Opeth – In Cauda Venenum

You are currently viewing Opeth – In Cauda Venenum

(Moderbolaget Records)

Total Time: 67:53

It’s the 13th album for OPETH, a band that gradually changed its sound completely. OPETH began, inspired by MORBID ANGEL, being a Death Metal band but, for years now and more specifically post ‘Watershed’, Mikael Akerfeldt’ s interest in this sound has come to an end. In fact, as he recently revealed, he attempted to make a “Watershed v2.0”, but quickly deleted it. And that’s how “Heritage” was born. And with it, the new, prog-rock paths that the new “OPETH” band had decided to follow.

“In Cauda Venenum” is inspired from earlier ’70s prog-rock sounds. What does “progressive” means? Of course progress. And that’s exactly what we’re talking about here.

Does this mean that, just like in ‘Watershed v 2.0″ that did never happen, OPETH deleted themselves? No. OPETH became known for their ability to move musically between the world of light and darkness. Melancholic, tranquil melodies come together with heavier and up-tempo songs.

The psychedelic “Garden Of Earthly delights” song signifies the beginning, with an electronic intro, which is like a posterchild from a PINK FLOYD’s old album, and then the more dynamic “Dignity” with a catchy melody is the second track. The epic “Heart In Hand”, with a loud, heavy and very progg-y intro moves on to become a psychedelic and melodic song along the way. A track that is set to be one of the best of the year in its kind. The Heavy “Next Of Kin” comes next, with a dark, almost doom-y start, and then there is a captivating, touchy, beautiful ballad (“Lovecorn Crime”). From there on, in “Charlatan” we can hear one of the most progg- y tracks ever written by OPETH. The track has no guitar at all, an indicator of what the listener is going to listen. “Universal Truth”: A hard to understand, piece that almost has an intelligent entity, with a beautiful voice and a ’70s-like catchy chorus, a real epic-prog moment. After that, OPETH is becoming even more experimental, with “The Carroten”, a prog-jazz track. A bold attempt, which, may not be what OPETH had in mind. One of the weaker moments of the album. “Continuum”: the drums rhythmically open a track, which then ends up being heavy, progressive and melodic in the end. A versatile/diverse son. And finally, “All Things Will Pass”. It always struck me when a fine album set a melancholic tone in their last song. That’s exactly what we have here. Hypnotic proggy tunes and the end is here!

“In Cauda Venenum” album in its entirety, is a complex, carefully produced, quality, experimental release. Yes, experimental, even for OPETH! The million dollar question here is: Did the experiment succeed? And the answer is simple…Yes! It’s just that someone has to be ready to realize that OPETH is not what used to be. You just have to be prepared to take rough, un-established, and not necessarily … metal, but more prog-rock paths.

Rating: 8/10

George Kourouleas

Related Link: OPETH – Official Page

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