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OPETH's Mikael Åkerfeldt Discusses What Being "Heavy" Means To Him In 2019

""For us, at this stage with In Cauda Venenum, heaviness isn't guitars tuned down with screaming vocals over the top."

""For us, at this stage with In Cauda Venenum, heaviness isn't guitars tuned down with screaming vocals over the top."

Opeth just released their new song "'Hjärtat Vet Vad Handen Gör", or "Heart In Hand" if you're buying the English version, and fans are pretty stoked on how heavy it is. Sure, there are no screaming vocals or anything like that, but man the song is just stuffed to the gills with chunky, old school Opeth riffs.

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In a statement, vocalist and guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt discusses what it means to him to be heavy in 2019, and how he thinks the band's new album In Cauda Venenum fits the bill.

"For us, at this stage with In Cauda Venenum, heaviness isn't guitars tuned down with screaming vocals over the top. That's not necessarily what I call ‘heavy' music these days. I can listen to Korn and say, 'Okay, that's heavy.' But it doesn't really mean anything to me. I mean, I catch up on things in magazines or online. I read about bands that have the 'heaviest record ever,' and I'm not too impressed by that. Okay, it's cool but what does it say? What does it mean? It's an impossible mission, to be the heaviest. That's been done before. Over time, I got tired of that tag. Of course, when I was younger, it meant everything to me. I was always on the pursuit for heaviness in my youth, trying to find the next level of heaviness. First it was death metal, then it was bands like Meshuggah, but heaviness is now more about emotions, heavy chord progressions, music that has feelings. Heaviness doesn't mean Meshuggah anymore, although indeed they're a fucking heavy band. I'm not trying to tap into that anymore."

In Cauda Venenum is out September 27.

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