OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt will score the upcoming Netflix series “Clark”. The six-episode drama series about the Swedish criminal Clark Olofsson will be directed by Jonas Åkerlund, whose visually driven signature style often pushes the boundaries of the status quo. Production company is Scandinavian Content Group.

Olofsson will be portrayed by Bill Skarsgård, who is best known for his terrorizing and iconic portrayal of Pennywise in the Stephen King saga “It”. Later this year, he stars in the Netflix film “The Devil All The Time” and in the Sundance hit “Nine Days” for Sony Pictures Classic. On television, Skarsgård most recently starred in Hulu‘s “Castle Rock”, a psychological drama series from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King.

Based on the truth and lies of Olofsson‘s autobiography, the Swedish-language series will feature Clark‘s early years until present day. The notorious gangster started his criminal career in the 1960s and became one of the most controversial personalities in contemporary Swedish history. Convicted of several counts of drug trafficking, attempted murder, assault, theft and dozens of bank robberies, he has spent more than half his life behind bars and has left behind a trail of trauma, heartbreak, disappointment and general devastation. In the 1970s, Clark gave rise to the idea of “The Stockholm Syndrome” during a failed bank robbery in Stockholm — and has ever since kept his position as celebrity criminal fooling all of Sweden to fall in love with him. Just like he desired.

Åkerlund says: “‘Clark’ is the story about the most politically incorrect man, who lived the most politically incorrect life. These are the kinds of stories I always look for. It’s an ultra-violent, witty, emotional, real and surreal biography to put a face to the name Stockholm Syndrome, but it isn’t just about the Norrmalmstorg Robbery. It’s about his whole life and what made him who he is, the truth and lies of his incredible career. Bill Skarsgård is the perfect match for this and he will bring the Stockholm Syndrome to the role. And Netflix is the perfect platform, they are not just the biggest streaming service, they also have the boldness to tell this incredible story.”

Adds Skarsgård: “Clark Olofsson is, for good and bad, one of Sweden’s most colourful and fascinating individuals. I accept this challenge with delight mingled with terror and think that with Jonas and Netflix in the back, we can tell a groundbreaking story with a pace and madness we may not have seen on TV before. Clark‘s life and history is so incredible and screwed that it would even make Scorsese blush.”

Tesha Crawford, director of International Originals Northern Europe at Netflix, says: “We really look forward to continuing our great collaboration with Jonas Åkerlund and Bill Skarsgård. We can not imagine a better team to tell the complex story about Clark Olofsson and how he became one of the most controversial personalities in modern Swedish times.”

OPETH’s MIKAEL ÅKERFELDT To Score NETFLIX Series ‘Clark’

Written By Braddon S. Williams AKA “The Concert Critic”

On this date in history, 2/25/2020, I got to see my favorite band in the world deliver a monumental performance at Old National Centre’s Egyptian Room.

The band I’m talking about is Opeth, from Stockholm, Sweden…and they brought another excellent Swedish band along to open the show, Graveyard.

I have been lamenting the state of how too much of modern rock and metal is all starting to sound the same in the way it is produced. Graveyard was such a pleasant surprise by virtue of the fact that they sounded like they just teleported in from 1973. They had this bluesy, analog vibe that was equal parts vintage Sabbath and Zeppelin, but still sounded fresh and original. I thoroughly enjoyed their overall tone and plan to check out some of their studio work.

This was my third time seeing Opeth, and they continue to raise the bar in every possible way; sound, lights, the hilarious between songs banter (a long discussion about the Bloodbath song, Eaten, was spontaneous and lots of fun), and of course the masterful songs.

Touring in support of their latest masterpiece, In Cauda Venenum (Latin translation: Venom In The Tail), Opeth’s music is a breathtaking blend of styles generally labeled either progressive metal or progressive rock. Whatever direction the music takes, it is all played with utter precision and passion.

Each member of the band contributes so much to the overall sound. Martin “Axe” Axenrot supplies the complex drumming that drives the machine, Martin Mendez brings the melodic and powerful bass that holds everything together, Joakim Svalberg plays a wide variety of keyboards that bring in tons of ambience and emotional impact, and also contributes strong backing vocals. Frederik Akesson provides lethal lead guitar work and did much more singing at this show than I have heard him do before (and he has a great voice). Opeth’s leader and chief songwriter, Mikael Akerfeldt, completes the other half of the lead guitar tag team and serves as the amazing lead vocalist…serving up equal amounts of lush clean tones and brutal death metal growls, often in the same song.

