Monday, 7 November 2011

Heritage - Opeth (2011)

I like to consider every new Opeth release as an event. There has been many times where I could just imagine kids of the 70s, gathering altogether to hear a new Led Zeppelin album for the first time and feel the music that these masters were creating. Somehow, I get the desire to do exactly the same with every new Opeth release. When I got Watershed and listened to it for the first time it was an absolutely amazing voyage on the Opeth cruise and I just couldn’t wait to see if Heritage could  give me even more.
Heritage is the new album from Swedish Progressive metalers Opeth released on the 13 of September via Roadrunner Records. The record starts with a very dark and gloomy piano track which bares the title of the album only to kick in to the first single out of Heritage, The Devil’s Orchard. The album has many atmospheric elements into it which we’ve got used to through the years of listening to Opeth. With the many fusion inspired passages Opeth will not disappoint all the fans of progressive metal. The screaming solos and the amazing production of the album will definitely give you chills while the haunting atmosphere that is created throughout the album is just mind travelling! However, passionate Opeth fans will definitely observe that there are no growls on this album. All of the vocals are clean and their melodies seem to carry and support the very gloomy feeling that the album gives out. This results in a lack of aggression that we usually get with Opeth, but I believe that the amount of new elements that are presented on the album are so many and so well executed, that it really doesn’t feel as if anything is missing. This could ultimately be an album which, when assembled with other Opeth’s album, could represent a very different era and sound in the band’s history. In general a very interesting work by Opeth which didn’t disappoint me but, will, I imagine, disappoint some with the lack of growls and aggression. Nevertheless this album is a true masterpiece in its own and only makes you to want to hear it live! By witnessing Opeth live at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2010, when listening to this album I couldn’t stop thinking how amazing this album would have sounded live in there!
There are many tracks on this album which really caught our attention and could be labelled as favourites. Slither gives out a very Rainbow-ish or Deep Purple-ish vibe with its high tempo and the melodies that Akerfeldt uses on the vocals melodies! Compared to previous Opeth releases, the influences that Akerfeldt has been talking about for so long now, are visible more than ever on this album. No surprise that Slither is a tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio. Nepenthe could easily be described as a fusion metal song with the very nu-jazz, in my opinion, intro and the blasting solo which is followed by a typical Opeth passage that most of us adore! Nepenthe was a drug used in ancient days to forget sorrow which relates quite nicely with the lyrics on this album! Finally, but not least, Famine is a very interesting track with a very oriental feel, which has Opeth introducing to us some flute parts which add a very interesting element to the whole sound.
Heritage: 9/10
Posted by Nick

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