“People think his playing is all about the big riffs, but I always loved his jazzy playing – listen to Planet Caravan. You can hear a lot of passing tones”: Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt says there’s way more to Tony Iommi’s guitar style than riffs alone

Tony Iommi and Mikael Akerfeldt
(Image credit: Pete Still / Jana Legler / Getty Images)

As the creative visionary in Opeth, the Swedish band who started out making atmospheric death metal before moving further into the realms of progressive rock, Mikael Åkerfeldt knows a thing or two about embracing evolution and daring to dream. 

Much like Black Sabbath legend Tony Iommi, he’s guided his band through a smorgasbord of genres and sounds, away from their heavier roots and deep into the kaleidoscopic cosmic beyond…

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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).