Rating:
7.8
Opeth - Heritage
14 September 2011


01. Heritage
02. The Devil's Orchard
03. I Feel The Dark
04. Slither
05. Nepenthe
06. Häxprocess
07. Famine
08. The Lines In My Hand
09. Folklore
10. Marrow Of The Earth
11. Pyre [bonus]
12. Face In The Snow [bonus]


The general consensus when a great band dares to move away from their original Death Metal sound is usually not positive. However Opeth have done it before masterfully with Damnation in 2003. They are back at it with one of the year's most anticipated albums, Heritage.

Cutting to the chase: Compared to their previous releases, Heritage lacks character. Despite the song structures being very progressive rock and the vocals being crazy good, the absence of catchy guitar riffs or memorable growls is a downer. One can positively recognize Opeth as the artist, especially since a lot of the songs borrow tidbits straight from the Ghost Reveries period. Certainly they manage to perpetuate a dark atmosphere throughout the album, but the mellowness of the whole thing is borderline irritating to someone expecting their trademark sound. I know we have been forewarned by Mikael Åkerfeldt himself about this being a throwback kind of release. Still, I believe this would be either catchier or more aggressive. Nevertheless the album does feature good moments, mostly from the jazz-infused portions of the songs.

Most of the vocal work by Mikael is spot on and even more breathtaking than ever before. And yes, we are talking about clean vocals only, which is unfortunate. Technically there is nothing to complain about, musicianship is at an all-time high. But when your band has members or former members of Bloodbath and Arch Enemy, listeners are bound to expect a little ferociousness whether in the form of harsh vocals or hell-spawn guitar riffs.

This is undeniably the one album that will have fans divided. On its own it is a great 70s-inspired throwback progressive rock album. Assessed as part of Opeth discography it fails to win me over completely. It is grand if you are into progressive rock and the band need to be applauded for the effort and guts to do something like this at this stage of their career. But ultimately the dearth of grabbing melodies endures as the downfall of Heritage.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Opeth
Album: Heritage


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 20.09.2011

Guest review by
SauradipGhosh

Rating:
8.6
Heritage poses more questions than answers. Have Opeth reached a creative cul-de-sac? Have they chucked their "Extreme Progressive Death Metal" for good? Have they finally shed their "Underground Garage Band" (I am quoting Akerfeldt from an earlier interview) and have ventured out into the Pantheon of the "mainstream" Gods from their hallowed underground temple so frequented by hordes of reverent worshipers?

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published 29.05.2012 | Comments (32)



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Mr. Doctor - 02.10.2011 at 13:00  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 01.10.2011 at 19:37

Written by dr.death on 01.10.2011 at 03:42
This review sucks almost as hard as Troy Gallant's taste in music.

Just admit it, you like me too much to stay away.


Well, sucks to be him then. I won't share you, babe.
Troy Killjoy - 02.10.2011 at 18:06  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 02.10.2011 at 13:00
Well, sucks to be him then. I won't share you, babe.

Aww, I knew I could count on your love.
Daniell - 02.10.2011 at 23:23  
If someone, and I see shitloads of such someones, is outraged by the rating that this album got on MS, I suggest you head HERE to read about more serious disappointment.

And by the way, the more I listen to this album, the less I like it. It's non-linear song structures aren't ambitious, they don't unfurl their magnificence after numerous listens. What was the great strength of Opeth on albums like Still Life is now the band's greatest weakness - the songs are incongruous, random and fucking boring.
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.10.2011 at 23:27  
Written by Daniell on 02.10.2011 at 23:23

If someone, and I see shitloads of such someones, is outraged by the rating that this album got on MS, I suggest you head HERE to read about more serious disappointment.

And by the way, the more I listen to this album, the less I like it. It's non-linear song structures aren't ambitious, they don't unfurl their magnificence after numerous listens. What was the great strength of Opeth on albums like Still Life is now the band's greatest weakness - the songs are incongruous, random and fucking boring.

