Opeth’s upcoming album, Pale Communion, has been gathering momentum over the past few months. Following their last release, with its uniquely new direction, fans now look to new material in order to solidify the emerging image of such legendary artists. Yesterday, a further glimpse into the creation that is Pale Communion was released via Roadrunner Records, but then almost immediately pulled: the artwork for the album. Seeing as we are all huge nerds, some of us more so than others, we’ve taken the liberty at delving into this fascinating work of art and analyzing what can be found there. I myself am a student of history and drew upon my knowledge for this post. Let the nerd-out commence!
First off, let’s translate each part of the “triptych”, a common form of medieval religious art, that is presented here. They are all in Latin, but that is no barrier to us:
Left Panel: “Don’t you know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?”
The quote in the first panel was written by Axel Oxenstierna (Swedish First Chancellor) to his son, who was negotiating the Peace of Westphalia in Germany in the 17th Century. It is often used as one of the first quotations that signify the advent of real politique or politics as science.
Middle Panel: “In these days friends are won through flattery, the truth gives birth to hate. “
The quote in the second panel was written by Terence, a Roman playwright, usually used to signify the end of days and the erosion of society.
Right Panel:”He grieves truly who grieves without a witness.”
The quote in the third panel was written by Marcus Valerius Martialis, a Roman poet living in Hispania (modern day Spain) in the 2nd Century and is a beautiful piece of poetry.
The images go along pretty well with these quotations, once again using the medieval style of painting. We leave you, dear readers, with the task of interpreting the links between images and words to somehow augur what awaits us in this next release. Whatever it may be, it is sure to further explore themes set in Heritage: the end of the world, degradation of man and religious undertones. We await eagerly for Pale Communion to drop, August 25th.