously reported, Mastodon will be releasing their new album “Hushed And Grim” on October 29, while Zeal & Ardor will be releasing their new self-titled album on February 11. Opeth have also since confirmed that they are planning to release a “connoisseur edition” of their latest album “In Cauda Venenum” on November 19. That effort has been remastered and it will be available in Swedish and English. It will also include a 16-page book illustrated by Travis Smith, a poster, and a bonus EP featuring the following tracks:

01. “Pöbeln” / “The Mob”
02. “Cirkelns Riktning” / “Width Of A Circle”
03. “Frihet & Tyranni” / “Freedom & Tyranny”

Åkerfeldt said following about that:

“During the pandemic we’ve put together a vinyl remaster ‘connoisseur’ edition of our latest album, ‘In Cauda Venenum‘ that features 3 (6 really, if you count both versions of each song) previously unreleased tracks from the sessions. These tracks have a high obscurity factor, but I’d like to think they are high quality. Quite different from the rest of the songs on the album, but quality nonetheless. Everything put together in a nice package, for your pleasure.”