A two-minute video in which OPETH vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Mikael Åkerfeldt discusses the band's recently released single "Heart In Hand", can be seen below. The track is taken from the band's 13th album, "In Cauda Venenum", which will be released on September 27 via Moderbolaget / Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
Recorded last year at Stockholm's Park Studios, "In Cauda Venenum" will be released in two versions, in both Swedish and English languages. Various physical and digital formats will be available.
Commenting on the new song, Åkerfeldt says: "'Hjärtat Vet Vad Handen Gör' or 'Heart In Hand' as it's called in English is one of the first couple of songs I wrote for 'In Cauda Venenum'. I immediately knew that it would probably be favoured by 'the powers that be' when talks of future singles for the record would commence. And I was right. I generally leave it up to the labels or managements to pick the so-called singles. I'm indifferent as I put an equal amount of dedication into all songs, so it doesn't matter all that much to me. I guess it's one of the more straightforward songs on the album. A rather rocking little thing. It's got one of the 'happy mistakes' in it too. Mendez's bass broke down in the middle of recording. At the time he played an old Hofner BEATLES-esque bass guitar that started humming real bad, but it sounded so good we immediately decided to keep it in there. I'd be putting myself down if I said that noise is the best part of the song, but it's up there. I like when stuff happens out of your control, and it actually adds to the piece. This is the first full taster of the new OPETH album, and of course I hope you like it. All the songs on the new album are different from each other and therefore equally representable in my view. Enjoy!"
Regarding the sonic direction of the new record, Åkerfeldt adds: "For us, at this stage with 'In Cauda Venenum', heaviness isn't guitars tuned down with screaming vocals over the top. That's not necessarily what I call ‘heavy' music these days. I can listen to KORN and say, 'Okay, that's heavy.' But it doesn't really mean anything to me. I mean, I catch up on things in magazines or online. I read about bands that have the 'heaviest record ever,' and I'm not too impressed by that. Okay, it's cool but what does it say? What does it mean? It's an impossible mission, to be the heaviest. That's been done before. Over time, I got tired of that tag. Of course, when I was younger, it meant everything to me. I was always on the pursuit for heaviness in my youth, trying to find the next level of heaviness. First it was death metal, then it was bands like MESHUGGAH, but heaviness is now more about emotions, heavy chord progressions, music that has feelings. Heaviness doesn't mean MESHUGGAH anymore, although indeed they're a fucking heavy band. I'm not trying to tap into that anymore."
"In Cauda Venenum" track listing:
01. Livet's Trädgård / Garden Of Earthly Delights (Intro)
02. Svekets Prins / Dignity
03. Hjärtat Vet Vad Handen Gör / Heart In Hand
04. De Närmast Sörjande / Next Of Kin
05. Minnets Yta / Lovelorn Crime
07. Ingen Sanning Är Allas / Universal Truth
08. Banemannen / The Garroter
09. Kontinuerlig Drift / Continuum
10. Allting Tar Slut / All Things Will Pass
In anticipation for the impending release, OPETH will perform shows around the world through the end of the year.
OPETH's last album, "Sorceress", was released in September 2016. For the band's first effort for Nuclear Blast via OPETH's imprint label Moderbolaget Records, the group returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, also home to pivotal releases from QUEEN, RUSH and JUDAS PRIEST, where the Swedes had tracked "Pale Communion" in 2014 with Tom Dalgety.
Last November, OPETH released a live album, "Garden Of The Titans: Live At Red Rocks Amphitheatre".