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Opeth – In Cauda Venenum (English Version)

In Cauda Venenum (English Version)
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 18 September 2019, 6:36 PM

The Swedish Progressive Death Metal Kings bring out their 13th Album. Will it be unlucky, or is that kind of superstition just a load of crap? OPETH are to this genre as a pillar of standard. Many others try and fail to love up to standards set these guys. They offer a sound like few others can produce. They are not everyone’s cup of tea. They are an acquired taste, like most prof style bands, but OPETH throw the sound around as they see fit, not as a mainstream media would always want to hear. So, let’s get into Lucky #13

Dignity” takes off as a continuation of the intro, going into some spoken word. One of the best things about a good Prog Death song, is its ability to go through the motions. This takes a longish intro, goes with a sick riff, then into a softer approach you could confuse with old school DEEP PURPLE. It feels like a psychedelic dream, until midway through were vocals finally appear in a strange way sounds more like Chris Cornell (RIP), like he would do. If that is the idea, it is a really nice touch, if not, it’s still a good approach. This song is more Prog than Death, not an issue straight away, just depends on how they go through the gears. The song is a good, albeit trippy start.

Heart In Hand” starts with more prompt than the previous 2 songs. The Prog sound is getting a bit heavier, without going too far, which is kind of what we come to expect in certain OPETH songs. The pace is greater than before, so it seems like something new and exciting. The psychedelic feel mentioned before is still dwelling in this song, only in the background, but adds a decent feel. The song itself doesn’t seem to go anywhere, but it isn’t really a problem, as where it is, is good. The song dies however die off in the final third, going into more of an acoustic angle, which is pulled off transitionally, very well.

Charlatan” is another song that bounces around at the start, the guitar is seemingly, purposely out of sorts, but weirdly, holds itself well. The vocals help to keep it together. It follows suit in regards to preceding songs, not going into too many new depths, but keeping the feel, overall, well. The pace in places is fanatic, working out sounding more like DEEP PUPLE again, than their usual sound, but there is nothing wrong with this. The album works well to band’s own strengths.

Universal Truth” feels like the album has made one long story, with just a few intervals where the songs end. It could be, by now a play with several acts. The sound is the same as before, but the tune is hard not to get in to. The overall balance is very good from the Swedes. This is another song where mid-way through it dies out into an acoustic performance, not a bad thing, but shouldn’t been repeated too many times more, at this moment they get away with it

Well some may say it’s more like a DEEP PUPRLE album than OPETH, there is nothing wrong with the album, expect maybe, the lack of change throughout. However, some will argue that the album shouldn’t change pattern too often.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Garden of Earthly Delights (Intro)
2. Dignity
3. Heart in Hand
4. Next of Kin
5. Lovelorn Crime
6. Charlatan
7. Universal Truth
8. The Garroter
9. Continuum
10. All Things Will Pass
Mikael Åkerfeldt – Guitar & Vocals
Martín Méndez – Bass
Martin Axenrot – Drums
Fredrik Åkesson – Guitar & Backing Vocals
Joakim Svalberg - Keyboards
Record Label: Moderbolaget Records


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Edited 28 September 2020

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