Because of their lengthy compositions, the actual song count was relatively short, but 3 songs from In Cauda Venenum made it into the show, and all were magnificent, holding their own with such Opeth favorites as Moon Above, Sun Below, The Leper Affinity, and The Lotus Eater. An incredible encore of Sorceress and the perfection of the final song, Deliverance, put Opeth’s stage time at just over 2 hours.

I have to give a shout out to the audience, too. Everyone was quite vocal during Mikael’s speeches throughout the set, providing a lot of laughter and general happiness, which is always a great addition to a show. The overall atmosphere was pretty euphoric.

This band’s fans are passionate beyond any doubt. Opeth continues to fearlessly explore new territories and make music in their own image. It’s been over a week since the show, and I remain massively inspired!

On This Date in History

Opeth bassist Martin Mendez is about to unleash his version of death metal upon the world. Mendez has announced his new band White Stones alongside the debut album Kuarahy due out March 20. Kuarahy was written during Opeth’s year-long break after their extensive Sorceress touring schedule, said Mendez, adding that he feels White Stones has “renewed my strength and energy.”

“I’ve always written music at home but never had the confidence to do anything like this. I never wrote a song, never presented something I wrote for Mikael (Åkerfeldt, Opeth singer/songwriter). I didn’t have any direction, I came up with the first song for fun. White Stones has nothing to do with Opeth, I see no relation between the two. I played Kuarahy to Mikael a few months ago, he really liked it and was happy for me. Everyone in the band has side projects, it’s important. We tour so much you can become consumed by it; it has been really nice to do something different. White Stones has renewed my strength and energy.”

“I feel strongly connected to Uruguay still. I wanted to write music related to that – the sun on the Uruguayan flag I transformed into the White Stones logo; there are a lot of small things that connect the record to that place. Kuarahy is the native Uruguayan people’s word for ‘Sun’.”

Expect some White Stones music soon.

OPETH Bassist Launches New Death Metal Band WHITE STONES

The Professor in in! Professor Metal’s second episode is now available for viewing in the Metal Lair YouTube Channel. Its the Halloween Special where he reviews Swedish progressive metal/rock band Opeth’s new album In Cauda Venenum.

Theres comedy galore in this episode with Halloween antics. Dont miss it.

Dont forget to subscribe and share Metal Lairs YouTube Channel while you’re there.

Professor Metal Episode 2 “The Halloween Special”

Swedish prog-metal/rock legends OPETH will make their awaited return to North America in 2020 for a winter tour with labelmates GRAVEYARD. This will be the band’s first tour of the U.S.A. and Canada in support of their newly released, critically praised album “In Cauda Venenum” that is available now via Moderbolaget / Nuclear Blast. The dates include two nights at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York and performances at the renowned Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and at the famed Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.

Tickets go on sale on Friday, October 4 at 10:00 a.m. local time.

OPETH‘s chief songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt comments on the tour: “Well, after having had the ‘In Cauda Venenum’ LP released we’re set to start touring in support of it. Right now, I’m at home practicing. Learning new songs and re-learning older songs. It’s funny how our music lies dormant in the muscle memory. There are songs I haven’t played for years, and there still there somehow. I put together the skeleton of a setlist and looking at it there’s some niceties in there. I hope. Hard to tell really. Touring in North America is always a treat. We all collectively look forward to it. Hope you are too!”

Tour dates (GRAVEYARD main support on all dates except *):

Feb. 13 – Cleveland, OH – The Agora Ballroom 
Feb. 14 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre 
Feb. 15 – Detroit, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre 
Feb. 17 – Worcester, MA – Palladium 
Feb. 18 – Montreal, QC – Mtelus 
Feb. 19 – Toronto, ON – Rebel 
Feb. 21 – New York, NY – Apollo Theater 
Feb. 22 – New York, NY – Apollo Theater 
Feb. 23 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore 
Feb. 25 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room at Old National Centre 
Feb. 26 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium* 
Feb. 28 – Houston, TX – House of Blues 
Feb. 29 – Dallas, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Mar. 01 – Kansas City, MO – Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland* 
Mar. 02 – Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom 
Mar. 04 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium

“In Cauda Venenum” was released on September 27. Recorded last year at Stockholm’s Park Studios, the effort was made available in two versions, in both Swedish and English languages.

Regarding the decision to release “In Cauda Venenum”in Swedish, Åkerfeldt told Revolver: “Doing it in Swedish was just an idea that popped into my head, like, ‘Maybe I should fry my egg in the morning instead of boiling it.’ It wasn’t any deeper than that. And I figured the music climate has changed so much, does it really matter which language it’s in? That was it. And it didn’t have me writing more lyrics — it just had me writing more music. And the music didn’t sound more Swedish or anything like that. But it was a gateway that opened, and it was fun.

