Guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH spoke to Decibel magazine about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s follow-up to 2011’s “Heritage”.
“I have about six songs done and another two or three just started,” he said, “plus a million ideas that I haven’t processed yet. Some songs are simple and stripped-down, while others are epic in the true sense of the word. Business as usual, hopefully with unusual music.”
Åkerfeldt also revealed that he plans to enrich at least a few of the new OPETH tracks with strings.
“Some of these things could easily be done with synthetic sounds or effects,” he said, “but recording the STORM CORROSION LP with Steven Wilson made me realize what a massive difference it can mean to incorporate the real shit. I’m semi-pretentious in my songwriting and sometimes I go all in. I think it’s time for ‘all in’ with strings and the full monty. Hopefully it won’t be a mess.”
One of the songs that will appear on OPETH’s forthcoming album was previously described by Åkerfeldt as a “crazy rip-off” of Italian prog outfit GOBLIN, which formed in 1972 and ran for ten years before splitting (the band has since reformed).
“It’s a jam I came up with during the MASTODON/GHOST tour,” he told Decibel, “that we ended up soundchecking. After a few days, you’d hear people in the corridors humming it. It’s a fucking hit! But basically it’s a not-so-subtle headbanging-type nod in GOBLIN’s direction. And to avoid confusion, the song is even called ‘Goblin’. My rip-off deteriorates mid-song and becomes fusion-esque darkened prog rock like MAHAVISHNU or ELP (yikes!). But it swings! It really does.”
Speaking to the Swedish newspaper Expressen in September, Åkerfeldt stated about OPETH’s plans for the upcoming CD: “We’ve been looking at [tracking the next album at] Rockfield Studios in Wales where QUEEN recorded ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, but we haven’t made a decision yet. 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.”