OPETH Frontman: Some Of Today’s Metal Acts Are ‘Like Boy Bands’

Mikael Akerfeldt

During the recent appearance on Rolling Stone‘s “The First Time,” OPETH mastermind Mikael Åkerfeldt discussed the band’s shift away from their death metal/black metal leaning roots to prog rock.

He said: “We put out a record called Heritage, which some of our fans absolutely hated, and they figured we’re traitors and that it’s not metal, and that had me starting to question: ‘What is metal?’.

“Because what I hear, it’s not metal to me, some of the contemporary stuff. It’s like boy bands – if you know what I mean – no aggression, no rawness, no honesty, nothing rebellious about it.”

He added: “I’ve been on a permanent leave from contemporary metal since the mid-’90s, but I still play the PRIEST records and the MAIDEN, SCORPIONS, DEEP PURPLE, all that stuff. I love that stuff. I love it.”

One of 2019’s most anticipated heavy rock/metal albums, In Cauda Venenum, will be released by Swedish prog-masters OPETH on September 27th via Moderbolaget / Nuclear Blast Entertainment.

opeth in cauda venenum

Recorded last year at Stockholm’s Park Studios, In Cauda Venenum will be released in two versions, in both Swedish and English languages.

Regarding the sonic direction of the new record, Åkerfeldt adds, “For us, at this stage with In Cauda Venenum, heaviness isn’t guitars tuned down with screaming vocals over the top. That’s not necessarily what I call ‘heavy’ music these days. I can listen to KORN and say, ‘OK, that’s heavy.’ But it doesn’t really mean anything to me. I mean, I catch up on things in magazines or online. I read about bands that have the ‘heaviest record ever,’ and I’m not too impressed by that. OK, it’s cool but what does it say? What does it mean? It’s an impossible mission, to be the heaviest. That’s been done before. Over time, I got tired of that tag.

“Of course, when I was younger it meant everything to me. I was always on the pursuit for heaviness in my youth, trying to find the next level of heaviness. First it was death metal, then it was bands like MESHUGGAH, but heaviness is now more about emotions, heavy chord progressions, music that has feelings. Heaviness doesn’t mean MESHUGGAH anymore, although indeed they’re a f*cking heavy band. I’m not trying to tap into that anymore.”

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