Reviews like that are the reason I've lost most of the respect I once had for CoC. They used to be a great review site but they've lost it in recent years, giving out tens to crap and low scores for genuinely good stuff.
Daniell - 02.10.2011 at 23:30  
But Heritage isn't good stuff...
!J.O.O.E.! - 02.10.2011 at 23:33  
And neither is it particularly bad stuff, nowhere near anything remotely bad. I probably won't go back to the album but a 4 is a disingenuously low score for solid piece of prog from the disappointed, the anti-prog and the bandwagon jumpers. Even myself who isn't into the genre can recognise the upsides of the album. Heritage is just as "boring" as much of the heralded doom, thrash and black thrown around these days, they just fall under a totally difference purview.

Of course that review is from the person that gave the recent MA a 2, so shows his professionalism. I think you should stop bating people though, they seem to have enough trouble digesting fair reviews like this without more fuel being added.
Daniell - 02.10.2011 at 23:53  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.10.2011 at 23:33

And neither is it particularly bad stuff, nowhere near anything remotely bad. I probably won't go back to the album but a 4 is a disingenuously low score for solid piece of prog from the disappointed, the anti-prog and the bandwagon jumpers. Even myself who isn't into the genre can recognise the upsides of the album. Heritage is just as "boring" as much of the heralded doom, thrash and black thrown around these days, they just fall under a totally difference purview.


Here I agree. It definitely doesn't deserve a 4. After all it's well played and some songs are good, so anywhere between 6 and 7 is justified.

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.10.2011 at 23:33
I think you should stop bating people though, they seem to have enough trouble digesting fair reviews like this without more fuel being added.


Actually, what I meant was to say that MS isn't as harsh on this album as some other sites. Talk about hell being paved with good intentions
Mr. Doctor - 03.10.2011 at 00:01  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.10.2011 at 23:33

I think you should stop bating people though, they seem to have enough trouble digesting fair reviews like this without more fuel being added.


Totally, I mean...
Daniell - 03.10.2011 at 00:05  
I prefer this one

Troy Killjoy - 03.10.2011 at 00:10  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 02.10.2011 at 23:33
a 4 is a disingenuously low score for solid piece of prog...the anti-prog...

I suppose I'm anti-prog...which is probably why I gave this a 4. I'm not anti-prog on purpose, and I don't check any prog out because I know I won't like it, but I had to look into this because I've heard everything else they've done, otherwise I would've simply overlooked it. Prog is just one genre I'll never get into.
Troy Killjoy - 03.10.2011 at 00:12  
Written by Daniell on 03.10.2011 at 00:05

That's awesome.
JCJen7 - 03.10.2011 at 09:23  
Ok, so I ordered the $55 tickets to an Opeth concert that is in about 2 weeks. It said it came with a signed copy of Heritage. I assumed that I would pick up the signed copy at the show, but then the CD randomly showed up at my house a couple days ago, with no signature. Anyone know anyting about how I am supposed to get the signatures that I paid a pretty penny for?
Troy Killjoy - 03.10.2011 at 09:26  
Written by JCJen7 on 03.10.2011 at 09:23
Anyone know anyting about how I am supposed to get the signatures that I paid a pretty penny for?

Take it to the band members and demand one!
dr.death - 04.10.2011 at 22:55  
Fans of this cd really need to check out the dvd with the 5.1 digital track on a good home theater. All kinds of goodness going on there.
Hammer Pie - 06.10.2011 at 10:37  
Written by dr.death on 04.10.2011 at 22:55

Fans of this cd really need to check out the dvd with the 5.1 digital track on a good home theater. All kinds of goodness going on there.

Oh, is that where all the goodness went?

HEE HAW!
Troy Killjoy - 06.10.2011 at 19:58  
Written by Hammer Pie on 06.10.2011 at 10:37
Oh, is that where all the goodness went?
HEE HAW!

My thoughts exactly.
And the donkey thing too.
Mr. Doctor - 06.10.2011 at 23:03  
Written by Hammer Pie on 06.10.2011 at 10:37

Written by dr.death on 04.10.2011 at 22:55

Fans of this cd really need to check out the dvd with the 5.1 digital track on a good home theater. All kinds of goodness going on there.

Oh, is that where all the goodness went?

HEE HAW!


You won this thread man. Nice one.
dr.death - 07.10.2011 at 17:17  
Thanks! Your 3rd grade level opinions mean so much to me.
Troy Killjoy - 07.10.2011 at 19:38  
Written by dr.death on 07.10.2011 at 17:17
Thanks! Your 3rd grade level opinions mean so much to me.

