Opeth – In Cauda Venenum

It’s always great to give the big guns a shot. It’s not everyday that we have the big stars here at Metal Addicts to review. As you know we are a small page, few readers, but we do make a big noise. Hence, every time we have the change, we do make the biggest noise of all. Opeth are one of the biggest bands of our time, and they do deserve all the merit and credit they can get. However, Opeth aren’t a band of my metier. Yeah, yeah, I know, but as I said it’s impossible to keep track of each existing Metal band, even the bigger ones. Sorry.

I couldn’t help it to know that Opeth are a very controvertial band. They are a rare case of band that actually none of their members are in any form funding members. If memory serves me right, Sepultura are one of them. I can’t remember any other. Though, I wrote that I don’t know the band, I’ve heard one or two albums of them. Well, the thing is that maybe I chose them wrong because I didn’t like them. As the universe gives you lots of chances, here I have “In Cauda Venenum” to make it right. Well, let’s go for it, shall we?

Opeth have gone through many changes, not only members but also style. They started as a Death Metal band and gone through some jazz, blues, and finally art rock. Make no mistake, “In Cauda Venenum” is an art rock effort by all means. And I dare to say that it can’t even be considered a Progressive Metal album. There are very few dashes of Metal in “In Cauda Venenum” whatsoever. “In Cauda Venenum” lacks the costumary Metal grip and punch other Progressive Metal efforts have. Even tracks as “All Things Will Pass,” which is pretty heavy, isn’t heavier than Yes or Pink Floyd, or even Marillion. To me no problem at all. The 1970s swing dashes in “Garroter” leave no doubts about that.

“In Cauda Venenum” isn’t monolithical, but it’s possible to find some strong linkage among the tracks. It’s an album with a strong flavor of Pink Floyd and Yes more than Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. It is an undoubtable fact. The Melotron organ in the first two tracks, “Garden Of Earthly Delights” and “Dignity” gives the tone. I just love the sound of it. Bands should explore more often. “Garden Of Earthly Delights” is much more an intro than a song, but its strong taste of Pink Floyd is there. This sequence of songs reminds Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” intent. I said reminds, not equal. The driven musical idea is the similar. That’s why “In Cauda Venenum” sounds so concept. It’s just my opinion, that’s why I write.

From where I’m standing, “In Cauda Venenum” starts pretty okay. “Heart in Hand,” for instance is a great song. “Continuum,” not so much. It tastes too 1980s pop mix to me. Strong and dense, but little by little songs are loosing their punch and getting weaker. I don’t mean heavyness, but in concept. It seems like Opeth were getting tired by the end of the album. But that’s okay, it happens to everyone, even the greatest.

Opeth “In Cauda Venenum” will be released on September 27th via Nuclear Blast.

Track Listing:

  1. Garden Of Earthly Delights
  2. Dignity
  3. Heart in Hand
  4. Next of Kin
  5. Lovelorn Crime
  6. Charlatan
  7. Universal Truth
  8. The Garoter
  9. Continuum
  10. All Things Will Pass

Watch “Heart in Hand” video here: