Opeth Frontman Calls New Extreme Metal Dull

Mikael Akerfeldt gives his opinion on the new extreme metal, calling it "dull s--t".

Ultimate Guitar

In a recent online radio interview, Opeth fronmtan Mikael Akerfeldt reached the subject of new extreme metal scene and music. And he doesn't seem to be too fond of it.

"New extreme metal, I think it's dull, I think it's sh-t," the singer shortly said during his Andrew Haug appearance.

As a member of one of the top class metal acts of today, you might have expected the frontman to be more supportive, but then again, this is obviously his honest opinion and there's no reason he shouldn't express it. In a last year's interview, the singer/guitarist even admitted he "hasn't been listening to death metal since the early '90s".

The group's latest studio effort, "Heritage", was released back in September 2011 via Roadrunner Records, debuting at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 chart with 19,000 copies sold in the first week. Guitarist Fredrik Akesson stated that the band had feared the album might split their fanbase, adding however that "the album was necessary for them to do."

Opeth is currently preparing for their forthcoming North American tour with Katatonia set to kick off on April 18 in Buffalo, NY. With a total of over 30 concert dates, the tour will keep the Swedish five-piece busy until the end of May.

So do you agree with the guy? Do you think the new extreme metal really is dull? Let us know in the comments section below.

230 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Well I agree and disagree. New extreme metal bands are being founded every day, A majority of them will be mediocre to terrible, and some will really make a positive impact on the extreme metal scene. And there are so many different sub-genres that fit into the extreme metal category. Maybe the genres or bands you've come to find dull represent a tiny fraction of extreme metal. You can't expect to find good music by looking at 2 or 3 bands and basing your opinion on an entire genre of music without a thorough search. But I can agree that there are way too many mediocre goregrind/pornogrind bands that it is laughable...I know because I compare more than a few of them and the sound is always the same.
    I agree, also, most people forget, the majority of MOST bands, not just extreme metal, are dull and forgettable. This is nothing new. There always have been, and always will be, a shit ton of boring and lame bands.
    I dont really think that statement is very useful, what exactly is he talking about? Its too short to be used as anything other than flamebait.
    thats why there are a lot of difrent genres of metal if he thinks extreme metal is shit and dull than its his own opinion .. but like he thinks it is dull there are people who love it and may think that what he likes his shitty and dull ... thats the beuaty in all of this . there is a type of metal for every taste . some like death metal , others like prog metal and others like nu metal ... it depends on the taste of the person.. but on top of all its METAL and we should respect it , even if we dont like it ... and in my opinion i think its desrespectfull of Mikael Akerfeldt to call it shit ... its his opinion but at least he should respect ..
    While it's probably disrespectful, I'm sure he didn't mean it to be as he is very casual both onstage and in interviews.
    While he probably means that "majority" of today's extreme metal is dull, he should have found some really good records. I think last year's Krisiun's "The Great Execution" was pretty neat. And I'm not so much into death metal at all.
    Glad that someone here isn't an elitist dick, and understand that sometimes different people like different things.People like you actually allow metal to be free and awesome.
    I actually have to agree with him. Most times I hear a new metal band these days, it's a rehash of tons of stuff I've already heard. There are rare exceptions, but one wouldn't be apt to find them in a genre one isn't really interested in.
    I expect he's just not really searching that hard. Opeth have always been influenced by Prog Rock and it's clear that's his favorite style of music. Plus, you can't really take him seriously if he "Hasn't listened to Death Metal since the 90s."
    I think people are misinterpreting that statment. I'm sure he's heard plenty. It doesn't mean he makes a habit of listening to it. Because he feels that it got shitty after a certain point.
    If you haven't been listening to the music you are talking about for over almost two decades, you obviosly don't know what you are talking about. Eventhough on some terms I agree a lot of metal these days is boring, this is quite generalizing the scene. I believe that if you look and listen well enough you will find music of your preferance anyhow.