And your childish retorts mean so much to us.
boo-boo - 07.10.2011 at 22:08  
There's not much I have to say about this album that hasn't been said already, but anyway - it is nothing I could have expected. For the good, and for the bad.

I cannot even make an opinion, for it sounds like a completely new, different group. They have not lost their sound or style, but most of everything else. There is no album in their previous discography to compare Heritage with, that's how I felt. I don't say it's bad,. I just say I can't imagine returning to it once again.
Adalmetal - 07.10.2011 at 23:20  
I've been quite an opeth's fan for some years now... and, I think they're one of the greatest band out there. Now, I'm not a musician to critize someone's material and to qualify it as crap. I don't think this is the case. But, this new Opeth release, really somehow have let me down. I don't know what is it about it, but the album doesn't grab my attention as much as the old releases. When I listened about this album being without growls, I didn't feel bad about it, since Damnation is one of my favorite albums from Opeth, and I believe that we all have to agree that is unique. Maybe this album hasn't grown on me, maybe in the future it may be one of my favorites... but, what I know for sure, is that this album just didn't make me feel the same way I feel to other Opeth's albums. I hope one day I get this one...
dr.death - 09.10.2011 at 11:31  
Written by Adalmetal on 07.10.2011 at 23:20

I've been quite an opeth's fan for some years now... and, I think they're one of the greatest band out there. Now, I'm not a musician to critize someone's material and to qualify it as crap. I don't think this is the case. But, this new Opeth release, really somehow have let me down. I don't know what is it about it, but the album doesn't grab my attention as much as the old releases. When I listened about this album being without growls, I didn't feel bad about it, since Damnation is one of my favorite albums from Opeth, and I believe that we all have to agree that is unique. Maybe this album hasn't grown on me, maybe in the future it may be one of my favorites... but, what I know for sure, is that this album just didn't make me feel the same way I feel to other Opeth's albums. I hope one day I get this one...


You couldn't have summed up your discontent any better. It's a shame the rest of the tools who took a shit on this cd couldn't have articulated themselves like you did. Nice job of expressing your opinion and nailing your feelings. My only advice is to give it time. As a retired musician it's such a refreshing change to hear Opeth exploring the music instead of giving in to the monetary side of things and producing the same stuff over and over. They just ooze talent from every pore and proved it with this release, and they literally do not care who likes it and who doesn't. At this point they know who their real fans are.

Again, nice job of expressing how you really feel instead of taking the typical approach and saying "IT SUCKS N STUFF" just because there isn't any growling.
T_s_T - 10.10.2011 at 20:27  
I personally can't put my head around it...maybe after a spliff...but not now, not sober...
4look4rd - 11.10.2011 at 02:44  
This is probably one of my favorite albums of the year along with Grace of Drowning and Road Salt Two. I am really enjoying this 70's nostalgia-trip that a lot of the main Prog Metal bands are taking.
Adalmetal - 11.10.2011 at 06:33  
Written by dr.death on 09.10.2011 at 11:31

Written by Adalmetal on 07.10.2011 at 23:20

I've been quite an opeth's fan for some years now... and, I think they're one of the greatest band out there. Now, I'm not a musician to critize someone's material and to qualify it as crap. I don't think this is the case. But, this new Opeth release, really somehow have let me down. I don't know what is it about it, but the album doesn't grab my attention as much as the old releases. When I listened about this album being without growls, I didn't feel bad about it, since Damnation is one of my favorite albums from Opeth, and I believe that we all have to agree that is unique. Maybe this album hasn't grown on me, maybe in the future it may be one of my favorites... but, what I know for sure, is that this album just didn't make me feel the same way I feel to other Opeth's albums. I hope one day I get this one...


You couldn't have summed up your discontent any better. It's a shame the rest of the tools who took a shit on this cd couldn't have articulated themselves like you did. Nice job of expressing your opinion and nailing your feelings. My only advice is to give it time. As a retired musician it's such a refreshing change to hear Opeth exploring the music instead of giving in to the monetary side of things and producing the same stuff over and over. They just ooze talent from every pore and proved it with this release, and they literally do not care who likes it and who doesn't. At this point they know who their real fans are.

