Interview – Fredrik Åkesson of Opeth

Fredrik Åkesson is the lead guitarist for the progressive death metal band Opeth. He is also known for his guitar work in numerous projects that include Arch Enemy, Tailsman, Krux, and Tiamat.

Åkesson is currently on tour with Opeth promoting the band’s latest album Heritage (which I was a fan of).

Here is a phone conversation we had in which we discussed the current tour with Mastodon, Mikael’s recent injury, the dark lyrical content of the band he had when he was nine, his favorite beers, and more. He even divulged the band’s post-festival season tour plans, although he is unsure if he was supposed to or not.

Listen to the full interview with clips from Åkesson’s work after the jump…

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CD Review – Storm Corrosion

After years of both hype and mystery, the long-awaited collaboration between the leaders of progressive giants Opeth and Porcupine Tree has surfaced.

Mikael Åkerfeldt and Steven Wilson have been in cahoots for many years, but until now,, the extent of their collaborative efforts has simply been the appearance on one another’s albums. While Åkerfeldt provided some backing vocals and guitar on The Porcupine Tree gem Deadwing, Wilson has famously had a hand in most of Opeth’s albums since Blackwater Park. To hear that they were joining forces in Storm Corrosion was not much of a surprise, but it was still something to get very excited about.
What was a surprise, was when the pair announced that the result of the collaboration included zero metal elements and barely any drums. Considering a third name in this project early on was Mike Portnoy, of Dream Theater fame, it’s not a shock, in hindsight, that his name was removed from the project.

The final product is still a very immersive and intense record  It is heavy in a different way, yet very beautiful and dark.

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New this week to KSSU Loud Rock – 9.12.2011


After an eight year gap and countless singer swaps between Joey Belladonna, John Bush and the relatively unknown Dan Nelson, Anthrax has returned with Worship Music. In some ways it is a return to form to the band’s former sign with both Bush AND Belladonna. Musically, it sounds super heavy like the Bush-era We’ve Come for You All (see: “In The End”) but retains the melody and thrash of Belladonna’s State of Euphoria (see: “The Devil You Know”). Old school fans should dig the first Belladonna ’Thrax since 1990 but later day fans might be put off by him. Regardless this record is awesome.

Pick Up Worship Music by Anthrax via Megaforce Records. [Read more…]

Music Review: Opeth – “Heritage”

Opeth - Heritage





Following the release of their acclaimed Watershed and the longest wait between albums since the band’s inception 20 plus years ago, Opeth return with the Heritage which is sure to be a head-turner for a few reasons. For one, the album completely lacks growling vocals from frontman/founder/only consistent member/all-around cool dude Mikael Akerfeldt. This is by no means a jab at Akerfeldt though as he produces one of my favorite singing voices not just in metal but all any genre. I point out this fact knowing that there are a number of fans that will actually care about this. To these naysayers I must point out that it is not the first time the band has gone this route. Please see 2005’s masterpiece Damnation. [Read more…]