Sweden’s OPETH are gearing up to release their 13 th studio album, In Cauda Venenum on 27th September, “This is me,” Åkerfeldt says. “This is OPETH. I think by now fans will recognize, at least I hope they do, my writing style, our sound, what we do as a band. There are a lot of surprises”

Amoeba Records run a series on YouTube called, What's In My Bag?, where they invite musicians to shop around the record store and give some backstory to why they picked out the records they did. It’s a great insight into the influences musicians look towards in order to create their own work. Singer, guitarist, and songwriter Mikael Åkerfeldt stopped by to dig deep in the 12 inch shelves to see what he could find, and talk a little bit about Opeth.

When this and the second album came out we were still a substandard Death Metal Band, we were pretty shit to be honest

Åkerfeldt picks out a Dream Theatre record “Dream Theatre”, he smiles “They’re friends of mine” as he holds up their 1989 LP, When Dream and Day Unite. “This would be their first album and it’s not my favourite but I picked it up because it’s kind of difficult to find these 90s pressings on vinyl”

“It’s a different singer than James Labrie, Mike Portnoy is still in the band here and they were really important for us you know to kind of find our own sound I think.”

“When this and the second album came out we [Opeth] were still a substandard Death Metal Band, we were pretty shit to be honest and we didn’t know where we were going, but I was kind of collecting and picking up records in the shops, second hand vinyl for next to nothing”.

“Along comes Dream Theatre...I remember I got really interested in their first video I saw the singer had a Napalm Death t-shirt on and I was like ‘it’s meant to be because I love Napalm Death too…’”

In a recent interview, Åkerfeldt talks about the new Opeth record, In Cauda Venenum. “I didn’t want a Swedish title for the Swedish version and an English title for the English version. Since the death metal days of OPETH, I’ve always wanted a Latin title. Nothing ever worked. We had one Latin titled song on the first record though, ‘Requiem,’ the instrumental. I’ve always wanted something like that but it turned out harder than I thought when coming up with a title. With Latin, it can mean something really cool but look like shit or be very difficult to read”

“I couldn’t find a source for, In Cauda Venenum. I thought, ‘Well, that looks cool.’ I remember Travis and I were working on the cover. We had this little insect, a scorpion, with the five heads of the band members. So, when I came across the phrase ‘In Cauda Venenum,’ I thought, ‘Well, that’s weird. Here we have a scorpion and ,In Cauda Venenum can relate to scorpions. Besides being a cool phrase, it works with the artwork, and the lyrics. In many ways, the stars aligned with the title.”

Author Bio: AC Speed

Senior Editor

I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!


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