|Mikael Åkerfeldt |
Mikael Åkerfeldt with Opeth on May 6th, 2012 in Winnipeg, MB, Canada
|Background information |
|Born || 17 April 1974 |
|Genres ||Progressive metal, death metal, progressive rock, jazz fusion, experimental rock, psychedelic folk, doom metal, heavy metal |
|Occupations ||Musician, singer-songwriter, producer |
|Instruments ||Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, piano, keyboard |
|Years active ||1990–present |
|Labels ||Roadrunner, Candlelight, Century Black |
|Associated acts ||Opeth, Storm Corrosion, Bloodbath, Steel, Katatonia, Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson Ayreon |
|Website ||www.opeth.com |
|Notable instruments |
|PRS Guitars |
Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈoːkərfɛlt]) (born 17 April 1974) is a Swedish musician who achieved fame as the lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth as well as the former lead vocalist of death metal band Bloodbath. He was the vocalist and guitarist for the band Sörskogen, guitarist for the band Steel, and is part of the collaboration Storm Corrosion with Steven Wilson.
He is known for his progressive rock-influenced songwriting style and his frequent use of both clean and growled vocals. On stage, he is notably interactive with audiences, frequently making the audiences laugh with his dry humour, and giving humorous anecdotes between songs.
Åkerfeldt was ranked 9th in the book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists, #42 out of 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time by Guitar World along with Peter Lindgren, and #11 among "The Top 25 Modern Metal Guitarists" on MetalSucks.
 Career and biographical details
A native of Stockholm, Mikael Åkerfeldt was the vocalist for Eruption, a death metal band which he formed in 1988 at 14 years old. After Eruption came to an end in 1990, he joined Opeth, ostensibly as a bassist. When vocalist David Isberg insisted Åkerfeldt join the band, all other members left. Isberg assumed guitar duties, and when he left Opeth two years later, Åkerfeldt replaced him as the vocalist. Åkerfeldt performed the death vocals on Katatonia's album Brave Murder Day and Sounds of Decay EP.
Åkerfeldt is a collector of obscure 1970s rock and heavy metal albums. He also tends to show his influence from these obscure bands, making reference to them in Opeth album titles such as Blackwater Park, Still Life and My Arms, Your Hearse, as well as songs such as "Master's Apprentices." He is also influenced extensively by jazz, as well as the musician Ritchie Blackmore.
On 15 August 2003, Mikael Åkerfeldt married his longtime girlfriend, Anna Sandberg. On 13 September 2004, Anna gave birth to a daughter whom they named Melinda. The couple had their second daughter, Mirjam Ebba Maria Åkerfeldt, on 28 October 2007.
Åkerfeldt is known to be friends with Steven Wilson, the frontman of one of his favorite bands, Porcupine Tree; Mike Portnoy, former, now ex-drummer of Dream Theater (he is featured in their music video for Wither); and Jonas Renkse of Katatonia. He is also presumed to be the basis for the character Toki Wartooth from the popular cartoon Metalocalypse, as divulged in an interview with ultimate-guitar.com.
 Solo album
Mikael Åkerfeldt revealed in September 2009 that he is contemplating recording a singer-songwriter acoustic solo album.
"I've always been wanting to do a thing like that. I've got a bunch of lovely acoustic guitars back I wanna use more. Even though Opeth could probably do an album like that, I wanna do it on my own, and in that sense, I want to record it on my own — in my house, basically. I think I can do it well. I think I can do a good album like that."
"I'd like to maybe simplify it even more [than the Opeth acoustic stuff], and have it just chords playing, and maybe some finger-picking stuff, so I could be able to perform it if I would wanna do that. So I don't want it to be lots of tracks, like overdubbing guitars with lots of melodies; I want it to be fairly simplistic so if I wanted to, I could play it live on my own... on a stool. [laughs]"
Mikael Åkerfeldt with Opeth at Ruisrock 2008 in Turku, Finland.
Åkerfeldt uses 3 different tunings: E Standard, Drop D and Open D minor 9 (D-A-D-F-A-E). He has almost exclusively used PRS guitars since the Deliverance/Damnation era and has his own signature model.
 Electric guitars
Åkerfeldt uses the following electric guitars, according to the Opeth web site.
