Opeth’s newest album, In Cauda Venenum, is one of the most ambitious and dynamic releases of the band’s career. To get deeper look into what fans can expect, frontman Mikael Akerfeldt joined us in the studio for an interview about orchestras, puppet shows and heavy metal.

Fans have already gotten their new Opeth fix with “Heart in Hand,” but do you know where those mysterious samples come from? “It’s taken from a children’s show that was on in the 1970s,” Akerfeldt reveals. “It’s like a guy who owns a landfill, a metal scrap yard. It’s a puppet show; lovely. That guy who did that show, he also did children’s books, and he’s also a jazz musician.”

In Cauda Venenum also will be Opeth’s first album sung entirely in Swedish, though an English version is available. According to Akerfeldt, it was “insecurity” that led to an English release. “I had a problem with bands and artists who sang in a different language than English when I was young. I kind of miss out on the Italian prog scene and stuff that I love today. I’ve kind of overcome that barrier, myself, but maybe there’s people out there who have a problem.”

Akerfeldt also revealed when Opeth fans in North America will get to see the band live once again. “We just said yes to a North American tour for February/March. I think we start on the 12th of February, in Cleveland, of course. In New York, we’re doing the Apollo Theater — two nights there, I think.”

Check out our exclusive chat with Mikael Akerfeldt above and click here to pre-order In Cauda Venenum, set for release Sept. 29.

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