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on 20 September 2011
This album is a musical side-step for Opeth and is likely to divide their fans big-time. Those who like the death metal side of their music will probably loathe this (no grunting!), but those who prefer their lyrical, romantic side will love the whole album. There is plenty of piano, acoustic guitar, flute, with only an occasional drift into the heavy side ('The Devil's Orchard' reminds me of of some of Djam Karet's music, a fairly jazzy experience in places but a good rock song at heart with a decent little guitar solo at the end). The acoustic beginning of 'I Feel The Dark' has a Gordon Giltrap feel about it, but it's a gorgeous track that develops nicely into a melancholic rock groove that gradually gets heavier as it progresses. Some of the musical motifs on the album seem a bit simplistic but this is a good, modern progressive rock album that will appeal to many fans. It's an odd first listen and it takes two or three complete hearings to appreciate just how good an album this is. It's a brave and wondrous record and I like it better each time I hear it. I confess that I prefer Opeth's lyrical progressive side and have little time for the death metal grunting that, to my mind, spoils some of their earlier work. Many new listeners will be drawn to Opeth through this album and that is no bad thing - this talented band deserves to be heard more. This is adventurous music and the band's collaborations with Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson seems to have broadened their horizon. The production is first class and cranking up the volume pays dividends! I found this a fascinating listen and recommend it. It's one of the most interesting albums released this year.
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on 17 September 2011
I am a big Opeth fan but not a good reviewer, so I'm just writing this to spread the love for the band.

I own all their CD's and have been a big fan for a while and I was very excited about hearing their new album.
This album blew my mind in a way I didn't think possible for Opeth, because they have already amazed me so much on their previous outings. I am a big prog fan, listening to both new and old prog, like Yes, King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, Riverside and a lot more obscure bands. That's probably why I loved this album so much. If you're not that into prog rock and love their previous CD's, this CD might confuse and disappoint you. It's not easy listening, it will challenge you. If you can embrace their new style though, you'll discover a great prog record. The sound is great on this album and their musicianship has never been better. Mikael has reached a new level with his vocals as well. I hear some mixed opinions on this CD, but if you have some trouble getting into it, open your mind, take the journey, embrace it and maybe you'll be as amazed as I am. Give it a few spins, it might grow on you if you have trouble getting into their new style.

This is already my favorite Opeth CD and I hope the rest of their fans will embrace it. I have the special edition and the Surround Mix is fantastic as well. Definitely worth buying.

Go buy this CD :)

Sorry for my english.
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on 9 October 2011
Trying something new is something that is often looked down on in the world of metal, don't get me wrong we metal heads can be open minded to new styles of music but the moment Opeth announced that their new album would feature no growled vocals more than a few people raised their eyebrows. Some people even went as far as writing off the album upon hearing this information, the first single released The Devils Orchard didn't help matters with its unique sound dividing old school Opeth fans. If you were still behind the band you couldn't help but feel almost worried, god knows I was. I couldn't help but worry that maybe the band had gone too far sacrificing their trademark style of contrasting their heavy sound with their clean progressive sound. Thankfully I was totally stupid for ever doubting the band, not only is Heritage a great album but it's also a perfectly natural progression from 2008's Watershed.
From the opening piano track Heritage you clearly hear that Opeth have lost none of their ability to create an album that oozes atmosphere. It is important to note though that Heritage sounds completely unique to the bands discography whilst being feeling strangely familiar. Tracks such as I Feel The Dark and Haxprocess continue to demonstrate that Opeth are still at the top of their game in terms of musicianship and quite frankly have never sound tighter as a band. From clearly the audible bass lines to the great key board/piano sections, Heritage feels like a more collaborative effort with the mixing of the album allowing all of the instruments fully breathe rather than being smothered by the distorted guitars. Don't get me wrong I'm not knocking any of Opeths previous albums and I have the feeling Blackwater Park and Watershed will still remain my favorite Opeth albums, but as a fan of progressive music it's really great to hear instruments such as the keyboard really coming into their own on this release. The album also features a great amount of variety never staying in one place for too long or becoming predictable. Tracks like the almost upbeat Slither perfectly contrasts tracks such as Nepenthe.
From the great title track to its last instrumental Marrow of The Earth, Heritage displays Opeth at their most brave and challenging. Undeniably I was sceptical at first, after my first listen I was unsure what I thought of the album all I knew was that I had listened to something genuinely special. Now that I've had time to take it in I can't help but praise the band, not only have they defied modern metal trends they have allowed themselves to stay fresh whilst never betraying their fans. It may take a while to sink in but Heritage is a brilliant listen that will challenge as well as delight even the most hardened Opeth fan
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on 24 November 2014
It's bizarre really. The customer reviews on Amazon for this album. I don't believe a band can get anywhere near greatness unless they have some kind of ambition to produce something of this complexity, sophistication and imagination, backed up by the superb musicianship Opeth obviously enjoy. What really gets me is comments like 'this album will split existing Opeth fans' or words like that. What nonsense. If you are so narrow minded that you think Opeth should pursue only death metal type stylings, it is you who are limited by your own narrow vision of what a band should and shouldn't be doing, not 'them letting you down'.

