Opeth frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt is pretty overt in his love of non-metal genres, to the point where it's become a prominent sound the band's current music. Åkerfeldt even readily admits the next Opeth album isn't going to be super heavy, much to the dismay of fans. Now he's calling out metalheads for not being open-minded enough! What gives?
Åkerfeldt recently told Metal Hammer in an interview:
“In metal, evolution doesn’t seem to be that important. I think most metal fans just want their Happy Meals served to them. They don’t really want to know about what they’r getting.
For a while, I thought metal was a more open-minded thing but I was wrong. Maybe it’s different from country-to-country. Don’t get me wrong, I love metal, but I’m also open-minded.
I admire some bands that do the same record over and over again – I wonder how they don’t get bored! For us, and Anathema, it seems impossible for us to stay still.”
I agree and disagree with Åkerfeldt. On the topic of agreement, yeah I definitely feel like metal fans can be pretty dismissive when a band decides to change up their game a little bit. Remember when The Faceless starting flaunting music off their 2012 progressive metal record Autotheism? The fan base was incredibly divided but it made sense for them to go in that direction- writing another technical death metal album would've have just been more of the same and boring for the artists in question. So yes, change is a good thing.
However, I don't think metal fans just want more of the same slopped on to their plate constantly. Some might, sure, but I wouldn't lump all metal fans into one category where Åkerfeldt basically says we're not accepting. I love Opeth's Heritage record. I think it's a logical progression off Watershed, which was a logical progression from Ghost Reveries. Yet Åkerfeldt is calling fans close-minded? Come on. Some people might not like the change in sound just as much as some do. It depends on the fan… but again, the general stereotype he's making these bugged me a little bit.
How do you feel? Is a majorly drastic change in sound from a band an "open-mindedness" thing or is it just a matter of taste?