    Adding to that, I do understand Mikael. There are a lot of bands who claim to be all 'tr00' metal in a crowd of fringes and basketball jerseys but a lot of them ARE dull because at the end of the day they're just reproducing a sound that's familiar to them rather than developing their own. I've seen people blame deathcore and all that malarky but I don't think that's the case, it's just unoriginality thats the problem. Doesn't matter whether you're another pig squeal fest of a deathcore band or if you play in a brutal death metal band with the same sound and formula as every other band in that genre. Shit bands are shit bands, it's just up to the fresher bands to shine through! I hope I'm not actually just talking out of my arse now I've posted this rather large summary of what is basically why I think some people don't like some music...I have a real essay to write, kinda wish I was putting more effort into that!
    "it's just unoriginality thats the problem. " dude seriously. I'd like to cite all the thrash bands in the 80s (and some in the newer wave) that sounded identical. There were great ones that stood out, and there are a shit ton that were forgotten for good reason.
    Sorry, but I have to disagree with Mikael here. There are so many great new extreme metal bands out there if you're just willing to widen your perspective.
    He's talking about the deathcore/screamo bands.
    There are some good deathcore bands out there, you just have to find them.
    I believe you are incorrect sir.
    Please go and listen to 'of gallows' and 'the man with no face' by slice the cake.
    I did. My god why did you send me to that crap. Atrocious.
    @Vasheir I normally hate the deathcore scene, and so I went into listening to Slice the Cake with that negative bias. That being said, I liked their music, I liked it a lot. It's varied, experimental, and they are dynamic in their song structures/tone/mood/instrumentation/etc. I don't think you gave them a fair chance tbh.
    Checked out 'Of Gallows' and actually the first minute or so got my hopes up with the intro piano work, then that was all ruined by the shitty screaming an unnecessarily fast double bass pedalings.
    I'm not a fan of deathcores too but it ain't mean they are bad. OPINIONS.
    Same. I always hated deathcore until one of my buddies recently showed me a few deathcore bands that I've never heard of (ex. Within the Ruins, And Hell Followed With), and I actually enjoy it to a certain degree.. IMO popular bands from that genre kind of give it a bad name, cause when I heard Oceano and Suicide Silence for the first time I was FAR from impressed.
    Suicide silence is great and Mitch Lucker's passing is a loss for all humanity
    LOL omg another deathcore **** has passed from driving drunk let us pay our respects
    You got your opinion, and I can respect that. But you did know Mitch Lucker was a father, right? of course you did, because you're more intelligent than to run your mouth without finding out who you're talking shit about. Of course you knew despite being an alcoholic he put family before fame. Do I think he was a great musician? Nah, not even close. But I still respect the guy, even if he made a dumb mistake. But you already knew all that, because you're not another ****in' moron bandwagoning the let's talk crap train. Fuckin' tool.
    All he did was scream on a mic, not trying to offend your opinion but let's be real
    I disagree, again its all subjective.
    Thanks guy. The Discovery is the only album I'd say Born of Osiris ever made that was actually groundbreaking, but damn was that a good cd or what. &&To the guy who said The Contortionist, plus one to you too. Honestly I gotta agree with Mikael Akerfeldt here. There are some good extreme metal acts out there, but you have to sift through so much garbage to get to it. It's not like the days of clicking a video on youtube and browsing related videos for similar bands, I pulled that stunt early 2000's and it broadened my tastes tremendously. Do that nowadays and you get 3 hours of retarded breakdowns and a whole lotta' disappointment. Not even worth the effort anymore.
    I've got nothing against you for that belief, we all have different tastes.
    I love how you're getting downvoted, even though you're 100% right. There's a lot of good deathcore out there. Listen to The Contortionist, Substructure, Infant Annihilator, Rings of Saturn, The Faceless. Heck, even Whitechapel is really good, just listen to their first album. You guys are downvoting him for having different opinion, which is immature as hell.
    I agree, but Whitechapel's new album was cool. It opened up a lot, with a more groove metal feeling.
    Yeah, I love their new stuff, but their The Somatic Defilement is definitely their best. It was dark, vile, aggressive, and technical as hell. Each album is a little different, and they try something new or different each time. Their newest album was awesome, but The Somatic Defilement was a tough act to follow.
    The Contortionist is fantastic!!! I love Exoplanet and Intrinsic!!!
    Agreed! I'm not one much for extream metal bands, but the Contortionist is a really good blend of progressive and death
