In a brand new interview with Rock Sins, guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH was asked what makes the band’s latest album, “Sorceress”, different from previous OPETH works. He said: “Well, I think that the songs, as far as I’m concerned, are more diverse within themselves. I think there’s a great diversity to this record that is different. We’ve always been a band with great diversity, if I may say so myself, but I think that it’s more distinguished on this record from song to song. I made a conscious effort to make each song quite — or very, very — different to the one before. I spent a lot of time and effort making each song very different from the one before whereas before I worked on dynamics within the songs. Not saying that they all sound the same, because I don’t think they did, but now I worked a little bit more with trying to distinguish each song so that it becomes, er… It should be a little bit of a handful to find one song that represents the album. I would hope that no one finds one song that actually represents the album better than any other song.”
Åkerfeldt also talked about whether he gets at all conflicted between writing music for himself and composing material that he knows more traditional OPETH fans might be able to appreciate.
“I’m not interested in writing music for anyone else than myself,” he said firmly. “Myself first and foremost and the rest of the band secondly, and sometimes they may not understand what I’m after, but, y’know, you kinda massage them a little bit and they get into it. As far as that goes, once I’m happy and the rest of the other guys in the band are happy, we’re gold as far as I’m concerned.”
He continued: “I don’t think I’ve ever tried to write a song for the fanbase; I don’t think it works like that. If you take an example like AC/DC, for instance, they’re a bit of a cheap shot to go for AC/DC who’ve virtually been sounding the same their whole career, so I wonder why people don’t like ‘Flick Of The Switch’ or ‘Fly On The Wall’. Those records are amazing because they’re quite similar to ‘Back In Black’ or ‘Highway To Hell’ and those kinds of records, so I don’t think it works like that. You can’t adjust your style of writing in order to gain popularity and stuff like that. I think the only right way to do it, as far as I see it, is to write for yourself. If you like it, perhaps someone else will like it, and that’s how we’ve been doing it since the beginning.”
“Sorceress” was released on September 30. For the band’s first effort for Nuclear Blast via OPETH‘s imprint label Moderbolaget Records, the group returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, also home to pivotal releases from QUEEN, RUSH and JUDAS PRIEST, where the Swedes had tracked “Pale Communion” in 2014 with Tom Dalgety.
Band photo credit: Stuart Wood