Opeth Making 'Good Progress' On New Album

30 minutes of music has been written, and harks back to Opeth's early sound according to Mikael Akerfeldt.

Ultimate Guitar

Opeth mainman Mikael Akerfeldt says he's written almost 30 minutes of music for a new album to follow 2011's critically acclaimed "Heritage."

He's almost finished three long songs so far, and has a tonne more ideas to work on once his current tour finishes.

"I've been working a little bit in between tours, which I don't necessarily do," he tells Brutalopia in the interview below (via Blabbermouth). "I usually have a completely clean slate, like a clean calendar, before I really into the songwriting. But I have made some good progress."

Akerfeldt says one song called "Goblin" colds like the band Goblin as a tribute. Another is a 70s-sounding ballad with a string vocal. "It doesn't have any super-technical riffs, it's just a strong vocal melody and a pretty sad-sounding song," he says.

The third new song harks back to Opeth's early style. "I was just lumping riffs on top of each other, arrangements, and it's all over the place. I've kind of outgrown that style of writing, because that's the way I used to write on the first, say, two records. And I was like, I have to stop myself here and arrange this a little bit. But then I was, like, 'Why?' OK, I'm just gonna let this song be the schizophrenic, kind of, it-doesn't-make-much-sense-but-I-kind-of-like-it-type song. So it's really long."

But his work isn't done yet: "I have sh-tloads of ideas that I'm still gonna demo when we finish touring."

57 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I enjoyed Heritage, very unique. But I'll be the first to ask: Death metal vocals back?!
    Well, didn't you read the second to last paragraph? Can't write old school Opeth without room for death growls.
    To Bid you Farewell, lol. Just saying, he could have an entire album in old school Opeth fashion and it could still lack DM growls.
    the current setlist for the north american tour features songs with growls. they played white cluster, ghost of perdition, deliverance, hessian peel, harlequin forest, and blackwater park at the show they played on the 13th.
    Harlequin Forest is on the setlist? SWEET! I'm going to the show in Lincoln on the 17th and that is my favorite Opeth song.
    Can't wait for the new album! I've met them in Moncton NB a few weeks ago, such great and funny guys, can't say anything bad about them. Fun fact: Mikael told to the crowd that he didn't had supper that night, so one of the fans went to the Mcdonald's next to the venue and brought him a big mac. He stopped the show for a few minutes to eat it. That was priceless.
    Ahh yes, the verb "to cold". A clear favorite of mine.
    vanilla ice has a wonderful song entitled "too cold" but that's not really a very unless he's implying hes colding toomuch?
    I'm very excited for their next album. It's pretty much impossible for them to make bad music in my opinion.
    There have been bits that I was kind of "meh" on, but I've enjoyed the majority of what they've done.
    "2011's critically acclaimed "Heritage."" -- Critically acclaimed by everyone but Opeth fans...
    "Critically acclaimed by everyone but [closed-minded] Opeth fans..." Fixed that for you.
    Close-minded is when somebody likes something because of the name that's attached to it. There's nothing close-minded about not liking Heritage. I'm sure plenty of Metallica fans would have said that people who don't like St. Anger are close-minded too. My point isn't that Heritage is bad, because I don't think it is. But Opeth fans are free to think whatever they want and to label anybody who doesn't like Heritage close-minded is itself close-minded. So how about open your mind a bit and accept that not everyone has to constantly like Opeth on every song, on every album.
    Closed-minded can be defined as "obstinately resistant to argument or to unfamiliar or unwelcome ideas". If you didn't like Heritage because the you thought the songs weren't interesting or the music uninspired that is fine and that is a normal opinion. But if you didn't like Heritage because it's different than their previous albums and it doesn't have any guttural vocals then I would say that is closed-minded. My original point was that it is closed-minded to say that all Opeth fans do not like Heritage. I wouldnt call Heritage my favourite album, although I do like it more and more every time I listen to it.
    Indeed. I've been a fan for a long time, and I've found myself listening to Heritage more and more. It is a great album, and although at first I was a bit disappointed with the change, I'm eagerly awaiting more material in this style.
    Second Rate
    Perhaps jimmy-moto would like to define "closed-minded." I was an Opeth fan for quite a while..... then they did "Deliverance." There is a definite feeling of sameness in this band's music over the last decade or so. It doesn't matter if it's in standard tuning or open D, clean guitars or distorted, death growls or singing. Mikael knows how to play one quasi middle eastern riff that he regurgitates over and over again... and i'm not gonna keep shelling out 13 dollars for it. When they put out another album on par with Orchid through Blackwater Park, then i'll sing their praises again. Until then, well.... i guess you can erroneously label me as "closed-minded." Also, note to Mikael and his sycophants... long winded, pretentious, and boring does not equate with being "progressive."
    My Last Words
    Just because some people don't like certain experimental albums doesn't mean they are all close-minded. But yeah, I'm probably a close-minded elitist for not liking Load, reLoad, etcetera..-give me a break. You're the one that needs to open his mind..
    Heritage is the best Opeth's album... They made same sound since Still Life... Heritage was like a light in the dark of their disco... Definitely love this album
    Lol, a guy who is clearly not an Opeth fan is here to argue against someone while simultaneously proving them right. Heritage was ok.
    Love Opeth. I adored Heritage and can only hope they come to SLC so I can see them. Mike is my hero and greatest guitar inspiration next to Dave Grohl and Tegan and Sara.
    Interesting, sounds like he's not trying too hard to force this album into sounding one way or another. Should be cool to hear how the complex counter-melodic arrangements of their early days translates in their newer sound. I'm happy too see some colding on the new stuff. They didn't cold nearly enough on Heritage or even Watershed. And we all know how Gobin songs cold like no other.
    While I liked Heritage, it'd be good to hear some new stuff along the lines of Watershed and Ghost Reveries!
    The title track from Heritage still sends shiver down my spine. I cant wait.
    What's with all the prog haters? Heritage was a brilliant album. My favourite of theirs so far.
    Second Rate
    I know, and what's with all these people that think that being long winded, pretentious, and boring makes a band "prog?"
    And what's with you not shutting the **** up? We get it. You have the wit and humor of a down-syndrome orangutan.
    Hey, weren't you the guy who called me a 'steven wilson nut hanger' just because I said his solo albums are more experimental and thus less accessible than the latest Porcupine Tree albums? Yeah, I'm definitely seeing a pattern here. Go take your trolling elsewhere.
    "He's almost finished three long songs so far, and has a tonne more ideas to work on..." lol, tonne
    Sounds legit. Just because it's a metric ton, dosn't mean it's not a valid phrase. 1 tonne = 1000kg. Also, a new album sounds awesome. Heritage was great, the opening is one of my favourite piano pieces
    Gotta love the American stance that any country that spells things different is wrong. "Tonne" is how you spell it in the UK, and it refers to a metric ton.
    So he's written 30 minutes of music so far? OK so 2 songs down...
    I hope this different direction will still include all of the prog elements that Heritage had.