Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mikael Akerfeldt

A native of Stockholm, Mikael Åkerfeldt was the vocalist for Eruption, a death metal band which he formed in 1988. 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 both jazz and musician Ritchie Blackmore.[3]
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 good friends with Steven Wilson, the frontman of one of his favorite bands, Porcupine Tree;[4] Mike Portnoy, former drummer of Dream Theater; 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[5]
[edit]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 wanna 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]"[6]

Some of his guitars are tuned to Open D minor (low to high strings: D-A-D-F-A-D) to perform songs from the album Ghost Reveries.
[edit]Electric guitars[7]
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
[edit]Acoustic guitars/Steel string[7]
CF Martin (with Fishman Pickup)
CF Martin 00016GT
Takamine 12 String
Seagull (with Fishman Pickup)
[edit]Acoustic guitars/Classical nylon
Amalio Burguet 3am (cedar top)
Landola CT/2/w
Laney GH100L with cabinet
Laney VH100R
Laney VC30
Fender 1000 Rocpro
Fractal Audio Axe-Fx Ultra preamp / effects processor

[edit]with Opeth
Orchid (1995)
Morningrise (1996)
My Arms, Your Hearse (1998)
Still Life (1999)
Blackwater Park (2001)
Deliverance (2002)
Damnation (2003)
Lamentations (2003) – live DVD
Ghost Reveries (2005)
The Roundhouse Tapes (2007) – live album/DVD
Watershed (2008)
In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (2010) – live album/DVD
[edit]with Katatonia
Brave Murder Day (1996)
Sounds of Decay (1997) – EP
Discouraged Ones (1998) – backing vocals, co-production on vocals
[edit]with Bloodbath
Breeding Death (2000) – EP
Resurrection Through Carnage (2002)
Unblessing the Purity (2008) – EP
The Wacken Carnage (2008) – live album
The Fathomless Mastery (2008)

Ayreon: Åkerfeldt sings the parts of Fear in The Human Equation, the 2004 release.
Bloodbath: Åkerfeldt is currently 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.
Candlemass: Åkerfeldt performs vocals for one song on the Candlemass 20-year anniversary DVD.
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. And during one of the DT's live performance, where they played A Nightmare to Remember,he growls during the growled part of the song.
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" 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.
Sörskogen: Åkerfeldt sings in Swedish and plays guitars on the lone track "Mordet i Grottan".
Steel: A small power metal side project by Dan Swanö and Opeth's members, featuring Åkerfeldt on guitars.

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