Song: “Heart In Hand”
Album: In Cauda Venenum
Release Date: September 27th, 2019
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Bandleader Mikael Åkerfeldt said of the track:
“‘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!”
Speaking of the record, he remarks:
“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, ‘OK, 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. OK, 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.”