Again, nice job of expressing how you really feel instead of taking the typical approach and saying "IT SUCKS N STUFF" just because there isn't any growling.


Thanks!
I don't feel the same way as some people, because they don't listen some growls vocals they clasified it as S**T. It's good that musician take a variation in their career. It would certainly get repetitive. I, myself, listen to lots of stuff, from all the genres, and i've enjoyed Mikael's voice in other interesting projects outside of Opeth (e.g. Ayreon, Katatonia, Bloodbath..) And from these, i have to say that i really enjoyed what Mikael did on Ayreon (it's one of my fav's albums). Back to heritage, I wouldn't say bad things about it, cos it's a new approach. Same happen to me with Anathema, I started listening to the old school records, then i listened to the works after Eternity, and I have to admit I couldn't stand it. I just couldn't get this new stuff, I kinda hated it... but, overtime I kept on trying, and they just grew on me, to the point (eventhough i REALLY love the OLD) I feel the new anathema express themselves somehow better than before, musically speaking, and now I love their last record (we're here coz we're here)... so, definitely grows are not what matters, but i really miss that awesome chemistry of the old Opeth.

Now, talking about new changes in music, is it only me that find this interesting, I mean Opeth is taking a new more progressive rock kinda approach, while Porcupine Tree is getting a lil more heavy with the time...? is it like Mikael is trying to accomplish few dreams?, we all know he's a fan of old prog rock and stuff like that...

Bottom line: I hope I get this cd, some songs sound nice to me... but, I don't know yet, overall hasn't had the impression I usually get from Opeth's albums...
levarca56 - 01.11.2011 at 02:12  
I guess Heritage should be a Mikael's side-project. This album, though is very original, definitely does not sound like Opeth.
Protostar - 12.11.2011 at 22:53  
I am an extremely open minded person, and i love all different sorts of sounds and styles of music.. but this album really does fail to keep me entertained. i love all of Opeth's albums equally, and ironically the only one i like particularly more than the rest is Damnation. this album however is just too..... blah ? but hey, one throwback amongst the many other masterpieces they have shouldn't make too much of a disturbance within their fanbase.
INÆRIS - 06.02.2012 at 22:25  
Written by levarca56 on 01.11.2011 at 02:12

I guess Heritage should be a Mikael's side-project. This album, though is very original, definitely does not sound like Opeth.


It does sound like Opeth. I just doesn't sound like what you want Opeth to sound like.
\m/opeth2833 - 29.02.2012 at 17:26  
Heritage is an average album by the band's standards. But a few tracks are worth listening \m/
SWAMPL0RD - 06.06.2012 at 08:59  
This album is a letdown for many opeth fans. i liked opeth for what they were and thought they were at the top of their game, now i dont even know what their game is... the 7.5 rating speaks for itself.
levarca56 - 15.09.2012 at 01:25  
Written by INÆRIS on 06.02.2012 at 22:25

Written by levarca56 on 01.11.2011 at 02:12

I guess Heritage should be a Mikael's side-project. This album, though is very original, definitely does not sound like Opeth.


It does sound like Opeth. I just doesn't sound like what you want Opeth to sound like.
Nickferatu367 - 15.01.2013 at 06:13  
Not an album for fans of traditional opeth (blackwater park, deliverence, my arms your hearse), but for you guys who listen to all that goofy shit, this is pretty decent.
Misfit74 - 18.01.2013 at 08:03  
Written by INÆRIS on 06.02.2012 at 22:25

Written by levarca56 on 01.11.2011 at 02:12

I guess Heritage should be a Mikael's side-project. This album, though is very original, definitely does not sound like Opeth.


It does sound like Opeth. I just doesn't sound like what you want Opeth to sound like.


Ding ding ding. We have a winner.
CaptainRhodes - 17.12.2013 at 00:20  
As soon as I heard this album my faith in Opeth dropped to zero. It's such a waste of time. There are TONS of 70's prog acts that far outshine this boring imitation. It's further disappointing because I know Opeth are capable of doing this sort of album spectacularly.

It's a 1 for disappointment, but it's actually just an average album, so a 5 from me.

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