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Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt: ‘I Can Hear People Saying We’re Not a Heavy Metal Band Anymore’

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

‘s latest album ‘Pale Communion’ will be released Aug. 26, and as with the band’s previous disc, ‘Heritage,’ it will not contain frontman Mikael Akerfeldt‘s epic gutteral vocals that powered the bulk of the Swedish group’s discography.

The band’s sound has evolved from death metal to progressive in recent years, and Akerfeldt says that he’s aware of the mixed reaction by fans and critics. In a new interview, he tells Metal Hammer, “I’m not stupid, I can hear people saying we’re not a heavy metal band anymore.”

Is their mellower sound an act of rebellion? “Maybe what we are doing is rebelling against metal, but only ‘cause we love it so much,” Akerfeldt says.

However, he also mentions that if they did revisit their earlier, heavier-sounding days, they would go all out: “If we made another heavy record, it’d be pure death metal with blastbeats and s–t.”

Opeth have been playing some European festivals this summer, and have a couple more scheduled in August. You can watch their full set from June’s Rock am Ring festival here.

They kick off a European tour Oct. 10 in Bristol, U.K. that wraps up Nov. 14 in Oslo, Norway. Their full tour schedule is here, and you can pre-order ‘Pale Communion’ at this location.

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