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opeth incaudavenenum
Artist: Opeth
Title: In Cauda Venenum
Genre: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 27th September 2019
Label: Nuclear Blast

Album Review

Three years after ‘Sorceress’, OPETH released ‘In Cauda Venenum’ (Latin for “Poison in the Tail”). The Latin titled album is released in two versions. Uncertain how the international audience would react to texts in their mother tongue Swedish, Åkerfeldt translated the entire album into English. The 13th album of the Swedes offers almost 70 minutes of exciting, multi-faceted, partly magical entertainment and gets even better with every run.

Like ‘Heritage’ and ‘Sorceress’ ‘In Cauda Venenum’ starts with an instrumental intro. If you know ‘Stranger Things’, you probably feel set back in the Netflix cult series with ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’. It is dominated by electronic vintage effects and, like the series, has this old-school touch. But this one ties in perfectly to ‘Dignity’, which starts with full power. Starting with euphoric shouts the song ends with two voices following a complicated riff. This combination creates a unique and sinister atmosphere. For ‘Heart In Hand’ the sounds of analogue keyboards are of great importance - like on the whole album. But it does not lose its hardness or rhythm.

At ‘Heart in Hand’ you notice the energy of OPETH, which still manages to release a considerable intensity. Then follows ‘Next of Kin’, where orchestral elements creep in around the riff. Here OPETH succeeds in integrating the slow and heavy guitar parts as well as the acoustic elements into the progressive sound of the album. While ‘Heart in Hand’ is stronger, ‘Lovelorn Crime’ lets the listener appreciate the overall timbre of the frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt. The latter underlines the melancholic piano melody, which later develops into a somewhat powerful ballad, but which still takes over the traditional solo of the genre. The ‘Charlatan’ is brought to life all the more restlessly, with violent breaks, nervous drums and jazzy e-piano elements.

While ‘Charlatan’ comes across more aggressive OPETH shows her softer core with ‘Universal Truth’. Captivating acoustic tones and refined and profound guitar playing. ‘The Garroter’ is probably the song on the record that stands out the most. The reason for this is the Swedes’ joy of experimenting, which takes the listener on a dark jazz excursion. ‘Continuum’ again contains all the successful elements that characterize OPETH. With ‘All Things Will Pass’ the album ends with an epic bang. The almost nine-minute piece gradually builds up in sound, fascinates with the light oriental accent and also surprises with a riff with discreet black metal vibe. Progressive, stirring and gripping.

‘In Cauda Venenum’ is an album that is hard to beat. Here OPETH show once more why they have been making music since 1990 and why they are so to say the kings in the progressive field until now. Even if you don’t hear anything new in the Swedish version of the album, it’s still recommendable because it enhances the mysterious atmosphere.


01. Livet’s Trädgård / Garden Of Earthly Delights (Intro)
02. Svekets Prins / Dignity
03. Hjärtat Vet Vad Handen Gör / Heart In Hand
04. De Närmast Sörjande / Next Of Kin
05. Minnets Yta / Lovelorn Crime
06. Charlatan
07. Ingen Sanning Är Allas / Universal Truth
08. Banemannen / The Garroter
09. Kontinuerlig Drift / Continuum
10. Allting Tar Slut / All Things Will Pass


Mikael Åkerfeldt – lead and backing vocals, guitars and ramblings
Fredrik Åkesson – lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals, whistles, coughs
Martin Axenrot – drums and percussion
Martín Méndez – assorted bass guitars
Joakim Svalberg – keyboards and backing vocals


Cover Picture

opeth incaudavenenum


Music: 8
Sound: 9
Total: 8.5 / 10

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