Mikael added that he is “not regretting” the fact that “In Cauda Venenum” was also recorded in English. “A lot of people [in the U.S.] are saying they only listened to the English version,” he said. “So I was proven right, in a way. I can say a thousand times that the Swedish version is the original version, but it’s up to people to choose. I can just hope that they check out both versions. But I do think the Swedish version is slightly better — only because it was first. It’s more innocent. With the English version, regardless of what you think about it, that’s me trying to copy a vocal line I had done in another language. So it’s less exciting to me.”

OPETH Announces February/March 2020 North American Tour

– NEW OPETH SONG: “SVEKETS PRINS” – Dignity

Swedish masters of progressive metal/rock OPETH have released a new single called “Svekets Prins,” from their heavily awaited album, In Cauda Venenum, that’s out September 27th via Moderbolaget / Nuclear Blast. The new song is found on the Swedish language version of the album. An English version, “Dignity,” will be released next week.

Watch the visualizer for “Svekets Prins” at youtu.be/QcMdA7Xs8jE.

Recorded last year at Stockholm’s Park Studios, In Cauda Venenum will be released in two versions, in both Swedish and English languages.

Pre-order In Cauda Venenum in various formats, here:

store.moderbolagetrecords.com

opeth.com/stores

Listen to the new songs on all DSPs. Pick your version below:

English: http://geni.us/OpethInCaudaVenenumENG

Swedish: http://geni.us/OpethInCaudaVenenumSWE

In Cauda Venenum Tracklising:

1. Livet’s Trädgård / Garden Of Earthly Delights

2. Svekets Prins / Dignity

3. Hjärtat Vet Vad Handen Gör / Heart In Hand

4. De Närmast Sörjande / Next Of Kin

5. Minnets Yta / Lovelorn Crime

6. Charlatan

7. Ingen Sanning Är Allas / Universal Truth

8. Banemannen / The Garroter

9. Kontinuerlig Drift / Continuum

10. Allting Tar Slut / All Things Will Pass

OPETH will perform this weekend at Psycho Las Vegas for their only show in the U.S. in 2019, before continuing their tour in Europe, Japan and Australia. Dates are listed below and tickets are on sale now at http://www.opeth.com/tour-dates

OPETH Tour Dates:

18.08. USA Las Vegas, NV – Psycho Las Vegas

Main support: THE VINTAGE CARAVAN

27.10. UK Norwich – UEA

29.10. UK London – Palladium

31.10. UK Glasgow – SWG3

01.11. IRL Dublin – Olympia Theatre

02.11. UK Leeds – Damnation Festival

03.11. UK Bristol – O2 Academy

05.11. NL Utrecht – TivoliVredenburg

06.11. BE Brussels – Ancienne Belgique

08.11. DE Munich – Backstage (Werk)

09.11. IT Milan – Alcatraz

10.11. CH Zurich – Volkshaus

11.11. FR Paris – L‘Olympia

13.11. DE Cologne – E-Werk

14.11. DE Wiesbaden – Schlachthof

15.11. DE Nuremberg – Meistersingerhalle

16.11. DE Berlin – Huxleys Neue Welt

17.11. DK Copenhagen – Det Kgl. Teater *SOLD OUT*

05.12 JP Osaka, Club Quattro

06.12 JP Tokyo, Zepp Tokyo

10.12. AUS Adelaide – Thebarton Theatre

11.12. AUS Perth – Astor Theatre

13.12. AUS Melbourne – Palais Theatre

14.12. AUS Sydney – State Theatre

15.12. AUS Brisbane – The Tivoli

Opeth Release New Song “SVEKETS PRINS” in Both English & Swedish

If you’ve been missing the heavier side of Opeth‘s music (sans the growls) from albums like Pale Communion and Heritage, then you’re absolutely going to love the band’s new song “Heart In Hand”. Sure, the song takes tons of progressive cues from the band’s more recent output, but there’s tons of sinister, twisting riffs in there that haven’t shown up in quite some time now. Also, yes – this is the song you heard part of in Opeth’s recent tour trailer.

In Cauda Venenum is out September 27, and will be released in both Swedish and English language versions. Pre-order all of ’em here.

https://open.spotify.com/album/0OdGGpDDKENKEynng3El7R

https://music.apple.com/us/album/in-cauda-venenum/1470602656

Here are the Opeth’s upcoming tour dates.

