Opeth and Ghost guitarist Fredrik Åkesson reveals what’s on his pedalboard

Fredrik Åkesson's Opeth touring pedalboard
(Image credit: Medios y Media/Getty Images)

“Here’s the pedalboard I’ve been using for the last few Opeth runs. I tend to change my overdrive pedal a lot; right now it’s the Seymour Duncan 805. It has a three-band EQ, which I use for slightly cutting the mids and adding bass.

“The DryBell Vibe Machine has more warmth than other vibes I’ve tried and sounds just like those classic recordings. I also like that you have bright and custom settings, as well as a vibrato mode. I’ll use it for the clean parts of Face of Melinda or Burden and the shreddy fusion solo in Nepenthe.

“This Boss OC-2 is from the mid ’80s. I bought it from Göran Elmquist from Sound of Silence, the local rig builder who looks after Opeth. He’s like the Swedish Bob Bradshaw! The Fuzztner is made by Olsson Amps; it does the octave-up thing – we use it for the ending of Heart in Hand and All Things Will Pass to make the choruses feel more explosive. 

“The MXR Phase 95 sounds brilliant; it’s like the original but has more features so I end up using it a lot for leads. Sometimes I might do the Frank Marino thing: turn it up aggressively with some fuzz and shred through some blues. I love that shit!

Fredrik Åkesson's Opeth touring pedalboard

(Image credit: Courtesy of Fredrik Åkesson)

“I only use the [TC Electronic] Flashback 2 for what I call ‘psycho effects’ to create oscillating, chaotic sounds at the end of songs, while turning up the fuzz or distortion. The Strymon Volante is handling all my ambiences, thanks to its great spring reverb. It’s hooked up to the switching system via MIDI, so I can preset tempos for certain songs that might need a special delay time. 

“It’s also nice to turn it off whenever I play a fast lick in a solo and then kick it back in on a high note with lots of vibrato. The wah is a [Dunlop] Cry Baby 95Q. And I use the Tiger Lily Tremolo by One Control for the ambient parts in The Drapery Falls. It’s good, but I’ll be switching back to my MXR M305 soon.”

If I had to choose one pedal for a full show

“I recently picked up Joe Bonamassa’s [Way Huge] Penny Saver Royale Modulation & Overdrive. It works nicely for both clean and heavier tones. Normally, I’d pick something like the [Dunlop] Echoplex Delay, but this has quickly become one of my favorite pedals.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).