Considered as one of the best bands in the scene Opeth have proudly released the long awaited 13th album “In Cauda Venenum”, undoubtedly an intricate progressive rock/metal opus that manifests an ongoing sonic evolution and is destined to put them in the spotlight once again.
The complex approach of “Dignity” is immediately noticeable as the guitar work showcases a strong prog inspiration as well as subtle retro rock flavors delivering delightful melodic licks supported by an energetic rhythmic backbone while the softer soundscapes naturally unfold like a darkened fairytale with rich bewitching arrangements.
Despite the precise execution and almost calculated style variations “Heart In Hand” still feels spontaneous packing some raw energy within the chunky riffage and monumental drumming while guitars freely shift from catchy harmonies to virtuoso soloing and even add major enigmatic psychedelic tonalities.
A darkly soothing feeling lingers throughout “Lovelorn Crime” which begins with minimalist piano melodies and peaceful vocals and the consequent emotional catharsis is further emphasized by the nostalgia infused multilayered atmospheric arrangements and the flawless luminous guitar solo.
“Charlatan” amplifies the technical prog aspects with a series of shapeshifting rhythmic patterns that ensure intense groovy moments as guitars tend to focus on heavier riffs and clever progressions embellished by flamboyant keyboards arrangements.
“The Garroter” is another example of the high degree of diversity that characterizes the album as a distinct melancholic essence is embedded in the lovely acoustic phrases, the charming piano melodies and the soulful vocal delivery while the whole instrumentation will eventually acquire darkly playful tonalities and vibrant jazz influences.
“All Things Will Pass” marks a majestic closure highlighting a sumptuous dramatic depth with a mixture of mellow dreamy melodies accompanied by ardent vocals and heavier rhythmic dynamics that can evoke the monolithic force of traditional doom leading to a particularly powerful finale with the addition of lavish keyboards.
When it comes to Opeth there will always be fans missing their early extra darkened aggressive music style while the new acolytes learned to love them because of the fancy progressive songwriting and the magical artistic vision that here on “In Cauda Venenum” continues to impress with sophisticated soundscapes and impeccable musicianship.