6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Heritage (Audio CD)
Some may have already heard the pre-released song from the album, The Devil's Orchard, and so you got a taste of what this album is like. But I wouldn't say any one song on Heritage is able to represent the whole album. And if you're expecting something like Damnation (2003), you're way off. So prepare to be surprised!
There is a logical progression from the previous album, Watershed (2008), to Heritage, but the leap is quite far. There are no death vocals on this one, only clean singing, and it suits the album perfectly. The metal sound is rarely on the heavy side (for one used to Opeth's previous albums), and there certainly isn't the kind of powerful blazing guitars and drums we're used to. Instead there's more of an exploration of sounds and melodies, which are allowed to reverberate through the whole album. The music can leap from evil, psychedelic flute sounds to spanish guitars, with an interlude from an off-tempo piano diddle. The opening of track 9: Folklore, for instance, sounds just like an old Swedish folk song, except it's played by an electric guitar. This is possibly my favourite track, but at least partly because of the beautiful way it makes the album come to a strong climax before the final instrumental song. It all works out in a magical way.
I read a pro review that claimed something like Heritage being a trial on the potency of metal, and I couldn't agree more. The album is thoroughly progressive and experimental, utilising a lot of old 60-70's hard rock influennces mixed with Opeth's classic sound and song building. No song on the album ever takes the easy way out, but progresses in unexpected ways that may at first be hard to understand. Naturally, this makes Heritage one of those albums you got to listen to several times in order to come to grips with it. The reward comes when you do.
I'd call this Opeth's strongest release since Blackwater park in 2001. And here's to 20 more years... cheers.