But at least some people obviously appreciate what Opeth are all about, which, to me, is exploring the limits of both musical influence and their own remarkable musical invention, unfettered by 'convention' or repetition. I have listened to metal since the the early eighties. I didn't encounter Opeth until a few years ago, and, for me, they are the greatest metal band that have ever existed. Able to slay you with raw power or reduce you to tears and awe with their pulsating rage and beauty. It is a heady, electrifying cocktail that is alternatively thrilling and jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
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on 30 September 2013
Heritage is the tenth studio album by Swedish band Opeth, released on 14th September 2011 through Roadrunner Records. The album was recorded in early 2011 at Atlantis/Metronome Studios in Stockholm and produced by Mikael Åkerfeldt, engineered by Janne Hansson, and mixed by Steven Wilson. A critical and commercial success, the album sold 19,000 units in the United States in its debut week, charting at number 19 on the Billboard 200. The album signals a departure from the musical style of Opeth's past albums, being one of only two albums by the band not to feature death growls (the other being Damnation). The album's fourth track "Slither" is a tribute to former Rainbow and Black Sabbath vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who died during the album's writing process.

I have to admit that it took me just that little bit longer to get into Heritage than it took me to get into Opeth's other albums, but it's good in its way (I would listen to it again sometime). Maybe what didn't help at the time was that I didn't listen to any of the tracks from this album on YouTube first before buying the album.

In August 2012, Mikael Åkerfeldt revealed that he has begun writing new material for what will be the eleventh Opeth album. When asked if it will be heavier or softer than Heritage, Åkerfeldt said, "Maybe a little bit heavier, not death metal heavy, but hard rock/heavy metal heavy. There's also lots of progressive elements and acoustic guitars, but also more sinister-sounding riffs". Åkerfeldt will also produce the new album.

Going back to Heritage, parts of this album remind me very much of the sort of music Deep Purple and Rainbow produced and released, particularly the material they did in the 1970s, as the style of some of the guitar work is very Ritchie Blackmore-ish. Heritage is still worth a look though, and I'm hoping that Opeth will take a slightly heavier direction for any more albums they will do in the future.
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on 25 May 2013
Based on the admittedly very little material I'd heard by Opeth prior to this, I was a little nervous purchasing this. But decided to take a chance based on the clips heard on Amazon and on the basis of the fact that the Strom Corrosion album by the musical genius Steven Wilson and Opeth vocalist Mikael Akerfeldt is so very good. However I needn't have worried it's really good.
So if your've an Opeth fan who hasn't already got this album then approach this with an open mind its worth it, it really is very good. And if you've never heard of Opeth then don't worry if you're a fan of good music well written and well played and brilliantly produced by SW then this is well worth getting, especially if you can get hold of the 5.1 surround sound version which lifts the album onto a whole new level.
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on 24 September 2011
Ok, so I understand and sympathise with those of you who have written 2 and 1 star reviews for the change the band has taken. My metal taste is very broad but make no mistake, I am definitely a lover of Death, Doom and Black Metal. In other words, my previous enjoyment of Opeth has not been the only toe stuck in the water of Death Metal vocals, and the limit of my taste. So I too was a little nervy about the absence of death growl vocals and the big prog change of direction that had been banded about the press and net. I love My Dying Bride and I've really liked the Opeth albums I already had (Blackwater Park, Ghost Reveries)for the great contrast of clean and death vocals. My heart had sunk a little with the news there was none of that on to be heard on the new album.

