New Opeth Album Will Go in a 'Different Direction From 'Heritage''

Guitarist Fredrik Akesson discusses bands plans regarding the new album.

Ultimate Guitar

The latest Opeth release, "Heritage", saw the Swedish prog metallers going in a completely new direction, resulting in some of the most mixed fans' reactions we got to see in a while. The group has detached themselves from their death metal past and went for a more experimental approach, changing their sound in various new ways.

Although the band members were all unanimously proud of the way "Heritage" turned out, it seems they will not be going down the same path for the second time. In a recent interview with the Loud magazine, guitarist Fredrik Akesson discussed the new record, saying it will be "different and more intense in a way."

"I would have to say [the album goes] in a somewhat different direction to 'Heritage.' [Laughs] It won't be a step back, but it will be different. Maybe more intense in a way. Youll have to wait and see. I was in the studio today and put down my solos and I was very happy about it. The song I heard that Mikael [Akerfeldt] wrote today sounds very cool. I think that's all I can say at this point! I'm sorry. [Laughs]"

Akesson has also once again stressed out that he is proud of "Heritage," calling it a "very good album" and "something the band needed to do." As far as the recording process goes, the group is planning on entering the studio in September, once they complete the current tour.

"I'm proud of the album. I think it's a very good album. I understand the controversy about it, but it was something the band needed to do - something different to break out of the box, or however you want to put it. And also the album is called 'Heritage'. It's about the musical heritage of the band. It's a bit of a flirt with old hard rock themes, [like the] Ronnie James Dio tribute track for instance or, you know, there's a bit of Rush in there or some Swedish folk."

"The plan is to try and record at the end of September, when we're done with all the touring. This is the longest break we've had between albums. I think the longest break we had before this was before Watershed. It's not gonna happen this year, most likely the year after."

"Heritage" was released back in September 2011 via Roadrunner Records. With 19,000 copies sold within the first week, it debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 chart.

41 comments sorted by best / new / date

    As long as they do it their own way and feel content about it, I'm happy. Remember; this is their artistic process, not the fans'. Personally I liked Heritage a lot, but I wouldn't mind if they decided to bring back more of the heavy, Watershed-style riffs and arrangements.
    in retrospect, heritage and watershed are both pretty good albums, and definitely dont deserve a lot of the flak they got on initial release imo
    Agreed, and like Akesson said, it was something they needed to do. I imagine that writing the same type of music for 20 years, even music as rich as Opeth's, would start to feel stale after awhile.
    They do what they feel is right at the moment, like any good artists, props for that
    Doesn't matter what they make, Opeth never fails to amaze me. Heritage was one of the most extraordinary albums I ever heard. Actually it's one of the albums I mostly play these days.
    I'll be honest, I thought Heritage was boring the first time I heard it, and I didn't like it at all. Last week I gave it another go and loved it. That being said, I still like Opeth's heavier and darker stuff more. I'm really looking forward to their new album, I bet it's going to kick some major tail.
    Sleez Boy
    "hey honey, I got you tickets to a concert." "oh cool, thanks mom!" Looks, "eww, Otep!" "Oh my, I'm sorry, I thought it said Opeth." Otep vs. Opeth I heard good things about Opeth
    Heritage is definitely a "live" record. Even if you don't really like the album, you should give it a listen during one of their shows. Hearing the outro part of "Folklore" live is...just a totally different musical experience. If you're not drunk or high, you'll be; if you're then you'll sober up during that part.
    I played Heritage for my long time Opeth fan friends and they all mostly hated it. I played Heritage for another friend who had never heard Opeth in his life and he fell in love with it. I think no matter what Opeth does, if we all accept it with an open mind (as if we're hearing a new band for the very first time) then almost all of us are bound to be impressed, or at least pleased.
    Second Rate
    I've always loved this rationalization. The bottom line is... if an album has to be "taken on it's own as if it's a new band" or however you want to word it and it can't stand up to comparison to the band's previous work... then the album's a clunker.
    Well, the thought process with this rationalization is...It's good music, but since it's not exactly what Opeth have done in the past, everybody whines. They don't realize that progressive music isn't supposed to just do the same thing over and over. I like Heritage, I think it's great, and I feel like if people listened to it for what it is instead of for what they want it to be, then they'd realize that it's good music.
    Not necessarily, if you have an open minded perspective and you're not an ignorant metal elitist. Do grow up, please.
    Sure, it may be a clunker.....or, it may just be something completely different. Such a fine line between the two for so many people, isn't it? All in all, you make a good point though. I can't say Heritage is anywhere near exciting as Blackwater Park, for instance. It's understandable why it got so much negative feedback, because nobody really likes it when their favorite band takes a new direction almost from scratch, but I find there's plenty to enjoy about the record when you're not putting it up against what the band was in the past.
    I really really liked Heritage, I have liked pretty much everything Opeth have ever done. You just have to be open minded, guys.
    Opeth has been and will continue to be my favorite band. They do what they want, and get better/more inventive with every album. Probably because Mike thinks everything is "$h*t." lol...
    Eclectic Lizard
    I hope they mix the Heritage sound with the heavier stuff and maybe something new, too. Heritage is one of my favourite recent albums.
    Heritage was amazing. I realized the "box" they had to break out of being apparent when I spoke to fellow fans who hated the new direction simply saying "where's the heavy?" Fuck 'em. Keep rockin'
    I never like any new Opeth album, at first. But after all this time i still can't get into Heritage. Oh well, maybe they could put out another morningrise type album
    I really hope they don't go djent...
    Considering that Mikael hates "modern extreme Metal" and hasn't listened to it since the late '90s (and therefore probably doesn't like Djent), I think we're good.
    I didnt like some specific parts in heritage, but overall it was a solid album. At this point, I dont care what they do. As long as they keep that unique touch they've always had.
    Loved Watershed, but I felt Heritage was pretentious, of course others can disagree. Ether way, I am thoroughly excited for some new material from them.
    I agreed. As I've said many times, Heritage wasn't Opeth. Heritage was a modern metal band trying to sound like a '70s rock band.
    Big surprise there. I mean, 'prog metallers' Opeth, and Heritage is neither prog nor metal. It's basically folk rock... and it's very sub-par compared to their normal, well-known potential. And that's the part that bugs me the most.
    You're a moron.
    Second Rate
    and why is that? Because he criticizes Opeth like any other band rather than stroking their egos by treating them like they're some collective of divine beings? They've been treading water for years now.
    Exactly who the **** here is "stroking their egos by treating them like they're some collective of divine beings"? And just because Opeth doesn't cater to the metal masses anymore doesn't mean they're completely useless. Grow the **** up, dude.
    No, because we love this album and he doesn't. Obviously where not wrong about are opinion of this album so we have to show our scorn. It's all pretty moronic, you like what you like, I personally like when heavy metal bands go into softer more prog rock material and apparently the people who hate heritage don't. The only bad music is the music that fails at what it was meant to do, when I hear a catchy pop song on the radio it's still a good pop song regardless of how much I hate pop, same goes for country or any other genre that doesn't fit my taste, objective and subjective quality are two very different things.
    Eclectic Lizard
    I hope they mix the Heritage sound with the heavier stuff and maybe something new, too. Heritage is one of my favourite recent albums.