Opeth: "Prog-rock has become all about intricate guitar solos and weird time signatures - there's more to us than that"

Opeth’s Fredrik Åkesson [left] and Mikael Åkerfeldt with their PRS axes
Opeth’s Fredrik Åkesson [left] and Mikael Åkerfeldt with their PRS axes (Image credit: Jonas Akerlund)

With his two daughters, 15-year-old Melinda and 12-year-old Mirjam, in the back seat of his car, Opeth founder Mikael Åkerfeldt was more concerned about getting his kids to school on time than he was in mapping out the band’s 13th studio album. 

It was a frigid December morning before 8am in Stockholm, and right after he dropped his children off he headed to his rehearsal space, where he planned to woodshed some parts he had written. As he sat at a red light, a thought rang through his mind. “What if we do the entire album in Swedish?”

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Jon Wiederhorn

Jon is an author, journalist, and podcaster who recently wrote and hosted the first 12-episode season of the acclaimed Backstaged: The Devil in Metal, an exclusive from Diversion Podcasts/iHeart. He is also the primary author of the popular Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal and the sole author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends. In addition, he co-wrote I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax (with Scott Ian), Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen (with Al Jourgensen), and My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory (with Roger Miret). Wiederhorn has worked on staff as an associate editor for Rolling Stone, Executive Editor of Guitar Magazine, and senior writer for MTV News. His work has also appeared in Spin, Entertainment Weekly, Yahoo.com, Revolver, Inked, Loudwire.com and other publications and websites.