Metal is inherently problematic. That's a fact that anybody listening to metal should accept and come to terms with. It doesn't mean that metal shouldn't listened to, written about or loved; most things on the scale of globe-spanning musical genres are problematic. Metal's inherent complex nature stems from the very reasons why metal is appealing and that's what makes it so intrinsic to the style. Since metal appeals to places within us which society would rather not deal with, like war, violence, personal power, the mystical aspects of nature, and darker themes, those who work within the genre are prone to excess. In the process of writing about these themes and of immersing oneself within them, many artists lose the distinction between that which is to be faced and understood and that which should be aspired to or desired.
One of the original melodic death metal bands, Dark Tranquillity are still going strong after twenty years. Now, their tenth studio album Construct is on its way, and I've had the joy of being able to chat with singer Mikael Stanne about the album, his life and metal in general. He's one of my favorite vocalists in metal, and he's a great guy. So join me in my fanboy moment as Mikael shares the wisdom of a long and storied career as one of the innovators of a genre.