Review Summary: Opeth is still opeth, still going to be taken the Mickey out of, and still proggy, psychedelic, and cool. More accessible and sometimes more predictable. Not as lengthy or deep, perhaps, as old Opeth.
Writing about heritage is a tough affair, one because I am an idiot and I write nonsense, and two because I can't write about music. This requires some explanation: I like grasping at straws, very large straws as though I am very obtuse. In music, I look for whatever leaps out at me. Unfortunately this attitude has led me in some scary directions, like the other day when I found myself listening to Panic! at the disco. Sure, I know that it is brainwashing music. It's not my fault. Meanwhile Korn are telling me to “let the guilt go”. What do I do about this? I know: I'll listen to Opeth, who are on a major record label. Opeth have changed line-ups and their style dramatically and now I am falling for it and just saying, oh yeah it's great like 70's Prog Rock.
But, but, it is really good. I love heritage. In this modern world of cynicism, back stabbing, and just an excess of emotions with a few warriors such as Steven Wilson battling against apathy and MTV, I can listen to Heritage and think... you know what, maybe simply saying this isn't like Opeth isn't the right attitude to take; there seems to be so many influences and genuine inspirations of Mikael's, drawn from, that it becomes less like a thematic masterpiece such like the usual from Opeth, and more of a musical heritage with a place of its own and various, erm, accentuations that take from the Opeth back catalogue, which is like some kind of holy bible. In other words, to compare to Opeth is wrong when it is not so much like the Opeth of old.
I seem to remember in an interview on youtube... or wherever it took place... that Mikael likes the Beatles and he says their White album is like the bible of music. Could Mikael do such a thing, intentionally? Yes, I think he has in many ways.
And, what's wrong with heritage? Well, I listen to Opeth's old albums and I hear many instances of heritage sections popping up, as though Heritage deliberately contains them. Sometimes I find it distracting when I’m looking for purity. The other thing is that this just isn't a story book album; the narrative style is more straightforward musically and lyrically. It is like when a person tries to sing and they know they cannot produce the tone required. Personally, I think this is because Heritage has less of a Pink Floyd vibe to it so it tells less of a tale. Also, surely Heritage can't be called mellow. It simply isn't; the drums are all over the place in a good way, ripples of distorted guitar are all over, and vocal carry-ons permeate the music in a dissonant way. Showing much more vocal effort than before (in the exclusively clean sung style) ... because, this is not forgetting that Opeth are still near the cutting edge and though Mikael says he is pretentious and that his band is ***, and he always sounds really intelligent and insightful quite genuinely, he is far from a ponce. Well, that’s MY opinion anyway.
You know, I can really get lost in this music; so twisted and psychedelic. I wrote that it isn’t mellow, and really, just to clarify to avoid the contradiction here: it is frame-of-mind music. It is mellow and then when the mind tunes into each crazy little touch of a song, it ceases to be mellow. Is Crazy/Mellow an oxymoron? Also don’t forget that this has its roots in metal quite some.
... It's sweet to hear some of these little guitar riffs which are so gentle or delicate, whatever you prefer to call them. The bass is more pronounced and the keyboard (organ if you prefer) is a gentle humming in the background if you like. Freddy the guitarist seems to be reserved for lead guitar pretty much; there isn't much intensity to the rhythm guitar on this album, and maybe too few harrowing interludes which should repeat, loop, taunt and just seem to go on longer than would be enough for normal territory. I'm sure most music is more persuasive and catchy than Mikael's, but still there comes a point either where a person builds up tolerance to the superficial, or where his standards are so strong that it takes some of Opeth's crazy demonic loops to stir him. Like I said, Heritage is sweet but it sometimes sounds lazy and all too content with itself.
Maybe if Mikael suffers injuries in a car crash, gets mugged a few more times and erm.... anything else terrible really.... will certain Opeth purists be happy again.
Oh, and Folklore has a wonderful outro. It is really something. Only problem is it reminds me a bit of the Fort Boyard theme tune slowed down and messed about with. I guess Mikael sits at the telly sometimes for inspiration, like how he must have been watching a wild western movie for the song "Harvest."
Oh, and I listened to the album on Youtube. Do I see cops outside my door? I always buy Opeth albums, but the bank balance isn't my best friend at the moment. The fact that I bought still life special edition and Blackwater Park special edition more than makes up for it. That means I'm not in the negative.
Oh, and .... mmm... no that's all actually.
No, no it isn’t! -- Excellent Bass Martin! GO GO! Bye Bye Per.
- The Lines In My Hand
- Giving up growling is like giving up a storytelling element.
- Summer is miles and miles away, techno approaches in shades of grey –Technopeth.