It's been more than two months since Mikael Akerfeldt's progressive death-metal outfit OPETH entered a Swedish studio for what will be the highly technical band's eighth album. Two weeks ago, Akerfeldt told Metal File the record's nearing completion but that there were still several critical details that needed sorting out — i.e. the album title, some lyrics — and a record label to release the damn thing.
Before this week, Sweden's exalted sons were one of the world's most wanted unsigned bands. But that all changed within the last couple of days, when Opeth finalized a deal with New York's Roadrunner Records, bolstering an imposing roster that already includes Killswitch Engage, Slipknot, Obituary and Cradle of Filth.
Akerfeldt, Opeth's haunting vocalist/ambitious guitarist, disclosed several details about the band's forthcoming, self-produced opus. The follow-up to 2003's acoustic masterpiece, Damnation, and Opeth's first disc in years without producer Steve Wilson, the album will include ‘Ghost of Tradition’, ‘The Baying of the Hounds’ and ‘Isolation Years’.
"Musically, Damnation was an experiment for us," Akerfeldt said. "It also helped us to develop our sound. So this time around, you can say the overall record is going to be heavy-sounding. There's also a couple of songs that are more in the style of Damnation, so to speak. We also have a new member in the band, our keyboard player, Per Wiberg. So we have some vintage keyboards this time around on the heavy material as well. Overall, this one is heavy."
Akerfeldt said Opeth will finish the record before month's end and expect to release it as early as late August. He also said they'll play some new material this summer as part of the inaugural Sounds of the Underground tour.
"We've never done anything like [a festival tour] before, but this is a new thing, so we're excited," he said. "It's a good chance to reach out to people who've never heard from us. I'm also looking forward to seeing Strapping Young Lad and Clutch perform. Many of the bands on the tour I've never heard of."
:-/ I worry they may change their sound and become crap. Then again, I have enough faith in them to stick to their roots.