Album: ‘In Cauda Venenum’
Swedish metal icon, Opeth, was founded in 1990 and consists of 5 members: Mikael Åkerfeldt, Martin Mendez, Martin Axenrot, Fredrik Åkesson and Joakim Svalberg who play their respective instruments; guitar/vocals, bass guitar, drums, guitar & keys.
Opeth have released their 13th studio album earlier this year entitled ‘In Cauda Venenum’. I have had the pleasure of listening to this album & been given the chance to review it, so without further ado, lets get to it!
Track 1: ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’
This song starts off with an eerie voice that gradually gets louder throughout the track. Halfway through this gruesome & dark instrumental, the synths come into play & give the song a mild gothic sound. As if this track wasn’t creepy enough, at the end of it you hear a young girl’s voice saying; “För det… om man man slutar tänka… då blir man död” which translates to ” for that… if you stop thinking… then you will die”.
Track 2: ‘Dignity’
This track continues where track 1 left off with its industrial goth sound. Its high vocals and catchy guitar riff caught my attention right away! Åkerfeldt compliments the overall feeling of the song by bringing a soft melodic sound to the song with vocals that raise the song to the same platform the music rests on. This allows the music to mix well with the vocals and creates a pleasantly melodic sound that most can enjoy.
Track 3: ‘Heart in Hand’
There were 3 things about this song that caught my attention; the guitar, drums & vocals. In comparison to the first two tracks off this album, one of which having no vocals at all, this track managed to hook me in right away & keep me there. The stronger vocals on this song really shone through.
Track 4: ‘ Next of Kin’
This track starts off with a melodic harmony & catches my attention right away! At the 1:45 mark of this song, I was completely thrown off guard and taken by surprise when the heavier instrumentals stopped and an acoustic guitar solo kicked in. Overall this has been my favourite song so far.
Track 5: ‘Lovelorn Crime’
With a soft piano and vocal into, I was interested in this song from the very start. The chorus sucked me in even further with the relatable lyrics:
“You can always strike me down, you can always say I’m wrong
You can always strike me down, but I will always wait for you”
If there is one thing that really makes a track for me, it’s great lyrical content which this band has a lot to offer.
Track 6: ‘Charlatan’
Unlike all the other tracks so far, this track has a real funky type of intro. However, it’s not long before the creep vibes come back out and this band rips another fantastic track out. The main stand-outs in this track are the consistent heavy but funky bass lines, creepy guitar tones & the industrial synth keys.
Track 7: ‘Universal Truth’
Similarly, to the previous tracks on this album, this track starts off with yet another eerie synth before a faded bass line and vocals come over the top to kick the song off. Once again Åkerfeldt’s vocals have simply blown my mind on this track! There is a lot of different elements to this track from an eerie intro, to a guitar solo, to heavy hitting vocals & even some fantastic drum fills.
Track 8: ‘ The Garroter’
From the very start of this track, I knew I was in for something different. An acoustic guitar shred for an intro? That really took me by surprise! The surprises didn’t stop there as they flipped the tempo for the track into something I really didn’t see coming. Yet another powerful song both lyrically and instrumentally from this band.
Track 9: ‘ Continuum’
With faded drums that progressively got louder and louder, this was another track that had my attention from the very start! The acoustic guitar, bass and vocals slowly started to come together into a heavy hitting track at 1:50 while going back to the softer side of things for the verses. The stand-out for me on this track is an absolutely relentless guitar solo that stretches on for an impressive 40 seconds.
Track 10: ‘ All Things Will Pass’
This track clocking in at 8 minutes & 33 seconds is the longest & final song on this album. I was extremely excited to see what it brought to the end of the album. It kept me intrigued with the soft drum and fading into a gothic-style guitar riff at 1:25. When the drums kicked in, I couldn’t help myself by tap my foot along to it – this song is fark, creepy and heavy, and that’s how I like my music to be! With several temp changes it kept me interested in the entire song, along with the addition of the acoustic-guitar mid-song.
Overall, this album was fantastic & did not disappoint in the slightest!
I rate this album 9 out of 10.
Written & reviewed by Q.H.