Opeth – Heritage


Artist

Album

Heritage

Label

Roadrunner Records

Year

2011

Genre

For Fans Of

Cynic - Porcupine Tree - Deep Purple

Summary

A musical odyssey.

Rating

82 / 100

Mesmerising, captivating and indulgent in all the right ways, ‘Heritage‘ is a cascading listening experience that offers fans a chance to re-evaluate the boundaries of metal. It’s transcendent, it’s precise and it is metal’s own form of meditation in many respects. The frameworks of what popular opinion suggests a metal album should sound like are thrown away with Opeth offering their own musical insights.

This is an innovative take on a certain genre that delivers itself like a sonic landscape complete with moody passages, beautiful melodies and darker heartfelt moments. One thing that emerges early is that the band seem invigorated. This isn’t ‘Watershed‘ part 2 nor is it identical to any of the group’s impressive back catalogue. Instead, ‘Heritage‘ is designed to stand on its own.

Look, if all you want is those guttural, death metal-styled vocals then studio album number 10 is going to leave you disappointed. For everyone else, this is a full-length worthy of considered and deserving praise. In some ways, it shares most in common with 2003’s ‘Damnation‘.

Main single ‘The Devil’s Orchard‘ is evidently the pick of the bunch, with its 70’s type feel that mixes equal elements of rock, folk and metal into 6-and-a-half minutes. Following track, ‘I Feel the Dark‘ continues on in both length but also style. Crooning vocals and acoustic beginnings are prominent here. ‘Haxprocess‘ is folksy while the tail-end has a real prog feel to it. ‘Marrow of the Earth‘ concludes things in a manner fitting of the album.

Sometimes, ‘Heritage‘ does blend into itself a tad, with frequent instrumental passages and keyboard heavy tones slowly becoming repetitive but it’s not a major point of detraction. If you can look through the change in approach from previous Opeth albums then ‘Heritage‘ will entertain. If not, then the disc may create lasting indifference.

Either way, credit where credits due, this is arguably the slight change in direction Opeth needed and for that reason album number 10 is an overwhelming success. Not bad from a band now in its 21st year. Now bring on December’s tour.

Conclusion

A carefully crafted and deliberately designed release that is one of Opeth’s most memorable to date. Sure to divide in some respects but this is cancelled out by the studio album’s impressive overall delivery. For long-time fans but perhaps, also for individuals who don’t listen to much heavy music as well. Recommended.

Tracklisting

1. Heritage
2. The Devil’s Orchard
3. I Feel The Dark
4. Slither
5. Nepenthe
6. Haxprocess
7. Famine
8. The Lines In My Hand
9. Folklore
10. Marrow Of The Earth

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