Opeth Frontman On Metallica And Modern Extreme Metal

Australian online radio host Andrew Haug recently caught up with Opeth guitarist/vocalist Mikael Akerfeldt to ask his opinion on what heavy metal is and what he thinks of the ever changing sound of metal giants Metallica. A couple of excerpts from the chat can be found below.
Although Akerfeldt admitted he wasn’t a fan of Metallica’s recent material, he defended their right to evolve, arguing that, “It would be impossible for Metallica to write another ‘Master Of Puppets.’”
He continued: “I don’t think they want to, either. Metallica is very interesting to me, because they shaped a whole new form of metal music with at least the first five records. They keep doing records… I mean, they did ‘Load’, they did ‘Reload’, and those records were f-ing hated. I’m not sure if they were hated because of the actual music or if it was hated because of their image, or whatever it was. And then they tried to kind of get back into playing faster with ‘St. Anger’ and ‘Death Magnetic’, but I guess that didn’t really do it for their fans either; it didn’t really do it for me, to be honest…”
Akerfeldt added he was perplexed why Metallica doesn’t play much of the new material live: “…Aren’t they proud of the new stuff that they do or do they just wanna please the fans?” he queried. “Either way, I think it’s fine and it’s none of my business, whatever choices they make, but I just find it interesting. Because the way we see it, obviously, we’re just a fart in the wind compared to Metallica, but when we put out a new record, that’s what we love the most and that’s what we wanna promote and that’s what we wanna play…I just found it interesting that they don’t seem to stand behind their own material when they are actually on stage touring for this new album.”
The frontman also expressed his dissatisfaction of modern extreme metal: “I think it’s dull, I think it’s s-t — most of it. And I can’t get impressed with bands that are fast, that play… Brutality, for me, does nothing. I’ve been into the whole death metal scene for ages, so it’s not happening that I’m gonna be impressed by brutal music anymore. And I think metal has a new meaning to me than it did before.”
He elaborated: “I think [Opeth’s latest album] ‘Heritage’ is metal – I think it’s rebellious, anyway. But a lot of people, obviously, would disagree. To a lot of people, metal is screaming vocals, double-bass drums, pretty much a computerized recording that sounds inhuman, and I think we just reacted towards that, I guess. To me, it’s maybe a bold statement or whatever you call it, but in our catalog, I think, ‘Heritage’ is the most metal record.”