However, I have just sat and listened to the whole of this album from start to finish for the first time and I am blown away by it. To put that statement in context, I can't remember the last time I sat and listened to the whole of a new album right through in one go.
This is the best album I have bought in a good while (and I have bought some great ones recently - Kylesa's last 3, Satyricon - "Shadowthrone", Enslaved - "Axioma").

This will be an album I know I will keep going back to and finding more and more things I love within it. I'm not big into prog (although I like King Crimson and prog influenced stuff like Tool and Mastodon) so yes some bits will challenge your ear. But the strength of musical skill is amazing - skill that is superb to listen to, not just applauded for it's dexterity. The sense of space and use of dynamics is a really something, and even without the growl Mikael's vocals have real power.

Knowing the direction they were taking in advance probably helped as I was prepared for it. Maybe if you didn't know about it and were expecting more of their previous style, it would be a shock to the system. But this album is not completely removed from the Opeth of old. You can hear the connections to their previous work. Perhaps rather than thinking of it as Opeth doing a prog album, it should be thought more of as Opeth's take on Prog. A subtle difference, but an important one.

I hope the guys who've written the one and two star reviews keep listening and find what I and others have. It's not easy for a band to take the leap of faith that Opeth have here and they should be congratulated for it, not criticised. After all, if Black Sabbath hadn't taken such a leap of faith in style change from jazz, metal would not be metal at all.
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on 13 September 2011
If you are a fan of progressive rock from the 70's then you may not believe what you will hear from this album. I have no idea how Opeth can come to this far. This is a great progressive rock that you never hear for a long long time. The multi layers of music, the progressive structure of each song, the instruments from 70's that you can barely hear nowadays. The album might need a bit more time to get into it. You can listen to it more than a hundred time with something new every time you listen to. The highlight masterpiece in this album are 'Haxprocess', 'Famine' and 'Folklore'. This is a music that you can enjoy with your brain. That's all I can say.
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on 20 September 2011
I've only become a fan of Opeth in the last year or so as I was put off by the growling vocals (see my other reviews for similar comments on other bands....) which I felt ruined some great music and technically brilliant playing on the songs I had heard by them. However I was recommended two CDs (Damnation and Watershed) both of which rapidly became firm favourites. Therefore I was looking forward to this release with fingers crossed that it would be more of the same rather than a return to the growly material that Opeth became famous for.

Fortunately for me Mikael Akerfeldt and the boys couldn't get excited about the tracks they were writing in the more metal style and deleted the songs from their computer and started over again - ending up with a much gentler album than they have ever produced before.

I'm a big fan of Pain of Salvation and this new album is quite similar to their style of playing with lots of piano and odd time signatures in addition to some great guitar playing. Mikael has a great singing voice and I'm glad he's dropped the growls.

There are a couple of rockier songs on the CD, notably Slither which sounds very close to Kill the King by Rainbow in parts. I think most fans of rock, prog or metal would enjoy this CD - so give it a try!!
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on 18 September 2011
Firstly, I wasn't immediately knocked out with this album. It took a few listens to understand and appreciate it. It's very different to anything Opeth have done before, and combines different styles and influences. Most songs feature variations in tempo and style, combining heavier sections with piano-based compositions, jazz, acoustic and classical. Not that 'Heritage' falls completely into any of these categories, it has a unique sound overall, but it's influences can be clearly heard.
The vocals are clean throughout, and most songs have unpredictable transitions and structures. Compared with 'Damnation', Opeth's other clean album, 'Heritage' tends to be more challenging listening, at least till the listener becomes familiar with the album's structure. Personally, after a few plays, I found this to be a really enjoyable album, generally quite laid back, but still with some surprising twists, moments of power and haunting melodies.
I would recommend 'Heritage' to anyone who appreciates good music, and is willing to give a cd a few spins to absorb it's complexity. By the way, I'm not a huge fan of prog rock, so don't feel you have to be to enjoy this album!
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