12.07. PL Warsaw – Prog In Park
06.07. TK Istanbul, Rock Off Fest
27.07. RO Sibiu – ArtMania Festival
02.08. D Wacken – Wacken Open Air
03.08. S Öland – Borgholm Brinner
09.08. B Kortrijk – Alcatraz Metal Festival
11.08. NL Leeuwarden – Into the Grave
18.08. USA Las Vegas, NV – Psycho Las Vegas

02.11. UK Leeds – Damnation Festival

support: THE VINTAGE CARAVAN
27.10. UK Norwich – UEA
29.10. UK London – Palladium
31.10. UK Glasgow – SWG3
01.11. IRL Dublin – Olympia Theatre
02.11. UK Leeds – Damnation Festival
03.11. UK Bristol – O2 Academy
06.11. B Brussels – Ancienne Belgique
08.11. D Munich – Backstage (Werk)
09.11. I Milan – Alcatraz
10.11. CH Zurich – Volkshaus
11.11. F Paris – L‘Olympia
13.11. D Cologne – E-Werk
14.11. D Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
15.11. D Nuremberg – Meistersingerhalle
16.11. D Berlin – Huxleys Neue Welt
17.11. DK Copenhagen – Det Kgl. Teater SOLD OUT

10.12. AUS Adelaide – Thebarton Theatre
11.12. AUS Perth – Astor Theatre
13.12. AUS Melbourne – Palais Theatre
14.12. AUS Sydney – State Theatre
15.12. AUS Brisbane – The Tivoli

OPETH’s New Song “Heart In Hand” Brings Out Heavier Sound

BIG NEWS! Opeth are pleased to present you with the title and tracklisting for their awaited 13th observation!

“In Cauda Venenum”, is due out this fall on Moderbolaget Records / 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 and additional details will be announced in the coming months.

In anticipation of the impending release, OPETH will be performing shows around the world through the end of the year. Dates are and ticketing info can be found here: http://www.opeth.com/tour-dates or on the “Dates, Tickets’ tab on this Facebook page. Additional touring will be announced soon.

In Cauda Venenum Tracklisting:

1. Livet’s Trädgård / Garden Of Earthly Delights (Intro)

2. Svekets Prins / Dignity

3. Hjärtat Vet Vad Handen Gör / Heart In Hand

4. De Närmast Sörjande / Next Of Kin

5. Minnets Yta / Lovelorn Crime

6. Charlatan

7. Ingen Sanning Är Allas / Universal Truth

8. Banemannen / The Garroter

9. Kontinuerlig Drift / Continuum

10. Allting Tar Slut / All Things Will Pass

The artwork was once more created by the very delicate hands of Seempieces – The Art of Travis Smith

Opeth Working On new Album & New Tour Dates

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Opeth: Garden of The Titans

Opeth recently released this superb Blu Ray, DVD, double live CD package, Garden Of The Titans (Opeth Live At Red Rocks Amphitheatre), from their appearance at the legendary venue in 2017.

I was fortunate to see Opeth exactly 2 days after this concert took place when they made their stop in Indianapolis. As a matter of fact, the only thing that could possibly have improved this package would have been the inclusion of the sets by openers Devin Townsend Project, and main support, Gojira.

As it stands, Garden Of The Titans features 3 future classics from the Sorceress album, and a selection of past vintage Opeth gems, such as Ghost Of Perdition, In My Time Of Need, Demon Of The Fall, Cusp Of Eternity, Heir Apparent, and the magnificent finale, Deliverance.

Mikael Akerfeldt delivers some humorous anecdotes in between songs, and per Opeth’s reputation, the video and sound are pristine.

There is a booklet of some stunning photography from the show included, also.

I love the continuing growth and exploration of Opeth. They fearlessly chart their own course, dabbling in so many styles of music (and excelling in all), always managing to sound distinctly like Opeth…they are a genre unto themselves. Opeth rules…I accept no arguments!

https://youtu.be/9In0bTUquIc

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Opeth: Damnation

Opeth has been my favorite band for many years, and they have managed to remain in my top spot by constantly challenging themselves and allowing their sound to evolve.

Damnation (2003) was recorded simultaneously with the album Deliverance (which I reviewed earlier in this series, and which was released the previous year).

Damnation was the first Opeth album to feature only clean vocals and guitar tones, forsaking Opeth’s previous death metal status.

Damnation is full of lush and lovely melodies, a gorgeous production by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, and some of Mikael Akerfeldt’s best songwriting.

Wilson contributed keyboards, mellotron, backing vocals, and engineered, mixed, and mastered the recording as well.

Opeth have shifted to this progressive rock style more and more in recent years, and if you don’t like the harsher vocals of their more extreme work, Damnation is a fine introduction to this incredible band.

Songs like Windowpane, In My Time Of Need, To Rid The Disease, Closure, and Death Whispered a Lullaby are flawless works of sonic art.

Opeth is also a band that delivers an iconic live show. I may be biased, but I’m not wrong!

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind