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A native of Stockholm, Mikael Åkerfeldt was the vocalist for Eruption, a death metal band which he formed in 1988 at 14 years old. After Eruption came to an end in 1990, he joined Opeth, ostensibly as a bassist. When vocalist David Isberg insisted Åkerfeldt join the band, all other members left. Isberg assumed guitar duties, and when he left Opeth two years later, Åkerfeldt replaced him as the vocalist.
Åkerfeldt revealed in September 2009 that he is contemplating recording a singer-songwriter acoustic solo album.
However, in 2014 he expressed the view that he didn't have the need of a special solo project and that he can put pretty much anything into Opeth.
In an interview on STIM magazine, he revealed that one of the highlights of his career was Opeth's performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
On 15 August 2003, Mikael Åkerfeldt married his longtime girlfriend, Anna. In 2004 Anna gave birth to their first daughter, Melinda. The couple had their second daughter, Mirjam, in 2007.[not in citation given] In 2016, in an interview with The Quietus, Åkerfeldt revealed he had gone through a divorce.
Mikael Åkerfeldt with Opeth at Ruisrock 2008 in Turku, Finland.
He has almost exclusively used PRS guitars since the Deliverance/Damnation era and has his own signature model. He also occasionally uses guitars by a variety of other brands as well, including Gibson and Jackson.
Åkerfeldt uses the following electric guitars, according to the Opeth web site.
Dream Theater: Åkerfeldt performs a spoken word part in "Repentance" on their 2007 album Systematic Chaos. He also sang the second verse of the same song on its first live performance, during the Progressive Nation 2008 tour. During the same tour he also performed the growled part of the song "A Nightmare to Remember" with the band live.
Ihsahn: Åkerfeldt performs on the song "Unhealer" from the 2008 album angL.
OSI: Åkerfeldt performs lead vocals on the track "Stockholm" for OSI's 2009 album, Blood.
Porcupine Tree: Åkerfeldt sings backing vocals on "Deadwing", "Lazarus", "Shesmovedon" and "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" and plays a guitar solo on "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" on the 2005 album Deadwing.
^Franklin, Dan (21 September 2016). "Dead Man Touring: Mikael Åkerfeldt Of Opeth Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 2016. Although markedly different from those albums, Sorceress has something of the mood and tone of that work, driven by Åkerfeldt's personal experience, including a recent divorce, more than a reflective, authored distance.