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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6. King Diamond, '"Them"' (1988)

Again, it could have been any of the first, let's say, three Mercyful Fate records: Melissa, Don't Break the Oath and In the Shadows, which I also love actually. And the King Diamond records up until The Eye, which was the last fantastic King Diamond record, for me. But "Them" was one of those records ... when that came out, and that drum fill that starts the whole thing after the little intro, there's a drum fill from Mikkey Dee just makes you go like, "Fuckin' hell, that's the best drum fill ever." It's much like [Rainbow's] "Stargazer." It makes you sit up straight, just sucks you in right away. 

[It's] a very metal-sounding record, but it also has these beautiful vocal melodies, beautiful vocal harmonies. It's got the acoustic guitars, great riffing. It's a bit poseur-y–sounding; it's a bit kind of glancing to the Hollywood scene in one way, with the riffs and that kind of stuff. But with [King Diamond's] vocals, his lyrics and the image, of course, it made them anything but a hair-metal band or a cock-rock band. But it definitely has those aspects on the early King Diamond: a little bit of a hair-metal band with more of a dark lining, if you know what I mean. But that record, I played it so much. I used to fall asleep to it – I used to play either "Them" or the record before, Abigail, when I was going to bed. ... I listened to those records to fall asleep, like, every night for I don't know how long. But it's filled with classic songs. It's a complete record. Again, the composition, the sequencing of the songs on the record just flows, like the concept record that it is. It just makes sense, in a way, I guess. Since it first came out, it's remained one of my all-time favorite metal records, and that's why it's on the list

I did a few concept records on my own. Starting with our third album, My Arms, Your Hearse, and the one after, Still Life, and to a certain extent, Ghost Reveries. They were influenced by King Diamond because I wanted to write concept records just like he did. So he was the main reason why I gave it a try. But I was too self-conscious to do different voices and jump to different characters like he does [laughs]. It didn't really work as well for us. But he's definitely the reason why I wrote a few concept records. Definitely. More so than Roger Waters, to be honest.

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