Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt: the 10 guitarists that blew my mind

3. Yngwie Malmsteen

“I remember being so proud he was Swedish. The best heavy metal guitar player came from my country… that felt amazing! 

I bought his second solo record Marching Out on cassette when it came out in 1985. I think I was a little disappointed because there were a lot more vocals than I expected. That feels stupid now, I love that record, but initially I wanted a more guitar solo-based record like his debut, which only had two vocal tracks. 

“People talk a lot of shit about Yngwie… I talk a lot of shit about Yngwie! I hate him as much as I love him. I just want to shake him around, kick him in the ass and make him wake up to something. He is fantastic and he knows it. He has the most beautiful tone of all heavy metal guitar players, bar Fredrik!

“I saw his latest video for his blues album, which I thought was appalling, cruising down the Miami streets in his Ferrari. That’s not what I think of when I think of blues. It’s pretty horrible. 

"His records have been pretty fuckin’ shit for a long time, but the guitar playing has always been great. The last one I loved was Odyssey, but now I just sound like a disgruntled Opeth fan. After that, he went a bit cheesy and got really bad. 

“I feel like he should take care of his career better and maybe calm down a bit, focus on writing great songs. He’s not giving himself the credit he is due, he just wants to carry on playing neoclassical at full distortion. But I still love him – he’s on this list, which is proof enough right?!”

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences. He's interviewed everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handling lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).