Although "Heritage" is nearly three years old, Opeth's prog rock detour is still a very fresh and touchy subject among a portion of the metal scene. Frontman Mikael Akerfeldt recently discussed such state of affairs, explaining to Invisible Oranges how metal fans lack respect for creatively open musicians.
Saying how it's impossible to be liked by everyone, Mikael noted that "we had a run, a good long run, where it seemed like we could do no wrong. People just loved everything we did."
But the run wasn't a lasting one, and had started ending with 2008's "Watershed" according to Akerfeldt. "I think maybe once we signed to Roadrunner, we started getting some negative feedback even before we put an album out, people saying we sold out because we signed to Roadrunner or stuff like that," he said.
But it's not just simple criticism that the band's been getting, but full-on bashing on more than a few occasions. Asked about the group's most passionate haters, the musician replied, "Yeah, I also sometimes can feel like, 'Why are they jumping on us?' At least we are doing what we want to do!
"But that's not what gets a lot of respect these days. Integrity is important, but people can dismiss me talking about integrity and talking about doing what we want to do. People can dismiss that and say, 'What you're doing is s--t.' And people have their own taste.
"People, especially metal people, are very opinionated and they want to spread their opinions as much as they can. People want to make sure that they hate this and that song, this and that album, this and that lyric, this and that member. And that they loved what we did 10 years ago or whatever, and they want to make that perfectly clear, which is both annoying and interesting and uplifting at the same time because I do appreciate that people care.
"I would rather have that type of negative criticism than [nothing] because nobody cares. I'd rather have some type of reaction, and surely we've got that. We've got a lot of reactions," Mikael concluded.
Akerfeldt also discussed touring "Heritage," calling it an eye-opener as it was at that time he realized that fans don't care about when the song was released, but only about whether it's heavy or not.
"From pretty early on, I could tell that there were people in the crowd that were pretty upset about the fact that we didn't play any of the heavier stuff. So it's like if you take this thing out of the equation, then people don't like you anymore, regardless of what songs you play from the past. We played a song from the first album, but nobody cared, it didn't matter, because we didn't do any of the death metal songs. So that was a bit of an eye-opener for me," he said.
In related news, the band discussed their upcoming album "Pale Communion," once again dubbing it more melodic than previous efforts and therefore "easier to get into than 'Heritage.'" Check out the full Roadrunner chat below.
Marking the band's 11th studio effort, "Pale Communion," is due out on August 26 via Roadrunner. The group has recently unveiled a brand new single titled "Eternal Rains Will Come," make sure to give it a spin below, you'll hardly regret it.