Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt: My 10 Favorite Metal Albums

Bandleader shouts out classics including Judas Priest's 'Sad Wings of Destiny' and Morbid Angel's 'Altars of Madness'

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Black Sabbath, 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' (1973)
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1. Black Sabbath, 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' (1973)

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath to me is the most orchestrated Black Sabbath record, together with the one that came after, Sabotage, which I also love. ... [Sabbath Bloody Sabbath] just happens to be my favorite record [by] my favorite hard-rock/metal band. It's got beautiful strings. It's different than the other ones; it's got orchestrations on it. That was actually done by the same guy that orchestrated our last record, [Sorceress,] a guy called Wil Malone. So that was cool to work with him. And it's also Ozzy Osbourne's best vocal performance, I think. He's got a great, great voice, and it's definitely his best vocal performance. It also has my favorite Black Sabbath song, which is the last song on the record, "Spiral Architect," which I saw when they reunited for the first time in the Nineties. ... I saw that they were playing that song live and I was like, "Fuckin' hell, I'm gonna hear my favorite song, my favorite band, and I'm gonna hear it live." But because he's now not as great of a singer as he once was, he had kind of remade the vocal line so it was a completely different vocal line to that song, and I was a bit disappointed, I remember. 

But it's just a fantastic record. There's not a weak second on it. All the songs, they put [them] in the perfect order. Great sound, great heaviness. It's got the acoustic things. ... It's just a timeless piece of music that I will listen to till I die basically. It will still sound new then.

I love [earlier Sabbath], too, of course. I don't need to hear "Paranoid" or "Iron Man" or "Snowblind" ever again. I can just listen to them in my head if I want to, because they've been overplayed, you know, like all the shows I've seen with Ozzy, all the shows I've seen with Sabbath, all the cover bands I've seen, radio, whatever parties you've been to, those songs have been played so much that I don't need to hear them ever again. I still love them, of course, but ... I know those songs too well. But with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, even [the title track], which is also one of their hits, you still kind of discover things every time you listen to it. Or you get the shivers, if you know what I mean? ... Maybe it's a bit more complex so it takes more time to digest than "Paranoid," for instance. I still find things in that record that make me go, "Hmm, that's nice." And I've played it, I don't know, thousands of times. 

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