Opeth
Heritage


4.5
superb

Review

by My Name Is Mud USER (18 Reviews)
May 30th, 2015 | 150 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Change has never felt so good.

Throughout their illustrious career, Opeth have managed to consistently balance their death metal ferocity with their beautiful folkish aesthetic. Their earlier offerings even managed to bring some black metal elements into their ever welcoming musical pallet. Evolution is something the band has mostly only dabbled in slightly, with 2003's Damnation being the only exception. Damnation saw a full realisation of their folk-like roots, with breath-taking acoustic tracks scattered across the record. All the death metal elements of their earlier records had been all but banished, and this move, surprisingly, went unscrutinised by much of their fanbase. With classics such as ‘Windowpane’ and ‘Hope Leaves’, many fans seemed willing for the band to continue in this minimalistic direction. However, when Opeth decided to take their musical direction into full blown progressive rock which was then to be their newest record, Heritage, why was it such a big problem? The lack of death growls maybe? Each explanation is as possible as the next, this is certainly Opeth as never seen or heard before.

The musicianship found on Heritage is one of marvel and seamlessness. In true Opeth fashion, mostly every song found on this album take many twists and turns throughout their respected run times. ‘The Devils Orchard’ begins with a jazzy guitar riff which eventually segways into a quite spectacular climax, with Martin Mendez bringing some of his finest bass work to the fold throughout. The longer tracks found here such as 'Folklore' are so multi-faceted they require multiple listens to fully sink in, in true Opeth style. From the off-kilter opening riff to the grandiose bass driven outro, the song truly encompasses what the band is all about; taking the listener on a musical journey. ‘Slither’, one of the more straightforward tracks on the album, still showcases Opeth's ability to rock a humongous groove. There isn't much in the way of experimentation here, but the song still remains as a nice change of pace to what is quite a slow burner of an overall record.

The centrepiece of every Opeth record is undoubtedly their frontman, vocalist and lead guitarist Mikael Akerfeldt. Whilst there is nothing even resembling a death metal roar on here from Mikael, Heritage truly showcases his swooning clean vocals perfectly. With every song on this record virtually being quite a slow and quiet affair, Mikael's vocals are brought to the forefront. Whether its his heart pounding highs found in 'The Devils Orchard', or his fantastic smooth, quiet styled vocals found in ‘Häxprocess’, Akerfeldt never misses a beat when it comes to injecting emotion into Heritage. the aforementioned 'Häxprocess' is arguably one of Opeth's most intimate and tear jerk-worthy songs ever. Starting out with an angelic piano passage which then leads into a beautifully executed acoustic passage with a fantastic mellotron overlay, the track is truly a marvel, especially with its fantastic fade out solo towards the end of the track. The song further strengthens the albums unique personality, even though Heritage borrows heavily from the 70's progressive rock scene, it’s still undoubtedly Opeth, both in terms of sound and songwriting.

As mentioned before, the musicianship found on Heritage is a marvel. However, along with Mikael, there is one musician who stands out even more so: drummer Martin Axenrot. Axe's performance throughout the album gives the record a free flowing personality, which works incredibly well given the number of musical segways there are throughout. His fills found in songs such as 'Häxprocess' and 'Famine' are blasting with so much flamboyance that one cannot help but just appreciate the skill and imagination executed. The bending riffs meld perfectly with Axe's bizarre drumming style, giving the album yet another irresistible dynamic.

When all is said and done, Heritage is yet another stellar triumph for Opeth. Regardless of whether the album received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, the record still showcases a willingness to experiment and not just to rehash past albums in the bands catalogue. Heritage is the progressive rock classic that was never released in the 70's, whilst still retaining enough of the bands traits to set it apart from any other album found in the genre. The complaints are without a doubt understandable, but for this reviewer personally, change has never felt so good.



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user ratings (2779)
3.4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BigPleb
May 30th 2015


61556 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Its been a while :D

Mort.
May 30th 2015


15177 Comments


great review pleb, posd

i really need to go through this bands discog, only heard blackwater park

Digging: Will Haven - Open The Mind To Discomfort

BigPleb
May 30th 2015


61556 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks mort!



Definitely go chronologically to feel the full force of Opethian magic.

Tunaboy45
May 30th 2015


17245 Comments


Great review Plebe, I still haven't heard this.

BigPleb
May 30th 2015


61556 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well what you waiting for boy?!



But thanks :]

Egarran
May 30th 2015


19211 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This review gushes.

Digging: Akhlys - Melino

elcrawfodor
May 30th 2015


1264 Comments


Not nearly as fanboyish as I expected when I saw who wrote it ;) couple grammatical issues, but definitely worth a pos

BigPleb
May 30th 2015


61556 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Could you point them out please? Thanks.

elcrawfodor
May 30th 2015


1264 Comments


"somewhat banished, and this move,"
Somewhat is kind of awkward, remove comma after banished

Last sentence of intro implies you're going to specifically address the issues the community generally has with the album, but these problems are never mentioned again

"Especially with its fantastic fade out solo towards the end of the track."
Fragment, merge with previous sentence.

"even more so; drummer Martin Axenrot."
use colon, not semi-colon.

Might be more, I have to run now, but those stuck out the most. Still good review, wish you could have slipped in a "THE SCREAMS ARE BAAAAAAAAACK!!" somehow.

BigPleb
May 30th 2015


61556 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks dude, will sort those out.



The screams aren't back so couldn't include it ;_;

JamieTwort
May 30th 2015


26988 Comments


POS

BigPleb
May 30th 2015


61556 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Eyyyy knew you'd here at some point!



Cheers maaann :]

Egarran
May 30th 2015


19211 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The missing hyphen in off-kilter and the missing umlaut in Häxprocess is all I've got.

JamieTwort
May 30th 2015


26988 Comments


Lovely review, I agree entirely.

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
May 30th 2015


10856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

cool

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2015


19087 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

Great review, and agreed. Took me a year to appreciate what this was lol

Digging: Phoebe Bridgers - If We Make It Through December

BigPleb
May 30th 2015


61556 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks a bundle peeps, this albu just gets better with every listen for me.

elcrawfodor
May 30th 2015


1264 Comments


I've only heard this 3 or 4 times, not nearly enough times to rate an Opeth album

BigPleb
May 30th 2015


61556 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Definitely revisit man, beaut stuff.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2015


19087 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

Definitely better than PC



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