    Just being a picky *****, but I don't think I'd lump The Faceless in with the other -core bands there. That being said, RoS and Infant Annihilator are pretty cool.
    The Faceless isn't deathcore, they're just signed on a teencore label. It's a damn shame Derek had to leave, the new album is nowhere near as genius as Akeldama and Planetary Duality.
    I think MOST deathcore is crap. It just seems like the same recycled crap without any meaning. Like the names of the bands and songs. One band I was showed by a friend was called "We Butter the Bread with Butter". WTF is that? I realize the band makes the name not the other way around but thats just stupid. I do enjoy August Burns Red and couple others but most of them (and I have tried to get into it and listened to a plethora of bands) have no appeal to me and it seems like most people here agree.
    I'm about 70% sure We Butter The Bread With Butter is a joke band. With lyrics like "BREEEE BRREEEEE BREEEE, BRE BRE BREEEEE IIII SHOT THE SHERIFF AU AU AU AU AU AU OI OI" you can never be too sure haha.
    If that's the cases, then he (and/or you) needs to better understand what is and isn't metal. Hint: Screamo isn't metal. Although, as Bazz22 pointed out, there is some decent Deathcore out there. On the whole, that scene is that great anymore. But someone needs to introduce Mikael to Ne Obliviscaris.
    There actually are some sick deathcore bands out there, then again, this is UG. Nearly everyone on here is too much of an elitist to even give those bands a chance.
    But why give deathcore a chance, when you can listen to death metal - The non-gay version of.. well, death metal.
    I feel like the majority hear the word 'core' on here automatically thinks its shit.
    The fact you're disregarding a whole genre and using gay as an insult says more about your own maturity and open mindedness.
    yeah! why broaden your horizon when you can listen to the same music over and over again and never try new things?
    I myself am a huge extreme metal fan. I love the deepest darkest death metal but am open minded too. I've given many deathcore bands listens and the vast majority are utterly forgettable. The contortionist are pretty good. Ummm. I can't think of any others that I like
    Nope he is talking about extreme metal in general: death, black, grindcore, metalcore etc...That's why he said "hasn't been listening to death metal since the early '90s". It's a shame he doesn't have the same opinion as you...
    Yeah, but he's saying, "Hey, I've not listened to any Death Metal since the '90s" (and implying he hasn't listened to any other extreme metal since the '90s). Which would be fine, if he wasn't also saying that "New extreme metal is dull". It's like me saying, "I've not had any pasta from that new restaurant, but I'm sure their pasta is dull". /shrug
    You've all invented and misinterpreted too many genres. screamo emo core death jap core
    Screamo (as in bands like I Would Set Myself On Fire For You or The Birds Are Spies, They Report To The Trees) is a lot more interesting, and has been for it's entire existence then the bulk of death metal has been for the past decade.
    Not sure if trolling or not...
    Serious. And I've probably been listening to death metal since most of the imbeciles who think I'm trolling were little more than a wet spot on their parent's bed. There's many good death metal bands, but there's exponentially more horrible death metal bands, even if we ignore it's poppy teenybopper offshoot deathcore. Most people who whine about 'screamo' haven't heard anything that actually would fall into the genre, so they attack a strawman based on their opinion of unrelated crap.
    i like how you just assumed that, he said extreme metal, he could be referring to, you know, extreme metal in general
    He looks stoned as hell in that pic with the article... That should widen his perspecitve.
    I'm pretty sure he has a wider perspective than anyone here
    And how do you justify such a statement?
    Don't Ask
    I could justify it by saying that he plays in a progressive death metal band, but thinks that Benny Andersson of ABBA is a genius and has their entire collection on his iPod. Now that's wide perspective, if you ask me. But don't.
    @Don't Ask: Ok, cool. But the perspective we're evaluating is his perspective of modern extreme metal.
    If you actually listen to the interview though he justified his opinion well enough.
    He talks about it from around 5:45
    This is true, far too many people look at the mass amounts of deathcore and djent garbage and label the extreme music scene as being dead or in peril, when in actuality there are bands like Ulcerate, Mitochondrion and Deathspell Omega that are consistently pushing the genre forward and into new territory. Metal has always been an underground genre, you can't expect the mainstream crap to be what really represents extreme metal.
    I agree with him. I don't know what styles in particular he's referring to but most of what's popular in Metal right now bores me to tears.