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Opeth - Heritage CD (album) cover

HERITAGE

Opeth

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.82 | 1174 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This review was a long time coming for me. In part because the largely instrumental Heritage is among Opeth's most intricately nuanced and complex albums to date, so it simply took a long time for it to sink in. Secondly, it is probably one of the most magnificently artistic, elegant, musical, and engrossing albums I've heard in a long time... so I've just been having a ton of fun listening to it many, many times!

Heritage is an amazing release by an already amazing group, known for their straddling of genres and impeccable compositions. Opeth is at their most consummate professionalism with this release, abandoning their (excellent) death- metal styling in favor of a rich, emotional, and intense experience that falls much closer to a classic prog sound than any of their previous work. It's still aggressive and energetic, and heavy, but not a metal album. It's like a straddling of prog-folk and heavy prog, without much in the way of amplification. This gives it a unique tone that sits very well alongside the traditions of classic prog.

From the opening track's gorgeous, melancholy atmosphere - featuring fast-paced guitars, drumming, and dark sense of beauty - the listener is in for a treat. The songwriting is amazing, dense with variety and class, while the band's performance is achingly good. From the dynamic and ambitious drumming of Axenrot, to the fuzzy bass riffing of Mendez, and the lush mellotrons and keyboards of Wiberg, and of course the warm, melancholy sound of Akerfelt's guitar and voice - everything is just right. In fact, this is probably some of Akerfelt's best vocals; all clean, all powerful. Heritage is amazing at creating moods, dark, bleak, torpid, and frenetic. The end result is a wonderful example of what can happen when all the pieces a great band is known come together in just the right combination.

Heritage will doubtless appeal to Opeth fans who explore Prog Archives, and are willing to hear music from the group that doesn't have growling, and will probably be the album to convert those who shied away from the group BECAUSE of the growls. This album has all of the intensity, and more of the art, of other Opeth albums, and probably of many of the band's peers. Heritage is an amazing, dark, elegant experience. It may take a few listens to get there, but it reveals itself in short order as an excellent addition to any prog lovers library. Highly recommended.

Songwriting: 5 - Instrumental Performances: 5 - Lyrics/Vocals: 5 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 5/5 |

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