Opeth – Heritage
Starting out in the Death Metal vein, Opeth has always incorporated a variety of influences and they have steadily moved towards a more progressive style and with their latest release, “Heritage”, they have finally completely crossed over, not in a commercial sense, but in a stylistic sense, and have become a Progressive/Jazz/Fusion rock band.
“Heritage” is one of the biggest and most anticipated metal releases of the year and potentially the most controversial. It’s one of those albums that you are either going to hate it or you’re going to love it. There are a lot of comments flouting around about how different this album is or what a surprise it is, but I would say that it’s almost a natural progression based on their last few albums. For me, the only real surprise it the complete lack of heavy vocals, but other than that, it’s pretty much what I expected.
The vocals are completely clean, similar to the clean vocals on previous albums, but more developed and confident. Musically, there are no blast beats, the riffs are not so blistering and they have a more classical feel to them. There are organs and pianos throughout. There are Latin rhythms and tribal drums. All of the songs have instrumental interludes and acoustic passages. As usual, the songs are long, with multiple passages and breakdowns. The music is intricate and while not always heavy in a “Heavy Metal” sense, it is still a very heavy album, one that is powerful and full of character.
Regardless if you like the direction the band has taken here or not, the musicianship on display here is undeniable. The songwriting is impeccable, the playing is excellent and the overall conception and execution is amazing.