|Swedens Opeth are preparing to release their most important record to date with In Cauda Venenum. Certainly, fans and critics will have their opinion, but few records in the Swedes oeuvre are as engaging, delicate, panoramic, intense, and musical as Opeths lucky thirteenth. Sporting a clever Travis Smith coverreplete with inside jokes and a nod to King Diamonda masterful Park Studios (The Hellacopters, Graveyard) production, Opeths usual five-star musicianship, and lyrics entirely in Swedish, In Cauda Venenum raises the bar markedly. While a record in Swedish is a firsttheres also an English versionfor frontman and founding member Mikael kerfeldt, the 10 songs on offer feel and sound completely natural. As if years of listening to and being a fan of Swedish rock and hard rock has paid off. In a way, Opeth have come home. But the Swedish lyrics of the primary edition of In Cauda Venenum shouldnt distract from the quality presented in Opeths new songs, the lot of which sneak up and take control after repeated listens. In Cauda Venenum is like that, tricky in its complicated simplicity, resourceful in its ability to charm with delightful if wistful melodies. Really, its just Opeth being Opeth.