Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth Discusses Camel's 'Moon Madness' — The Record That Changed My Life

by Mikael Akerfeldt
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at 1:01pm

Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth chooses (and discusses) the record that changed his life.

Moon Madness (1976)

“I was already in my twenties when I first heard it. I was working at a record store in Stockholm at the time, and one of my co-workers, who was in his early forties, suggested I check out Camel.

"I bought a couple of their albums on second-hand vinyl, including Moon Madness and The Snowgoose, and took them home on a lunch break. I was floored by Moon Madness and especially by Andy Latimer’s guitar playing. It was just what I’d been looking for—finally, someone to copy! I had always leaned toward hard-rock players like Blackmore, but this was something new. It was so heartfelt and emotional, and every note felt like it served a purpose.

“I was also amazed by the compositions, as well as the solos, and of course, Latimer’s guitar tone. One of the best guitar solos is in a song called ‘Lunar Sea.’ It’s long and fantastically executed. He really builds it to a splendid climax. That solo that has highly influenced me. In fact, there’s a song on our new album, Ghost Reveries, called ‘The Baying of the Hounds,’ and my solo on it definitely has Andy’s sound and his way of building up the drama of solos.

"Also, on our new track ‘Beneath the Mire,’ there’s a unison part played by me on guitar and by keyboardist Per Wiberg on the Moog synthesizer, and it sounds very Camel-esque. You listen to that and you think, Well, it’s Camel!”

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