On March 10, Swedish prog-metal giants OPETH kicked off an eight-date tour of Norway. The trek includes stops in major cities Oslo and Bergen but also covers smaller towns like Volda and Sogndal. The tour was arranged by Rikskonsertene, a Norwegian state-sponsored organization that normally handles events featuring jazz, classical and folk artists.

Kristin Stoltz Thomassen, the information consultant at Rikskonsertene, tells Norwegian music industry magazine Faro Journalen that the OPETH tour is part of an initiative Rikskonsertene is doing with the pop and rock genres.

“This project is supposed to bring established artists to a young and energetic audiences around Norway, especially in smaller places where promotors would not normally be able to bring artists,” he says. “Young people and students get the chance to see artists they otherwise would not be able to see.

“OPETH has been on our radar for a long time, and with the success of the ‘Watershed’ album, ongoing touring and a dedicated fanbase, we regard this as a jackpot, but also the result of focused work.”

Espen Slapgård, the promotion manager at Tuba Distrubution, which distributes OPETH’s record label, Roadrunner Records, in Norway, is enthusiastic about the cooperation with Rikskonsertene.

“This is gold for the promotion of ‘Watershed’,” he says. “The tour enhances the lifespan of the album, and the effect of having eight dates with OPETH around the country is invaluable. We make the band more visible through interviews and stories in both local, regional and national media. We have now reactivated ‘Watershed’ and the six other OPETH albums we have in our back catalog.”

“Watershed” reached position No. 7 on the Norwegian album chart in 2008, and has sold 3,500 copies in Norway. The band’s previous album, “Ghost Reveries”, peaked at No. 21 on the Norwegian chart and has shifted 6,000 units to date.

Remaining OPETH tour dates in Norway:

Mar. 12 – Volda, Rokken
Mar. 13 – Sogndal, Meieriet
Mar. 14 – Bergen, USF Verftet
Mar. 15 – Stavanger, Folken
Mar. 17 – Kristiansand, Kick
Mar. 18 – Drammen, Union Scene

Source: www.blabbermouth.net