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Opeth vs Evergrey band members

This is a comparison of the each band member between two great Swedish bands that predominantly lie in the progressive metal realm. Both have a similar 5 member setup primarily led by their vocalist/guitarist. Both have experimented with their sound and have very rich back catalogues of diverse and mature metal/rock albums. Both deserve international acclaim, but unfortunately only one has properly received it while the other remains criminally underrated, as it has for most of it's lifetime. The members I have chosen are the ones from what I consider to be both band's "classic" lineups. And the selections are based solely on their performances in their respective bands, and not various side projects.
Hymns for the Broken

VOCALS (Mikael Akerfeldt vs Tom Englund): I love both vocalists, and they each have their own charm. Both put a focus on soul, intensity, and memorability. Their vocals don't conform to the genre, and that's what makes them stand out. Mikael's diversity lies in his ability to growl and sing angelically with equal ease. Tom on the other hand has an incredible power game that is one of the best in the scene, while he also possesses a beautiful soft voice. In the end as much as I adore Akerfeldt's voice, he was always against stiff competition. Englund has a fantastic range, and his unique soulful style has been very refreshing in metal. The ease with which Tom comes up with memorable vocal melodies and choruses is truly mind boggling. Add to that the effectiveness with which he communicates his dreary lyrics, and you have a powerhouse. A top tier vocalist that a lot of times is the driving force behind Evergrey's music.

Blackwater Park

PRIMARY GUITAR (Mikael Akerfeldt vs Tom Englund): This was probably the most difficult category. People unfamiliar with Evergrey might be surprised at that. Both are technically gifted without the need to constantly show off about it, and possess rich tones. Mikael has a knack for writing superb technical riffs that aren't jarring. His acoustic guitar work is effortless and his bluesly solo style is infectious. Tom on the other hand may have moved slightly away from the more technical playing, but there's no doubt he can still compose a mean riff. His solos aren't as bluesy, but like Akerfeldt he stresses on melodic phrasing compared to showmanship. I wish he would compose more on the acoustic guitar, because whatever he has done so far has been terrific. Mikael has the edge for me here because I think his playing is slightly more dynamic and fluid.

In Search Of Truth

SECOND GUITAR (Peter Lindgren vs Henrik Danhage): I was really upset when Lindgren left the band, but the fact is that his influence was diminishing over the years. His abilities cannot be denied as he demonstrated by coping with Opeth's intricate compositions. He formed part of a great guitar duo that was an important part in creating a progressive metal subgenre. Peter played a supporting role throughout most of his tenure. The story is quite different for Danhage. He is an essential element of Evergrey's sound and has contributed in a songwriting capacity as well as with his delicious and varied lead guitar playing. He provides intensity to the music, though I do wish he would experiment more with mellower styles. Nonetheless he's a very mature and capable guitarist that is often overlooked in the metal world that can compete with the elite in the genre for character.

The Inner Circle

KEYBOARDS (Per Wiberg vs Rikard Zander): I love vintage instrumentation in a modern setting when band's don't rip off their 70's influences. When Per joined Opeth he provided just that combination. His tasteful playing added warmth and depth to an already dynamic sound. It was the element that I didn't know Opeth needed, and is now a critical cog in the machinery. The same can be said about Rikard's contributions except that he has displayed a larger sonic palette on Evergrey releases. He uses a host of sumptuous tones without overly focusing on acrobatics, but rather on atmosphere that is so crucial to Evergrey's sound. So while I have a huge admiration for Per, overall I think Rikard has contributed more for his band.

Pale Communion

BASS (Martin Mendez vs Michael Hakansson): The bass is an under appreciated instrument in metal unfortunately, but of course there are always those that break the mould. Hakansson had always added memorable licks and fills, while providing a deep low end sound. His presence had gradually decreased as the years went on however, and he didn't add too much character to the music in the later years. Mendez' trajectory on the other hand was the exact opposite. He's a groove oriented bassist in a metal band, and that is I want more of. As Opeth's music has become less "heavy", Martin has been provided more room to breathe. His effortless style has helped the band sound more spontaneous and "human". His technical abilities are not lacking at all either, as would be expected for Opeth's music. Easily one of the finest bassists in the progressive realm, and arguably in metal overall.

Ghost Reveries

DRUMS (Martin Lopez vs Patrick Carlsson): Evergrey in their early years had quite a focus on fast paced riffs and aggressive riffs. One member that helped the band achieve these elements was drummer Patrick. He was a natural fit for the band and majorly complemented the aggressive and melancholic dichotomy of Evergrey's sound. While he had a good sense of rhythm, it was always going to be difficult competing with a drummer of Martin's caliber. The two Martin's gave Opeth one of metal's finest rhythm sections. Martin's equal adeptness at playing the intense and complex rhythms as well as the more subtle jazzy grooves is what made him so crucial to Opeth's sound. He was one of the main reason's Akerfeldt could explore diverse compositional territories. I'm a sucker for groove oriented drummers, and so Martin easily wins this one.

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