Many Opeth fans have likely been wondering what direction mastermind Mikael Åkerfeldt will head into next for the band’s eleventh studio album. 2011’s Heritage was an ode to Åkerfeldt’s love for progressive rock with nary a death growl to be heard. Via an interview with Decibel, now we’re starting to get new details on what to expect for the upcoming album.

Regarding the album’s progress and the types of sounds to expect:

“I have about six songs done and another two or three just started, plus a million ideas that I haven’t processed yet. Some songs are simple and stripped-down, while others are epic in the true sense of the word. Business as usual, hopefully with unusual music.”

“Some of these things could easily be done with synthetic sounds or effects, but recording the Storm Corrosion LP with Steven Wilson made me realize what a massive difference it can mean to incorporate the real shit. I’m semi-pretentious in my songwriting and sometimes I go all in. I think it’s time for ‘all in’ with strings and the full monty. Hopefully it won’t be a mess.”

In case you haven’t heard Storm Corrosion, it’s very…well, not particularly metal. But the idea of incorporating real strings on a Opeth album sounds really cool. Regarding specific tracks, there’s one that Åkerfeldt is excited about in particular:

“It’s a jam I came up with during the Mastodon/Ghost tour that we ended up soundchecking. After a few days, you’d hear people in the corridors humming it. It’s a fucking hit! But basically it’s a not-so-subtle headbanging-type nod in Goblin‘s direction. And to avoid confusion, the song is even called ‘Goblin‘. My rip-off deteriorates mid-song and becomes fusion-esque darkened prog rock like Mahavishnu [Orchestra] or ELP. But it swings! It really does.”

It sounds like Åkerfeldt means to continue down a path of experimentation for Opeth, which could lead to some awesome music but also disappoint those who were hoping that the band would go back to the death metal sound heard on many of the band’s previous albums.

[via The PRP]