Watershed (Opeth album)

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Opeth - Watershed.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 30, 2008 (2008-05-30)
RecordedFebruary 2007 – January 10, 2008[1]
StudioFascination Street Studios (Örebro, Sweden)
ProducerMikael Åkerfeldt[2] and Jens Bogren[3]
Opeth chronology
The Roundhouse Tapes
The Candlelight Years
Alternative cover
Special edition
Special edition
Singles from Watershed
  1. "Porcelain Heart"
    Released: April 19, 2008
  2. "Mellotron Heart"
    Released: June 3, 2008
  3. "Burden"
    Released: December 9, 2008

Watershed is the ninth full-length studio album by the 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.[4] The album is, as of 2018, the band's last studio album to contain death growls or any death metal elements.


On opening track "Coil", Mikael Åkerfeldt duets with Nathalie Lorichs, who was dating drummer Martin Axenrot at the time.[5] 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".[5]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[7]
Blender4/5 stars[8]
Blabbermouth.net9.5/10 stars[9]
IGN8/10 stars[10]
Pitchfork Media7.5/10[12]
PopMatters9/10 stars[13]
Sputnikmusic4/5 stars[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).[15] In the January/February 2009 issue of Metal Edge, Watershed was voted the number 1 album of 2008.

Track listing[edit]

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

2."Heir Apparent"8:48
3."The Lotus Eater"8:48
5."Porcelain Heart" (Åkerfeldt, Fredrik Åkesson)7:59
6."Hessian Peel"11:24
7."Hex Omega"6:57
Total length:54:48
Special edition
8."Derelict Herds"6:28
9."Bridge of Sighs" (Robin Trower cover)5:55
10."Den ständiga resan" (Marie Fredriksson cover)4:09
Disc 2 – DVD/Rehearsals
2."From Another Planet"8:30
3."The Lotus Eater"13:48
4."The Junkmail Studios"16:23
Total length:52:20

Chart positions[edit]


Chart (2008) Peak
Swedish Albums Chart[16] 7
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[17] 7
Austrian Albums Chart[18] 53
Canadian Albums Chart[19] 17
Danish Albums Chart[20] 84
Dutch Albums Chart[21] 14
French Albums Chart[22] 47
Finnish Albums Chart[23] 1
German Albums Chart[24] 23
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart[20] 15
New Zealand Albums Chart[25] 26
Norwegian Albums Chart[26] 7
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[27] 35
Swiss Albums Chart[28] 24
UK Albums Chart[20] 34
US Billboard 200[19] 23


Chart (2008) Peak
Poland (ZPAV Top 100) 38[29]



Additional musicians[edit]


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. 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.[30]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Continental Europe May 30, 2008[31] Roadrunner CD RR 7962-2
United Kingdom June 2, 2008[32] Roadrunner CD RR 7962-2
North America June 3, 2008[33] Roadrunner Enhanced CD R 1384409
Australia June 3, 2008 Roadrunner Records (Australia) Enhanced CD RR 7962-8


  1. ^ "Opeth: Mainman Ready to Rock the Boat". Blabbermouth.net. January 10, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2008.
  2. ^ "Opeth: Frontman Says New Songs are 'A Bit More Energetic'". Blabbermouth.net. December 21, 2007. Retrieved January 12, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Opeth – New Album Title, Track Listing Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. February 5, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
  4. ^ "Watershed Artwork Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Hensch, Mark. "Opeth Interview". antiMusic. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Watershed - Opeth". Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  7. ^ True, Christopher M. Watershed review allmusic.com. Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  8. ^ Watershed review blender.com. Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  9. ^ [1] Retrieved on May 18, 2010.
  10. ^ Ramirez, Carlos. Watershed review music.ign.com. Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  11. ^ Ratliff, Ben. Playlist nytimes.com. Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  12. ^ Lee, Cosmo. Watershed review June 4, 2008. Retrieved on August 28, 2014.
  13. ^ Begrand, Adrien Watershed review June 5, 2008. Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  14. ^ Stagno, Mike. Watershed review Retrieved on October 13, 2009.
  15. ^ Metal Hammer critics’ top 50 albums of 2008: 3-1 metalhammer.co.uk. December 23, 2008. Retrieved on November 29, 2009.
  16. ^ "Watershed in Swedish Charts" (in Swedish). swedishcharts.com. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  17. ^ "Watershed in Australian Charts". australian-charts.com. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  18. ^ "Watershed in Der Österreichischen Hitparade" (in German). austriancharts.at. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  19. ^ a b "Watershed > Charts & Awards". allmusic. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  20. ^ a b c "Opeth's Watershed Tops Finnish Album Chart". blabbermouth.net. 2008-06-11. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  21. ^ "Watershed in Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  22. ^ "Watershed dans Les Charts Français" (in French). lescharts.com. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  23. ^ "Watershed in Finnish Charts" (in Finnish). finnishcharts.com. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  24. ^ "Chartverfolgung - Opeth - Watershed" (in German). Musicline.de. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  25. ^ "Watershed in New Zealand Charts". charts.org.nz. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  26. ^ "Watershed in Norwegian Charts" (in Norwegian). norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  27. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  28. ^ "Watershed in Der Schweizer Hitparade" (in German). hitparade.ch. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  29. ^ http://muzyka.interia.pl/lista/zpav,8
  30. ^ "Mellotron Heart: Exclusive Digital Delivery for Opeth Pre-Order". RoadrunnerRecords.com. Retrieved June 3, 2008.
  31. ^ Amazon.de: Opeth – Watershed
  32. ^ Amazon.co.uk: Opeth – Watershed
  33. ^ "Opeth – Roadrunner Records". Roadrunnerrecords.com. February 5, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2008.