Opeth Part Ways With Keyboardist

Opeth have announced that the band will be parting ways with keyboardist Per Wiberg as part of a mutual decision within the band.

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Swedish prog metallers Opeth have announced that the band will be parting ways with keyboardist Per Wiberg as part of a mutual decision within the band. The band is already rehearsing with a new, as-yet-unnamed keyboardist who will take over for Wiberg on upcoming tours.

Opeth guitarist and vocalist Mikael kerfeldt released a statement on the decision, which reads:

"Well, it's been somewhat of a revolving door of members during the last couple of years, and now Per is no longer a member. [Martin] Mendez [bass], Axe [Martin Axenrot, drums] and Fredrik [kesson, guitar] and I came to the decision that we should find a replacement for Per right after the recordings of the new album, and this came as no surprise to Per.

"He had, in turn, been thinking about leaving, so you could say it was a mutual decision. There's no bad blood, just a relationship that came to an end, and that's that. We wish Per the best, and he did a splendid job recording keyboards for the last record, which stands as his final recording with Opeth."

Opeth began recording their tenth studio album at the end of January, with a release date planned for sometime in the fall of 2011.

With their upcoming album, Opeth will try to outdo their last effort, 2008's "Watershed," which was their most commercial successful record to date, selling 19,000 copies in the first week of its release in the US and coming in at number 23 on the Billboard 200 chart.

