Mikael Akerfeldt Says Fan Challenged Him to Duel Over Opeth's Album 'Heritage' | Revolver

Mikael Akerfeldt Says Fan Challenged Him to Duel Over Opeth's Album 'Heritage'

Frontman recounts belligerent response to 2011's controversial, prog-leaning LP
Mikael Akerfeldt 2014 Getty, Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images
Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt, San Francisco, California, 2014
photograph by Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

Opeth have never been ones for consistency. Throughout their 28-year career, they've traded in sweeping doom, intricate death metal, blackened folk, Mellotron jams and leaden jazz. The band's most recent stylistic pivot occurred on their 10th album, 2011's Heritage, a polished, melodically-driven LP that reframed Opeth as an ornery prog-rock crew with a distant heavy-metal past. While the record proved critically and commercially successful, its lack of death growls and crushing breakdowns left many fans seething — and at times, downright violent, as frontman Mikael Akerfeldt recently revealed. Speaking with Prog earlier this week, Opeth's sole constant member recalled the intense pushback the band received after "force-feeding" the proggier new cuts to fans live following Heritage's release. 

"We were hitting places where they were a bit loud in voicing in their opinions in the middle of the show," Akerfeldt said of the tour. "People started complaining and screaming and leaving during the show, and people started to challenge me to fights onstage. At this one show, this guy threw down his glove — he was challenging me to a duel."

Don't fret; the story has a happy ending: Akerfeldt had his would-be opponent removed from the venue before things could go full-on Fight Club. Read the entire interview here — and for the love of Danzig, Opeth fans, save the glove-throwing for your next costume party.