Opeth Sweden

A340 Prog220
[Awesome Musicianship44, Awesome Production45, Awesome Composition38, Awesome Songwriting38 and Great Coverart33]
added by Mike
Review by progshine published
A Prog Rock

"I respect Opeth very much! And I still believe they are one of the most important/innovative bands of the last 30 years. As the world sank with regrets over the group's changes since Heritage, I was curious to know where the band was going.

It turns out that the band... keeps going! After the great Pale Communion Opeth released a very weak album with Sorceress and I really didn't have much hope for the next album, but here they are with In Cauda Venenum!

First of all I need to get out of my head two little things that I noticed right away that are little easter eggs in the album (maybe there are more): The title of the album was obviouslyce mezzo-stolen from Italian Jacula's In Cauda Semper Stat Venenum. The album's opening track, Livets Trädgård, is a clear 'tribute' to the Swedish group Älgarnas Trädgård. Being Mikael Åkerfeldt an avid 70s Prog collector this is no surprise. This makes me a little unquiet, I still don't know why.

In Cauda Venenum is a record that should please fans of the band's new phase. Despite the completely unnecessary introduction (an instrumental introduction only makes sense if it is linked to the concept of the album, it is not the case here, at all) the album brings variety, weight and also a little freshness to the band's sound. The fact that the album was composed in Swedish is extremely pleasant to my ears (yes, there is an English version, but Mikael himself in an interview said that for him the official album is in Swedish). There are several times when the weight takes over the songs, but there are parts with strings and many vintage keyboards.

The production of the record did not please me completely, the sound seems too compressed, there is the attempt, it seems, that everything has to sound vintage, but obviously recorded in digitail system. The drums suffer the most, a shame as Martin Axenrot did a fantastic job. But at the same time the insertion of voices and dialogues in Swedish throughout the album comes in quite well done.

Now, speaking about how long it is... 67 minutes! Needlessly long, at least 20 minutes longer than it should and this weighs on the end result: hearing fatigue.

Nevertheless, in the end, the Swedes delivered an exquisite work that requires some auditions to enjoy the album (I needed 4 and counting) and can easily reach the ears of the band's Prog period fans."

Review by Mike published
A Haunting Symph Prog Metal

"A thrilling return to form! This album is a nice synthesis of Opeth's former heavy outings and the newer outputs, which were more than decent albums, but also seemed a little tame to me. There is no extreme metal on this album, but it is really dark in some places, a sinister roller-coaster ride. Takes a few spins to appreciate, as any decent prog album should."

Review by Time_Signature published
Damnation 2003
S Melancholic Melodic Prog Alt Rock

"A great album which, with its lack of growls and distorted guitars, is also a very brave album from Opeth. Rather than blending death metal and progressive rock, it seems that on this album, Åkerfeldt is aiming for a blend of melancholic 90s-style alternative rock with progressive rock, and it works quite well."

Review by PowerWyrm published
Watershed 2008
S Modern Prog Metal

"A strong follow up to Ghost Reveries, with the same tendencies to add more mellow passages between the extreme parts. In fact, it's the only album (except of course Damnation) that has more songs with only clean vocals than songs with growls. The music is also quite different from the Still Life - Deliverance era, with half of the band having been replaced and with the addition of a permanent keyboardist. Sounds like we have here a transitional album, but the transition seems almost complete..."

Review by Lofcaudio published
B Modern Prog Black/Death

"This is perhaps Opeth's heaviest album. And while I much prefer Opeth's more mellow moments (such as those on the Damnation album), I do enjoy this album when in the right mood. Akerfeldt's growls do wear on me after a while though, so this isn't an album that I'll probably ever listen to back-to-back. "For Absent Friends" is a beautiful instrumental and gives the listener a pleasant intermission from the rest of the speedy Death Metal."

Review by PowerWyrm published
Damnation 2003
S Atmospheric Prog Rock

"I was waiting for eight years for Opeth to deliver an album without extreme metal parts, and this is it - the complete antithesis from the twin album Deliverance (their heaviest album). Most people will find it too mellow, but not me... it's simply outstanding. Fans of Anathema and Porcupine Tree should love this album too.

Highly recommended (one of the 3 albums of my collection that could pretend to a maximum rating...)"

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