Mikael said: “I remember being so proud he was Swedish. The best heavy metal guitar player came from my country… that felt amazing! I bought his second solo record, Marching Out, on cassette when it came out in 1985.
“I think I was a little disappointed because there were a lot more vocals than I expected. That feels stupid now, I love that record, but initially, I wanted a more guitar solo-based record like his debut, which only had two vocal tracks.
“People talk a lot of sh*t about Yngwie… I talk a lot of sh*t about Yngwie! I hate him as much as I love him. I just want to shake him around, kick him in the a—s and make him wake up to something. He is fantastic and he knows it. He has the most beautiful tone of all heavy metal guitar players, bar Fredrik [Akesson, OPETH guitarist]!
“I saw his latest video for his blues album [Blue Lightning], which I thought was appalling. Cruising down the Miami streets in his Ferrari… that’s not what I think of when I think of blues. It’s pretty horrible.
Åkerfeldt added: “His records have been pretty f*ckin’ sh*t for a long time, but the guitar playing has always been great. The last one I loved was [1988’s] Odyssey, but now I just sound like a disgruntled OPETH fan. After that, he went a bit cheesy and got really bad.
“I feel like he should take care of his career better and maybe calm down a bit, focus on writing great songs. He’s not giving himself the credit he is due, he just wants to carry on playing neoclassical at full distortion. But I still love him.”
One of 2019’s most anticipated heavy rock/metal albums, In Cauda Venenum, will be released by Swedish prog-masters OPETH on September 27th via Moderbolaget / Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
Recorded last year at Stockholm’s Park Studios, In Cauda Venenum will be released in two versions, in both Swedish and English languages.
Regarding the sonic direction of the new record, Åkerfeldt adds, “For us, at this stage with In Cauda Venenum, heaviness isn’t guitars tuned down with screaming vocals over the top. That’s not necessarily what I call ‘heavy’ music these days. I can listen to KORN and say, ‘OK, that’s heavy.’ But it doesn’t really mean anything to me. I mean, I catch up on things in magazines or online. I read about bands that have the ‘heaviest record ever,’ and I’m not too impressed by that. OK, it’s cool but what does it say? What does it mean? It’s an impossible mission, to be the heaviest. That’s been done before. Over time, I got tired of that tag.
“Of course, when I was younger it meant everything to me. I was always on the pursuit for heaviness in my youth, trying to find the next level of heaviness. First it was death metal, then it was bands like MESHUGGAH, but heaviness is now more about emotions, heavy chord progressions, music that has feelings. Heaviness doesn’t mean MESHUGGAH anymore, although indeed they’re a f*cking heavy band. I’m not trying to tap into that anymore.”