59 comments sorted by best / new / date

    .h3xagr4m.
    Per didn't really get enough recognition from the fans so I can understand his wanting to leave since perhaps the connection with the fans wasn't exactly there. Nonetheless, him and his beard are badass.
    zzzaaaccc
    Per was one of the few Opeth additions recently that I actually liked and its sad to see him go.
    Offworld92
    I hope they break up one day, even if for just a temporary hiatus. I mean, I like Opeth, I think Blackwater Park and Watershed are great (the only 2 albums I have heard). I just wish that Mikael's time wasn't so consumed with this band, so that Bloodbath could actually do a tour. He's the only reason why they don't tour, and IMO they are the best Death Metal band out there right now.
    Misfit-FTB
    Sad to see Per go. But all the same, I'm excited to hear the new material. Opeth ****ing rocks.
    Krauser
    Offworld92 wrote: I hope they break up one day, even if for just a temporary hiatus. I mean, I like Opeth, I think Blackwater Park and Watershed are great (the only 2 albums I have heard). I just wish that Mikael's time wasn't so consumed with this band, so that Bloodbath could actually do a tour. He's the only reason why they don't tour, and IMO they are the best Death Metal band out there right now.
    While Bloodbath is sick and it is sad they don't tour due to Mikael's involvement with Opeth, I surely don't want them to break up just for that hahaha
    fretsofthebeast
    I think it would be kinda hard to fill Per's position... I know he has only been around for 2 albums, but the lineup from before he left didnt seem too solid, now that per left, i dont know what to think, i miss the ghost reveries lineup...
    Charlie4
    The talent in Opeth through the years can't be denied but it's fair to say that Mikael Akerfeldt has become the heart and soul of Opeth. No Mikael = no Opeth. The Watershed work Per did was great to say the least - added to that out-there atmosphere. Still, they'll probably just recruit new talent like they always do.
    Asunder
    They were better before Per ever joined full-time. But they were also loads better with Martin Lopez who isn't coming back so my outlook to their next album is still still "bleak".
    qrEE
    To be honest, if I were to create my dream version of Opeth using all of their members they've had, is this Mikael, Fredrik, Martin Mendez and Martin Lopez (seriously, there's a LOT of Martins in Opeth). Although Per is a great keyboardist, and I will miss him, I'm not that bummed out, because it's not Mikael leaving, or Fredrik. I'm mostly sad that Lopez is gone, as he was my favorite of their drummers.
    Petruccishreds!
    Per was also a great backup vocalist... pretty sad to see him go, but mikael is one of the greatest musicians alive right now, so i faithfully follow his decisions, with every move hes made the band has become technically better so im not doubting this decision either.
    Mahoru
    CavemanJB wrote: If y'all haven't heard it yet, check out Per Wilberg's work with King Hobo and also The Company band. Pretty good stuff and a definite change of pace from Opeth.
    And don't forget Spiritual Beggars!
    FSKommando
    for some reason I wanna bet some money on that the new keyboardist's first name is gonna be Martin.... no idea what makes me think that, though...
    RDSElite
    i_am_metalhead wrote: RDSElite wrote: nicksword87 wrote: Get Steven Wilson While he's on break from his many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many projects. Steven Wilson is not primarily a keyboard player. Excited for the new album, but the keyboards never really did anything to me in Opeth's music, though I suppose because it adds a lot you don't hear immediately. How can you say that?? The keyboards are extremely noticeable and add a lot of ambiance to Opeth's music. Watershed was amazing, imo. I can't wait to see what they have in store for us this time! =)
    Even still, yes they do add a lot, but if you consider that their first 7 album were recorded without a keyboard player, you can hear that in their latest work. The keyboards have never been the main focus of the band and all they really do is add to the ambience. Don't get me wrong though, I love Opeth, they're one of my favourite bands, but I don't really care for the keyboards.
    CydoniaKnight95
    EpiExplorer wrote: AcdcTXfan wrote: who the hell is opeth??? Your lord and master.
    +100000 And I just died a little inside :/ The keyboard solo on Burden was literally one of my favorite music moments of all time Well good luck to the new keyboardist Can't wait for the new record D
    CydoniaKnight95
    Offworld92 wrote: I hope they break up one day, even if for just a temporary hiatus. I mean, I like Opeth, I think Blackwater Park and Watershed are great (the only 2 albums I have heard). I just wish that Mikael's time wasn't so consumed with this band, so that Bloodbath could actually do a tour. He's the only reason why they don't tour, and IMO they are the best Death Metal band out there right now.
    hahaha Bloodbath's great but I would rather have Opeth any day
    Biginjones07
    indyrock91 wrote: I want to look more into this band. Which album should i check out?
    ALL OF THEM!!!
    Oldschoolguy
    Get Keith Emerson, haha lol no. That was a joke. (Actually, he was good, but he probably isnt too interested in playing with opeth)
    Ich 666
    indyrock91 wrote: I want to look more into this band. Which album should i check out?
    Blackwater Park definitely
    HavokStrife
    .:!j.man!:. wrote: Not too fond of this band, I think there shit (my opinion) & even more so because people see me with my Otep T on and get the 2 groups confused. That REALLY bugs the crap out of me.
    You missed April Fools by a week. I mean, you can't POSSIBLY be serious...
    mishax92
    Sure hope whoever they replace him with can still nail all the sweet keyboard sections he did in Watershed; the funky break in The Lotus Eater, the flutes in Hex Omega, etc. So good, Per will be missed.
    gquady09
    I want to look more into this band. Which album should i check out?
    If you're more into the prog side of things, I would start with Watershed personally. If you like more Metal-type riffs and counterpoint, look no further than their first two albums (Orchid and Morningrise).
    Cskills2112
    Sure hope whoever they replace him with can still nail all the sweet keyboard sections he did in Watershed; the funky break in The Lotus Eater, the flutes in Hex Omega, etc. So good, Per will be missed.
    This
    nicksword87
    Get Steven Wilson While he's on break from his many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many projects.
    SwamToTheMoon
    Sad news, Per was what made a lot of the atmosphere in Opeths songs. His solo breaks were usually spectacular to. I'm sure they'll find someone equally as good though and **** yeah, new Opeth album!
    RDSElite
    nicksword87 wrote: Get Steven Wilson While he's on break from his many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many projects.
    Steven Wilson is not primarily a keyboard player. Excited for the new album, but the keyboards never really did anything to me in Opeth's music, though I suppose because it adds a lot you don't hear immediately.
    Sam Wotrey
    mishax92 wrote: Sure hope whoever they replace him with can still nail all the sweet keyboard sections he did in Watershed; the funky break in The Lotus Eater, the flutes in Hex Omega, etc. So good, Per will be missed.
    Mikael wrote that funky part, Mariopeth ftw haha.
    nicksword87 wrote: Get Steven Wilson While he's on break from his many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many projects.
    This. Wilson is a producing genius, and he wrote the piano part to the end of Leper Affinity.
    i_am_metalhead
    RDSElite wrote: nicksword87 wrote: Get Steven Wilson While he's on break from his many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many projects. Steven Wilson is not primarily a keyboard player. Excited for the new album, but the keyboards never really did anything to me in Opeth's music, though I suppose because it adds a lot you don't hear immediately.
    How can you say that?? The keyboards are extremely noticeable and add a lot of ambiance to Opeth's music. Watershed was amazing, imo. I can't wait to see what they have in store for us this time! =)
    Brendan.Clace
    This sucks. It's sad because we all know Mikael really runs the show. So with Lindgren and now Wiberg gone, Openth is slowly becoming less of what it was in the glory days. I really hope this doesn't turn into and In Flames situation...because I can already see it starting....Watershed was their best US album in terms of sales....same happened to In Flames...and that's when they changed too....I realize that Mikael does MOST of the writing...but with different people, its starting to get a different feel....
    Hellish_Wolf
    Asutari wrote: inb4 jordan rudess
    Wouldn't be right for it imo. This really sucks, I really liked Pers work. =[
    bokma
    NOooooo oh well... I guess Opeth is used parting with members
    Limaj_daas
    indyrock91 wrote: I want to look more into this band. Which album should i check out?
    Start with "Blackwater Park", then go through the rest.
    Amuro Jay
    robertito696 wrote: .:!j.man!:. wrote: Not too fond of this band, I think there shit (my opinion) & even more so because people see me with my Otep T on and get the 2 groups confused. That REALLY bugs the crap out of me.I'm pretty sure the opeth fans are just as mad about being confused with otep.
    Like that would happen (honestly, I've never seen it happen).
    .:!j.man!:.
    Not too fond of this band, I think there shit (my opinion) & even more so because people see me with my Otep T on and get the 2 groups confused. That REALLY bugs the crap out of me.
    Lion_Slicer
    indyrock91 wrote: I want to look more into this band. Which album should i check out?
    BLACKWATER PARK. One of the best albums ever. Still Life and Ghost Reveries are my other favorites, though I own and love every single Opeth album.
    Oroborous
    indyrock91 wrote: I want to look more into this band. Which album should i check out?
    Blackwater Park. That's how I got into this band