Opeth proud of experimental sound

Opeth’s Fredrik Akesson says it’s ‘cool’ that the band were able to change their sound as not many groups are able to do the same.

He joined the band in 2008 during the writing process of Watershed which featured Mikael Akerfeldt’s screaming vocals. And he says while he was happy to play their old style of music, he’s proud of the way their sound has evolved.

He tells Guided By Metal: “I got to do the death metal thing before the change. But when we took that decision to change it up a bit on Heritage, it took me a while to get used to. But I think it was a cool thing that we did that, because it’s kind of bold.

“Not many bands can experiment as much as we do, and we’re a bit fortunate in that way.”

And Akesson responds to those who have criticised their decision to change their sound.

He continues: “Maybe some people think we’ve turned our backs to the more extreme metal, but we haven’t, because if you go see us live, it’s a big part of the Opeth sound.

“There’s still nine albums with those elements in it. So the set list we’re playing now is quite brutal – and Mikael’s ‘death’ voice is even more evil now.”

He adds: “So we like to play it. It’s not about that. It’s just about the creative side. Mikael, who is the main writer, wants to do something different. He hates the idea of repeating himself.

“I think he took the extreme metal thing to what he thought was a peak for a while and then he needed to do something different.”

Opeth have announced they’ll play 2005 album Ghost Reveries in its entirety at a one-off gig at the London Palladium on October 18.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.