Watershed (Opeth album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cover art by Travis Smith
Studio album by
Released19 May 2008 (2008-05-19)
Recorded1 November 2007[1]–10 January 2008
  • Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden
  • Junkmail facilities (additional)
Opeth chronology
The Roundhouse Tapes
The Candlelight Years
Alternative cover
Special edition
Singles from Watershed
  1. "Porcelain Heart"
    Released: 19 April 2008
  2. "Burden"
    Released: 9 December 2008

Watershed is the ninth studio album by Swedish progressive metal band Opeth. Released by Roadrunner Records, Watershed is the first studio album by Opeth to feature guitarist Fredrik Åkesson and drummer Martin Axenrot, who replaced longtime guitarist Peter Lindgren and drummer Martin Lopez. The artwork for the album was made by Travis Smith (who has created the artwork for eight previous Opeth releases) in collaboration with Mikael Åkerfeldt.[3] It is the band's last studio album to contain death growls or any death metal elements to date.


On opening track "Coil", Mikael Åkerfeldt duets with Nathalie Lorichs, who was dating drummer Martin Axenrot at the time.[4] The band has revealed that they were initially going to start the album with what eventually became the second track, "Heir Apparent"; however, they preferred "Coil" as an introductory track for its contrast to "Heir Apparent".[4]

Åkerfeldt was inspired to write the single "Burden" while listening to the Scorpions song "Living And Dying" during a stay in Turkey.[5]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Consequence of SoundA−[9]
The New York Times[10]
Rock Hard9/10[14]

The album was met with universal acclaim according to Metacritic, receiving a metascore of 82/100 based on 10 critics.[6]

On Metal Hammer's Critic's Choice Top 50, Watershed was named as the second-best album of 2008 (behind only Metallica's Death Magnetic).[16] In the January/February 2009 issue of Metal Edge, Watershed was voted the number 1 album of 2008.

In a fan club interview dated to November 2008, a few months after the album's release, former guitarist Peter Lindgren praised the album, noting that "it was a weird feeling to get a new Opeth CD...that he hadn't been a part of", and that he "had trouble following the new songs at first", but called it "damn good".[17]

Release history[edit]

Watershed was released as a standard edition, a 180 gram vinyl edition, and a special edition. The special edition includes three bonus tracks, a bonus DVD with a 5.1 surround sound mix of the entire album (not including bonus tracks), video content featuring rehearsals, and studio footage, as well as expanded artwork. The vinyl release comes in gatefold packaging and contains the album on two LPs, as well as a CD copy of the album (both including the bonus track "Derelict Herds") and a poster.

"Mellotron Heart" was included on a separate disc with a limited number of copies of the album. It is an alternate recording of the song "Porcelain Heart", performed on mellotron and mini-Moog synthesizers by Åkerfeldt himself. The cover for the CD is the standard album artwork with the figure and writing desk replaced by a mellotron. The track is also available as a free digital download exclusively for those who pre-ordered the album from The End Records, and to people who insert the CD into their computer via Opendisc.[18]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Mikael Åkerfeldt; all music is composed by Åkerfeldt except where noted

1."Coil" 3:10
2."Heir Apparent" 8:50
3."The Lotus Eater" 8:50
4."Burden" 7:41
5."Porcelain Heart"8:00
6."Hessian Peel" 11:25
7."Hex Omega" 7:00
Total length:54:56
Special edition
8."Derelict Herds"
9."Bridge of Sighs" (Robin Trower cover)Robin Trower5:55
10."Den ständiga resan" (Marie Fredriksson cover)Marie Fredriksson4:09
Total length:71:28
Special edition bonus DVD
2."From Another Planet"8:30
3."The Lotus Eater"13:48
4."The Junkmail Studios"16:23
Total length:52:20



Additional musicians[edit]

  • Nathalie Lorichs – female vocals (on "Coil")
  • Lisa Almberg – English horn, oboe
  • Christoffer Wadensten – flute
  • Karin Svensson – violin
  • Andreas Tengberg – cello

Production and design[edit]

  • Mikael Åkerfeldt – production, artwork
  • Jens Bogren – production, recording, mixing, mastering
  • Mikhail Korge – recording (additional)
  • David Castillo – engineering (additional)
  • Johan Örnborg – engineering (additional)
  • Travis Smith – artwork

Usage in media[edit]

  • The song "Heir Apparent" was featured as a downloadable content in the video game Rock Band 4.
  • The song "The Lotus Eater" was featured in the 2011 video game Saints Row: The Third.

Chart positions[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Continental Europe 30 May 2008 Roadrunner CD RR 7962-2
United Kingdom 2 June 2008 Roadrunner CD RR 7962-2
North America 3 June 2008[39] Roadrunner Enhanced CD R 1384409
Australia 3 June 2008 Roadrunner Records (Australia) Enhanced CD RR 7962-8


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  2. ^ a b True, Christopher M. Watershed review allmusic.com. Retrieved on 13 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Watershed Artwork Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  4. ^ a b Hensch, Mark. "Opeth Interview". antiMusic. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Opeth interview - Mikael Akerfeldt (part 2)". YouTube. 25 November 2008.
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  7. ^ Watershed review blender.com. Retrieved on 13 October 2009.
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  9. ^ "Opeth - Watershed". 20 June 2008.
  10. ^ Ratliff, Ben. Playlist nytimes.com. Retrieved on 13 October 2009.
  11. ^ Lee, Cosmo. Watershed review 4 June 2008. Retrieved on 28 August 2014.
  12. ^ Begrand, Adrien Watershed review 5 June 2008. Retrieved on 13 October 2009.
  13. ^ "Opeth - Watershed". Q. No. 264. July 2008. p. 101.
  14. ^ "Rock Hard review". issue 253.
  15. ^ Stagno, Mike. Watershed review Retrieved on 13 October 2009.
  16. ^ Metal Hammer critics’ top 50 albums of 2008: 3-1 metalhammer.co.uk. 23 December 2008. Retrieved on 29 November 2009.
  17. ^ Hellström, Jörgen. "Interview with Peter Lindgren (English)". Opeth FanClub Sweden. Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
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