OPETH - ‘In Cauda Venenum’ (2019)

28 September 2019
OPETH - ‘In Cauda Venenum’ (2019)
  • Лейбъл: Moderbolaget/Nuclear Blast
  • Издаден: 2019
  • Aвтор: Никола Шахпазов
  • Оценка:

This here review starts with a good ol’ recommendation - although this album has an English version, go for the Swedish one first. For it is really interesting to hear mainman MIKAEL ÅKERFELDT sing in his native tongue (it only happened once before when he covered Hansson De Wolfe United’s ‘Var kommer barnen in’). And besides, the initial idea was for this to be an all-Swedish album.

Another main characteristic of the new OPETH record is its homogeneity - although nearly 70 minutes long, ‘In Cauda Venenum’ sounds like a very consistent concept album (and it’s not really a concept affair). Plus, all the tracks here are evidence of just how comfortable ÅKERFELDT feels about his prog reincarnation. And how good he is at it.
Some were quick to proclaim this “OPETH’s finest release in a decade” but we find such statements to be largely misleading. They undermine the superb qualities of ‘Heritage’, ‘Pale Communion’ and ‘Sorceress’ - albums that proved OPETH could survive and progress outside deathly growls and extreme riffing.
‘In Cauda Venenum’ is quite similar to all of ÅKERFELDT’s rock albums but then again, it’s different enough to dismiss all accusations of staleness and repetition. You know you’re up for some masterfully performed guitar parts (and not only guitar parts!) but what’s most important is that this is the type of complex but extremely well written music you’re bound to like and remember. 
Weeks before the album’s official premiere we were already deep into the mighty riffs in ‘Svekets prins/Dignity’ and ‘Hjärtat vet vad handen gör/Heart in Hand’ but truth is ‘In Cauda Venenum’ has more, so much more to offer. And some of the best tracks here don’t rely on riffs - just take a listen to the wonderous ‘Banemannen/The Garroter’, featuring so many acoustic instruments, keys, Scandinavian melancholy and first class prog rock that many leading acts could only envy.
We did mention this album being consistent as Hell, right? That’s why it starts in an absolutely perfect way and ends just as great - with the superb/bombastic/melancholic ‘Kontinuerlig drift/Continuum’ и ‘Allting tar slut/All Things Will Pass’.
Hats off to OPETH.