Opeth: 'We Still Feel That We Belong to the Metal Scene'

"But we don't feel an affinity with bands in the metal scene," Mikael Akerfeldt adds.

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Opeth might have severely drifted into the prog rock realm with their latest studio efforts, but frontman Mikael Akerfeldt still insists that metal domain is the place where they belong.

Asked by Spazio Rock on where Opeth stand in today's metal scene, Mikael replied (via Blabbermouth), "It's easy in the metal world especially - I mean, I don't know anything else than the metal world, because that's where we are, if you know what I mean.

"But we're trying to push the boundaries a little bit. Mostly musically, but also sound-wise. And to be on our own. We don't like to belong in a group. We wanna be on our own. But we are okay with being defined within the metal scene, because that's our origins.

"Our roots come from real extreme metal, and then gradually I guess we have moved away from that. But we still feel that we belong to the metal scene, so to speak, but we don't feel an affinity with bands in the metal scene, and definitely not the sound from the metal scene of today."

Discussing fan reactions to recent Opeth efforts, Akerfeldt noted, "The metal scene is… It's something I've been thinking about and talking about a lot, it's very hard for me to define what it is, really. I know that if you listen to brutal death metal, you might have a problem with what we're doing today. But that is not the definition of metal.

"I think the definition of metal is very blurry, and I'm not sure if you can define what metal is. But, like I said, that's our roots, so I feel that we still belong. I still feel many of our fans have probably made this type of journey with us. They've grown up. Maybe they listened to the same stuff that we did. Maybe it's easier for them to understand what we're doing now," the frontman concluded.

In related news, the band has unveiled a visualizer clip for "Eternal Rains Will Come" single off their latest album "Pale Communion." The record was released on August 25, you can order it here.

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30 comments sorted by best / new / date

    As long as they keep performing their classics live, they're metal.
    Which they don't.
    They do. Heir Apparent, Deliverance, Ghost, bwp. They always give a good show. If they feel the need to play 90% of a very short time space with their brand new songs that they love playing then sobeit. It's their life and their choice, but you always get something heavy. (there was a heritage phase of no heavies for a brief while) but not now. They played a festival not long ago and played one ballad with the devils orchard, the rest was in your face metal. if they wanted to, they could go on and be up there with the heaviest bands on the road right now. but... to b fair to Mike, why bother, he's already done it. and trying to give everyone their favourite 12 minute death metal track at every gig is impossible. They're goooood. and they keep it fresh.
    Of course... If you don't consider Blackwater Park, Deliverance, White Cluster, Demon of the Fall, Ghost of Perdition, Hessian Peel, and Harlequin Forest to be classics. (All those songs were performed in 2013 and 2014)
    Actually, I just watched an interview where Mike said that on the upcoming tours they are going to focus a bit more on the ''classic'' songs. Should be pretty epic.
    I really like Pale Communion. It is not a death metal album. It barely even sounds like a metal album. It sounds like whatever the hell Mikael and co feel like writing, and that's great because I think they're great musicians and they've come up with some great compositions on the album.
    The way I see it, they're doing the same thing Mastodon did but to a way bigger extreme. Mastodon is still something I can listen to and enjoy. This isn't, I'm afraid.
    "To define is to limit" said Oscar Wilde. That's exactly why it's so difficult define Metal, it's just too general of a term. For me, Opeth will always belong in the Metal realm.
    And, while having no death metal vocals and such, some parts the album are still quite heavy.
    not all metal needs to have growls and double bass pedal
    Pale Communion sounds like Opeth, and that's enough for me to be happy with that.
    of course I will always love the old school era Opeth. I don't think Still Life can ever be topped. This new stuff sounds good though in my opinion. It can still be dark and evil without the brutal growls (though I miss them).
    You can say you're pushing boundaries all you want, but I'm sure Camel has had tons of second-rate Prog bands rip them off over the last 4 decades or so that they've existed, so it's kinda funny to say anything Opeth's done is somehow progressive in any way. Only Prog Metal fans would be so out-of-touch to think playing a style that developed in the 60s and early 70s could possibly be considered innovative.
    I don't personally really care about things like that. Why? Because the new album is ****ing great.
    .. It's second-rate Prog Rock almost half a century after Prog Rock's prime, that isn't exactly the definition of "****ing great". Maybe "average", even then, only if you're describing bands from the original time period. And maybe you don't care, but the average Opeth defener would have you believe the only people who don't like them are people who don't like new and innovative things, which is provably false when you take into consideration the fact that innovative isn't exactly what most Prog fans would call Opeth's work, regardless of the era.
    You could wash down a whole meal with all that hater-aid. Grape flavored because you're a monster
    And the average Opeth fanboy could too, considering how much they fellate Mikael Akerfeldt despite everything he's been involved with ranging from downright bad to mediocre, or are we going to pretend Bloodbath isn't so middle-of-the-road they actually make Cannibal Corpse look interesting, too?
    Or you are a fucking degenerate moron who have shit taste who suck his own ego like an emo girl who suck her dildo?
    You assume too much. Also, tastes differ. I don't care that you don't like this album (or Opeth for that matter), but I do care that you're taking a dump on people who do like it. There. Now you can go and flame me for being an 'Opeth-fanboy'. I agree with you on Bloodbath though.
    Well, too bad for you, but I happen to love this second-rate prog rock. I also liked Heritage. Flame me to death m8.
    Prog now days doesn't necessarily refer to unique innovation and "progression" of music. I refers to the 60-70s style of music. In my mind I separate terms "prog" and "progressive"; in the end they are the same thing, but the meaning has changed a little bit. I think there's nothing wrong with contemporary bands playing that style. It's like saying "why do people still play and compose classical music, it's so old and dated..."
    A good band not repeating itself with every album. Nothing wrong with that. Anyone says that opeth aren't metal, just crank 'Wreath' up to 11 and ask Morbid Angel who surpassed them.
    "Switching the matter to fan reactions to recent Opeth efforts" - nothing wrong there, but that's beside to point.