Opeth
Heritage


2.0
poor

Review

by SethPutnam USER (7 Reviews)
September 12th, 2011 | 170 replies | 15,406 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


16 of 24 thought this review was well written

With Heritage, Opeth have crafted a love ode of sorts to 70s prog, which is both the charm, and the problem with the record. At points, you'll swear you're listening to King Crimson, Jethro Tull, or even "Gates Of Babylon" by Rainbow. Fortunately, the album has enough of Opeth's trademark sound to not be totally derivative. Tucked between the many throwbacks to the 70s are some of the elements we've always expected from the band, like elaborate riffs, melodic clean vocals, and haunting acoustic passages.

I have to hand it to Opeth for surprising us once again. Most people expected this album to be somewhat of a "Damnation Part II," but it's a different beast entirely, featuring a starker and less focused sound. It's definitely an album that's hard to get into, requiring both many listens, and and understanding of the band's history to appreciate. Still, many Opeth fans who have given the album a fair chance find it to be an unnecessarily obtuse and demanding listen. I would place myself into this camp, finding the whole affair to be disjointed, meandering, and downright boring.

Let me clarify that I'm a huge fan of progressive music. I love it when a band can defy conventional songwriting, execute dramatic changes in tempo, and make the whole thing sound seamless and natural. Opeth have consistently done this in the past, but failed to do it here. The whole record strikes me as a collage of half-realized ideas, connected in the laziest manner possible. Vamps and grooves fade away just as you're getting into them, only to be replaced by tedious sections of noodling and ambience. Ideas stop and start abruptly, like the suddenly truncated conga part on "Famine", or second half of "I Feel The Dark," which begins with a keyboard noise so random, most people mistake it for the beginning of a new track. "Haxprocess" epitomizes the album's poor songwriting, consisting of little more than a two minute song with extended periods of wankery on each side. Its predecessor "Nepenthe" follows a similar formula, but at least has the courtesy to provide a drum beat on the outro.

And then there's "Folklore," which is perhaps the most embarrassing song Opeth have ever written. I recognize that there's a degree of tongue-in-cheek humor to this album, especially considering the cover art, but was it really necessary to mimic "Gates Of Babylon" and include the lyric "feel the pain in your brain, insane"? I would not expect this caliber of silliness from Mikael Akerfeldt, who's usually as plaintive and mysterious as they come. It makes me wonder if he intended this album as more of a prog parody than a prog homage.

Intentions aside, the bottom line is that Heritage fails to hold my interest. Though the direction is bold and the musicianship impressive, I find it to be an extremely trying listen once the nostalgic appeal of mellotrons and Hammond organs fades away.

2/5

Recommended Tracks:
• Heritage
• The Devil's Orchard
• Slither
• The Lines In My Hand


Stream: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false &id=140288664&m=140262406



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user ratings (1913)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyrael
September 12th 2011



20866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is that stream official? If it is, you should probably make a news article about it...

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

DoubtGin
September 12th 2011



6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

npr is pretty official

Mordecai.
September 12th 2011



8278 Comments


pretty good review. fuck you opeth.

FictionalFlames
September 12th 2011



1516 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

npr is pretty official (2)

DarthMann
September 12th 2011



13815 Comments


Is this album shit?

FictionalFlames
September 12th 2011



1516 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^ look at the majority of the user base rating

InFiction
September 12th 2011



3655 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nice review, well written and everything, but I'm predicting a barrage of 4.0+ reviews soon.

TheLodge
September 12th 2011



40 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

lol no

DarthMann
September 12th 2011



13815 Comments


yeah but there are quite a few over-rated albums on sputnik, and 3.6 isnt remarkably high

Wizard
September 12th 2011



19383 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Good review, I can see where you're coming from with the neg rating.

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2011



6076 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review, pos.

I'm leaning close to a 3 for this atm.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2011



23814 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

great review, really nice read.

I streamed this once and figured it was about a 2.5/3 but I'm guessing I probably won't ever rate it cause I really don't wanna sit through this snore-fest again

oh yeah, pos

Duderino
September 12th 2011



827 Comments


it's funny how people call a 3.5 a "negative" rating

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2011



23814 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

what the hell? my soundoff for this got deleted. did they think it was spam? it wasn't though, I'm 100% serious. this album needs moar opeth. prog - death metal = not opeth. needz moar dm.



Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2011



23814 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

and yeah I lied, I'm streaming this again. I'm actually kind of liking it more this time but it's still nothing amazing. probably about a 3.

rasputin
September 12th 2011



14541 Comments


dear diary

ShiveringPug
September 12th 2011



4 Comments


Mikael has been spamming how much he loves The Scorpions for years and years now. I don't think that they needed to release an album that sounds this ''prog''.

It just doesn't sound quite as 'pretty' as Damnation. That's what made me love Opeth, Heritage hasn't got the same spark.

Wizard
September 12th 2011



19383 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

This is his middle-finger to the metal community. I don't blame the guy for making this either.

Tyrael
September 12th 2011



20866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's good to hear some classic prog rock again

Weed
September 12th 2011



161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Meh,we all thought this was gonna be Damnation pt.2,but is still hearible



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