For music fans who like metal but get bogged down in the nonstop deluge of power, the genre can be a chore to endure in large doses. Some of us can only rage at full power for so long.

For music fans who like metal but get bogged down in the nonstop deluge of power, the genre can be a chore to endure in large doses. Some of us can only rage at full power for so long.

Enter Opeth, the longstanding Stockholm-centric project helmed by Mikael Akerfeldt.

It would be foolish to suggest Opeth is the only band that's managed to evolve beyond the simple savory flavor of brutal riffs and rhythms, but it's also worth acknowledging them as the Baskin-Robbins of their field. Among all the acts grafting new musical directions into metal, few are as adventurous as Opeth.

To be fair, the terrain Akerfeldt explores can sometimes throw his entire enterprise into question. The prog and jazz excursions that shake Opeth's music up in positive ways occasionally send them off course into a hell darker than any detuned shredding or demonic imagery: music-theory rock so soulless it's practically laminated.

But more often than not, Opeth's detours are a delightful repose - genuinely engaging musical passageways that add splendid scenery along the way and make the heavy stuff hit all the harder. When it pours, it reigns.