- PRS Custom 24 (Tortoise shell flame top)
- Gibson Flying V ('67 Reissue)
- PRS Custom 24 (Blue Flame Top)
- PRS Custom 24 (Black Quilt)
- PRS Custom 24 (Black)
- PRS SC 245 (Black Cherry)
- Fender Stratocaster 1975 (Black)
- Fender Stratocaster 1972 Reissue (Natural)
- Gibson Les Paul Standard V.O.S. (Tobacco Sunburst)
- B.C. Rich Mockingbird (Black)
- PRS 22 fret Modern Eagle (Grey Flame Top)
- PRS Modern Eagle Single Cut 24 Fret (Wine Flame Matte Top)
- Gibson SG Standard 1961 Reissue
- PRS Custom 22 12-String (Black)
- PRS Singlecut (Black Quilt)
- PRS SE Mikael Åkerfeldt Signature Guitar
 Acoustic guitars/Steel string
Åkerfeldt uses the following acoustic guitars, according to the Opeth web site.
- CF Martin (with Fishman Pickup)
- CF Martin 00016GT
- Takamine 12 String
- Seagull (with Fishman Pickup)
- CF Martin 000-28
 Acoustic guitars/Classical nylon
- Amalio Burguet 3am (cedar top)
- Landola CT/2/w
Åkerfeldt uses the following amps, according to the Opeth web site.
- Marshall Vintage Modern 2466
- Laney GH100L with cabinet
- Laney VH100R
- Laney VC30
- Fender 1000 Rocpro
- Fractal Audio Axe-Fx Ultra preamp / effects processor
- Marshall JCM900
 with Opeth
 with Katatonia
 with Bloodbath
 with Steel
 with Storm Corrosion
 with Steve Hackett
- Ayreon: Åkerfeldt sings the parts of Fear in The Human Equation, the 2004 release.
- Bloodbath: Åkerfeldt was formerly the vocalist for Bloodbath. He was with the band from 2000 to 2004, and can be heard on their Breeding Death and Resurrection Through Carnage releases. He also performed live with them at Wacken Open Air in 2005. On 30 January 2008 it was announced on the official Bloodbath website that Åkerfeldt had rejoined the band. He later performed the vocals for their latest EP release Unblessing the Purity which has been out on limited release since March 10, 2008. Their most recent album, The Fathomless Mastery, is Mikael's first full-length release with Bloodbath since 2002's Resurrection Through Carnage. On 12 April 2012, it was announced that Åkerfeldt had left Bloodbath once again.
- Candlemass: Åkerfeldt performs vocals for one song on the Candlemass 20-year anniversary DVD.
- Devin Townsend: Åkerfeldt has recently been announced as a guest vocalist for Deconstruction. He sings on the song "Stand".
- Dream Theater: Åkerfeldt performs a spoken word part in "Repentance" on their 2007 album Systematic Chaos. He also sang the second verse of the same song on its first and to date only live performance, during the Progressive Nation 2008 tour. He also performed the growled verse of their song "A Nightmare to Remember" with the band live.
- Edge of Sanity: Åkerfeldt provided vocals and guitar parts in Edge of Sanity's 1996 album Crimson, and also wrote lyrics for a song on Infernal.
- Horrified: Åkerfeldt growls a few words on "Avatar of the Age of Horus" off of their Deus Diabolus Inversus album.
- Katatonia: Åkerfeldt sings on the 1996 album Brave Murder Day, and the three-song EP Sounds of Decay, released 1997. He also performs backing vocals on the albums Discouraged Ones and Tonight's Decision.
- Ihsahn: Åkerfeldt performs on the song "Unhealer" from the 2008 album angL.
- OSI: Åkerfeldt performs lead vocals on the track "Stockholm" for OSI's 2009 album, Blood.
- Porcupine Tree: Åkerfeldt sings backing vocals on "Deadwing", "Lazarus", "Shesmovedon" and "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" and plays a guitar solo on "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" on the 2005 album Deadwing.
- Roadrunner United: Åkerfeldt performs vocals on the song "Roads" alongside Type O Negative keyboardist Josh Silver on the Roadrunner Records 25th Anniversary album Roadrunner United: The All-Star Sessions.
- Soilwork: Åkerfeldt sings cleanly on the title track of the album A Predator's Portrait.
 External links