Opeth are comfortable with their position in today's metal scene, but say they feel no affinity with modern metal bands.
Opeth happy with their place in the metal scene
Akerfeldt feels fans have progressed along with the band
The Swedish prog metallers released new album Pale Communion this week and frontman Mikael Akerfeldt says he's pleased with how the band have developed their sound over the years.
He tells SpazioRock: "I don't know anything else than the metal world, because that's where we are. But we're trying to push the boundaries a little bit. Mostly musically, but also sound-wise.
"We don't like to belong in a group. We wanna be on our own. But we are OK with being defined within the metal scene, because that's our origins. Our roots come from real extreme metal, and gradually we have moved away from that. But we still feel we belong to the metal scene, but we don't feel an affinity with bands in the metal scene, and definitely not the sound from the metal scene of today."
Despite his reservations at being compared with other bands in the genre, Akerfeldt admits he finds it difficult to define what metal actually is.
He adds: "The metal scene is something I've been thinking about and talking about a lot – it's very hard for me to define what it is. I know that if you listen to brutal death metal, you might have a problem with what we're doing today. But that is not the definition of metal.
"I think the definition of metal is very blurry, and I'm not sure if you can define what metal is. But, like I said, that's our roots, so I feel we still belong. I still feel many of our fans have probably made this type of journey with us. They've grown up. Maybe they listened to the same stuff that we did. Maybe it's easier for them to understand what we're doing now."
Akerfeldt said this week he would have preferred to keep the new album entirely secret up until its official release, rather than unveil some tracks ahead of time.