Opeth Heading in 'Hard Rock/Heavy Metal' Direction on New Album

Mikael Akerfeldt and co. working on "sinister-sounding riffs" for the "Heritage" follow-up.

Ultimate Guitar

As Opeth are preparing to set sail on this year's Melloboat cruise festival, frontman Mikael Akerfeldt took some time to discuss the new record.

According to Akerfeldt, the band is looking to take another turn with their music and head in more of a hard rock and heavy metal direction. As the singer/guitarist described it, Opeth will go "a bit heavier," but not "death metal heavy."

"We've been looking at Rockfield Studios in Wales where Queen recorded 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' but we haven't made a decision yet," Mikael told Expressen. "But it will be an expensive album. There's a lot going on, lots of string arrangements that we haven't had in the past."

The frontman then specifically focused on the sound. "[It's] maybe a little bit heavier," he explained (via Blabbermouth). "Not death metal heavy, but hard rock/heavy metal heavy. Theres also lots of progressive elements and acoustic guitars, but also more sinister-sounding riffs."

Akerfeldt will also be in charge of the production duties. According to the latest reports, four new songs are already written, with three more on the way.

The latest Opeth studio effort, "Heritage," hit the shelves in September 2011, scoring a No. 19 debut on the Billboard 200 chart with 19,000 copies sold in the US during the first week.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Cool. I wasn't in any way disappointed with Heritage (only in so much that some live shows were incredibly dull on that tour unfortunately), so I don't mind where they go with their sound. Any Opeth is good Opeth!
    He's lifted his self-imposed no growling ban on their most recent tour, so hopefully that will last. I personally didn't mind the Heritage tour, they still played A Fair Judgement and Face of Melinda which are awesome. Plus, the tour shirt with the dates in the record player? That was an awesome shirt.
    Dude, I happen to be wearing that shirt right now. Gotta say Ive enjoyed almost everything Opeth has done, so this is good news to me
    He never had a band on the growling, If you watch some of the recent interviews you and many people would know that his plan was never to ban the growling..When Heritage came out he wanted to properly promote it and he was afraid of losing his voice due to growling and the fact that Heritage is a vocal demanding album....now that by this recent tour Heritage wasn't new anymore they could play the older stuff
    I saw them last November and it was a great gig, they played a fantastic set. They only played 2 songs from Hertiage, and played a lot of classics like Blackwater Park, Ghost of Perdition, Deliverance and Hessian Peel.
    They did that at their Flint, MI show as well, from what my friend told me. They threw in Demon of the Fall, Reverie/Harlequin Forest, and White Cluster as well. Phenomenal show, and I'm sad I missed it - the Machine Shop, where they played, isn't a huge place either, so I'm sure the setting was incredibly intimate.
    yeah it wasnt very exciting concert thats for sure. Katatonia rocked the place more than opeth did.
    Hopefully it will be somwhere in the middle to please all Opeth fans , and bring a few more into the fold .
    Hm.... Liked Heritage enough, love their other stuff, I'll be interested to hear what this sounds like! I'll be excited to hear some heavy guitars back on board!
    I like that they keep expanding with their sound, but unfortunately I'm not a big fan of Heritage. I'm not knocking the album either, I just can't really relisten to it. I'm a big fan of Ghost Reveries and Damnation so I like the heavy and the soft..I'm hoping for some more new sounds I'll like.
    "four new songs are already written, with three more on the way" their albums usually have seven or eight songs so they're already at a good point
    i trust Opeth enough but I just hope they have atleast one or two slow songs like Patterns in the ivy, isolation years or Hours of wealth. Those kind of Akerfeldt songs are just so heart wrenching to listen to (in a good way)
    "Akerfeldt will also be in charge of the production duties." I wonder if Steven Wilson will be involved
    I hope there's still a fusion element on the new album. Really liked that on Heritage; it had some brilliant music on it but it really didn't flow as well as their other albums. I think Mike owes it to himself to explore those sounds a bit more. Still no reason why they can't get a bit heavier and keep the fusion too.
    The sound he described almost perfectly fits Porcelain Heart, if Opeth did an album with songs like that I'd be pretty damn happy. The description also fits Face of Melinda quite well. If he's making songs like those for the new album it could put Opeth back on form. Don't get me wrong, I liked Heritage, in fact The Devils Orchard might even be in my top 10 Opeth songs, but overall the album wasn't really up the standards of their previous work.
    It's funny how with prog bands they rarely go "heavier" than the record before, usually they begin with that mindset but get more and more adventurous and experimental with every release. That's the nature of progressive music though I guess. Very cool to see Opeth go in a more metal direction than Heritage though.
    Lord Waltaa
    "Theres also lots of progressive elements and acoustic guitars, but also more sinister-sounding riffs." Phew!
    Now I got it. He thinks he has to re-walk the whole path of rock music, from start to end, so if we get Heritage as the start, with the 70s feeling, now we get next album with this 80s heavier taste. I'm dying to hear the album next in line - Opeth gone grunge. As far as it's me, I hope this'll be a good album because I love the band, I love Mikael taste in playing and writing, and I think Heritage was more an indulgence to his self-confidence as a "70s prog-music amateur", than a good album with some beautiful music.
    Kinda sounds their reverting to Watershed-era Opeth. Not sure how I feel about that.
    I think we all know that Opeth wouldn't make a part 2 to another album
    Let's wait and see! Heritage is a very good album but not that "masterpiece" as claimed by Mikel. As a fan of Opeth, I don't know why I am not that excited to hear that they are going to release a new album.
    Saw these guys last May in Ft.Lauderdale.He did quite a few songs with the deep growl vocals,Deliverance was the most epic IMO,but every song was awesome!
    Drop the stupid cookie monster death metal nuthuggery and people might start caring. Oh, and allow your bamd members to write songs, and not be replacable session musicians.
    I for one, welcome sinister sounding riffs. Hopefully the new sounds they bring into the fold, continue the tradition of no two Opeth albums sounding at all alike. Knowing the quality of Akerfeldt's general writing, I doubt I will be disappointed.