Opeth Frontman: 'I Was Skeptical About Ghost, All I Could Hear Were Mercyful Fate Riffs'

"I was a late bloomer because everybody f--king loved them," Mikael Akerfeldt explains.

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Discussing new bands and upcoming artists on today's scene, Opeth frontman Mikael Akerfeldt touched on fellow Swedish metallers Ghost, confessing he was somewhat of "a late bloomer" with the occult six-piece.

"When it comes to extreme metal, there's not so many [good new bands]," Mikael told Noisey. "I like Ghost. I think Ghost are a really, really good band. They write really good songs. We toured with them, and I guess we're friends now."

Noting that the group has truly developed their own sound with the latest "Infestissumam" sophomore release, Akerfeldt continued, "They've got swing and groove, and they’re really good musicians. They have fresh ideas, I think, so I like that.

"I was a late bloomer when it comes to Ghost. I was very skeptical about that because everybody f--king loved them, and all I could hear was the Mercyful Fate riffs. I had to see them live before I could warm up to them, but now I really like them."

Since the new Opeth album is due in June, the upcoming effort was an obvious topic. However, Mikael didn't give too much fresh info, once again pointing out the melodic side of the new material.

"'Heritage' was somewhat deliberately f--ked up all over the place because I love f--ked-up-all-over-the-place-type music, but I wanted to do something more melodic with this album, so there's stronger vocal melodies and more melodies overall for this album. I was pretty consistent with that frame of mind throughout the writing process, so at least I had a plan with this album, and I normally don't, to be honest," the frontman noted.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I could always here the Mercyful Fate riffs, but when I saw them live, its the last thing you think about. They are spectacular musicians and can put on a "hell" of a show, even if you don't buy into the whole Satanic theme.
    Ghost is what happens when Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult have a baby.
    I had the same thing with Ghost. Everyone liked them, and i hated it. Reminded me of Mercyful Fate all the time. But i guess it kinda grew on me - especially the first album has a very dynamic sound going on. All in all it does sound fresh!
    I quite enjoy Ghost, yes I could hear similarities to bands like Blue Oyster Cult and Mercyful Fate, but that was never a bad thing in my books. Plus the production on their albums is so refreshing.
    Sounds promising and regarding ghost yes its mercyful fate riffs
    What's funny is I kind of have the same outlook on so many bands / anything else for that matter. For some reason is everyone is obsessing over it, I just can't listen to it. I want the hype to die down a little and be able to take them for what they are. Stupid I know, but it's just how it goes.