Opeth
Heritage


3.5
great

Review

by Cyan1d3 USER (3 Reviews)
September 12th, 2011 | 34 replies | 5,027 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Heritage is not as refined as previous albums, yet Opeth’s willingness to boldly experiment foreshadows future success.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Progression is a peculiar and divisive musical concept. Musicians constantly are attempting to progress their capacity and efforts, while fans have seemingly infinite amounts of debatable opinions on what progression actually denotes. With “observation” Heritage, Opeth has progressed into something entirely…expected, yet still intriguing.

Mikael Akerfeldt has always expressed his profound interest for 70’s progressive rock in his music. Various softly sung, jazzy/bluesy passages have peppered their way across all of Opeth’s discography. With Heritage, however, Mikael’s signature death growls are abandoned, along with the dissonant guitar riffs that accompanied them. In their place are more frequent jazzy guitar lines and softly sung vocals. To say the music never climbs up a notch would be ludicrous though; distorted and progressive guitar lines enter most of the songs’ forefronts quite commonly. The aptly dark, wall-of sound segment in “I Feel the Dark,” and the upbeat ruthlessness of “Slither” are great examples.

The individual efforts on this album are undeniably superb. Martin Mendez often carries parts of the album with tasteful, groovy bass lines that do more than compliment the guitar (most notably in “The Lines in My Hand”). However, percussionist Martin Axenrot is astounding. Heritage is his breakthrough album; the drums are a constant force with a newfound progressive quirkiness that was completely unexpected out of a guy who previously abused the blast-beat. Of course, Mikael Akerfeldt delivers the goods with top-notch leads and riffs, accompanied with stellar clean vocals. The deficiency of death growls is unnerving at first, but it does fit the new style like a glove.

For all the incredible efforts by the musicians, however, there are several glaring issues with this album. There is a clear lack of cohesiveness within many songs, as many transitions are weak or just don’t exist at all (instanced in “I Feel the Dark”). Furthermore, most of the songs do not reach satisfying climaxes. Fortunately, this is partially rectified by the excellent individual moments within the songs. If the moments were just better placed and connected though, this album would have been truly excellent.

Interestingly enough, where Heritage truly succeeds are the moments that are farthest from the Watershed sound. “Nepenthe,” “Haxprocess,” and “Marrow of the Earth” provide soothing soundscapes that envelop listeners with captivating bass lines and guitar melodies. The more upbeat “Slither” and “The Lines in My Hand” arrive at pivotal points, breaking up the slower songs. “Folklore” is a true masterpiece by Mikael and Co.; entertaining acoustic guitar leads dominate the first half of the song, but it really shines with an amazing Camel-influenced piece near the end. It is unfortunate that all of the songs do not prosper with the same ingenuity; songs like “The Devil’s Orchard” and “Famine” unnervingly herald back to Watershed-esque musical concepts and feel loose with no climax. They are outdated and stale compared to the more experimental, enjoyable songs.

Overall, this is a enjoyable record. It doesn’t meet the standard of excellence that previous albums hold up to, but it is inspiring and exciting due to riveting songs like “The Lines in My Hand” and “Folklore.” Heritage is not as refined as previous albums, yet Opeth’s willingness to boldly experiment foreshadows future success.


user ratings (1827)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Cyan1d3
September 12th 2011



137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First review, please provide constructive criticism/comments

Hawks
September 12th 2011



34425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Here we go with all the Heritage reviews.

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

Cyan1d3
September 12th 2011



137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah lol. I was hoping to get my opinion in before the barrage of reviews, but it looks like i was too late

GregLake
September 12th 2011



84 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

sick recs

WashboardSuds
September 12th 2011



4983 Comments


"Here we go with all the Heritage reviews."

The King of Limbs has a sequel after all

Digging: Acid Bath - When the Kite String Pops

Cyan1d3
September 12th 2011



137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Holy shit, I didn't realize that album had like 20 reviews.

I'm thinking it was pretty pointless now for me to write this review...

GregLake
September 12th 2011



84 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is nothing compared to say, OK computer

iFghtffyrdmns
September 12th 2011



7047 Comments


constructive criticism:
pretty good review, now get a haircut.


k good.

zxlkho
September 12th 2011



3460 Comments


As I was reading this, it felt like you were a bit more positive about the album than your rating implies...

BloodSweatandBeers
September 12th 2011



999 Comments


"Here we go with all the Heritage reviews."

surprised you havent rated this a 4.5 already



Waior
September 13th 2011



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

good review

iFghtffyrdmns
September 13th 2011



7047 Comments


really dude? that's just obnoxious man c'mon now.

toxin.
September 13th 2011



12019 Comments


Reported. It feels good.

bassfiender
September 13th 2011



109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Axenrot does a good job on the drums
But Lopez would have suited this album way more


Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2011



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

this is nothing compared to say, OK computer


...what?

over/under for Heritage reviews by the end of the week: 11

place your bets

Cyan1d3
September 13th 2011



137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Uhh

why did you report me?

itchy
September 15th 2011



244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I agree very much with your views on the transitions (or lack thereof) and the song structures not lending themselves to proper tension/release or climax.

The transitions honestly seem lazy to me. So many crossfades, so many under-developed ideas that abruptly end just as they seemed they could go somewhere, and so many great individual moments that are left oddly untied to the greater whole.

Cyan1d3
September 16th 2011



137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

silentpotato, you're a dumbass. Opeth has had a very diverse musical career, especially with this album...

Cyan1d3
September 17th 2011



137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

But it's not "the same thing," I mean it still has the Opeth sound but its a completely different style

NodScene23
September 29th 2011



264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is what a concise yet robust review looks like. Well done. I think the album is deserving of a 3.5 and your review would seem to agree, but I can't really harp on you much for this.



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