Rumors of Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt solo album have been around for as long as Damnation came out in 2003, if not longer. I reference that because the vocal melody in the chorus of the song "To Rid the Disease" from that album is borrowed from a track recorded by Åkerfeldt's side-project Sörskogen, "Mordet i Grottan." Sörskogen never materialized and that's essentially the last we ever heard about a solo record, definitively anyway.
Now, instead of flat out "no" or a kind of avoidance of the question, we're getting a totally committal "maybe." Hell yeah! In an interview with Rocksverige, he said-
"I don't know. Maybe. I actually got an offer from a record label to do a solo record not long ago. But, I mean, those rumors come from me saying that I would like to do a thing like that to learn more about studio production, like the technical aspect of recording a record. So I was thinking I'm gonna start in a somewhat easy way, with just an acoustic guitar and vocals — basically some type of singer-songwriter record. But, I mean, it hasn't materialized. And since then people ask me all the time, 'When is it coming?' So it was never decided, really; it was just, like, something I said … [I have] nothing that I've written with the intention of putting it out as a solo record. It's just… I have snippets of songs that haven't ended up anywhere else. So I might… I might do something, but I don't think people should hold their breaths."
Maybe is better than no! Plus, what goes better with "maybe" than another answer of the same nature! That's the information we get for a new Storm Corrosion as well, his project with Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson.
"I think there's a possibility that we… We don't really know what to do with another record — what would it be? The good thing with [the first] Storm Corrosion [album] was that there was no references and nobody really knew that we were making that record. So when it came out, it was just, like, out of nowhere, and nobody knew what to expect. But now, since we have a record [out], there's also a reference, which kind of makes it a bit dull — that we have to follow up this record. But both me and Steve, we loved making that record and we love the record; it's very much an acquired taste, I think. So we said if we feel like it, we'll do another one. But we prefer to do so when people, kind of, forgot about the first one."
Long story short, our future may hold more Åkerfeldt.
It may also not hold more Åkerfeldt.