Opeth - Heritage CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.84 | 929 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Many people compare this album to Damnation. I think nothing is further from that. Damnation is their most straightforward and easily listenable album (in a way of mellow Steven Wilson's projects), though dark, hypnotic and beautiful. Heritage is on the other hand obviously their most demanding piece.

The shifts and twists are unpleasant to hear if you lack the concentration. Moments of silence are contrasted by sharp dissonances. The are no steady rhythms, very little rules. Still, after two months of absorbing music, I can't judge it easily, but it works in the result surprisingly good. There is a strong attention to detail. Acoustic/electric guitar sounds are crafted with such an emotionality and sensitivity as they sing, scream, caress, sometimes they're furious, sometimes gentle. Dynamics and pallete of keyboards create again beautiful paintings. Drums are often wild, unrestrained, but precise and so are bass lines. Album isn't cohesive and probably it is not intended to be. I must admit I feel there are few "empty" moments I still can't appreciate.

I don't see either many comparisons to classic prog-bands, often mentioned, with exception of the use of vintage instruments. Good example could be flute in the end of "Famine" - yes, it is the same instrument Ian Anderson used to play, but there all Jethro Tull comparisons end. The context of its use is so weird, there are hardly reminiscenes to their music. Despite new direction, Opeth aren't reminding anybody more than themselves. Some moments remind grandeur of Watershed (mellotron crescendos and keyboard arrangements in "Folklore" or "I Feel the Dark"). Fabulous "Haxprocess" recalls "Hessian Peel" (its second part). So, the biggest resemblance I see still in its predecessor. However, the band turned themselves again more experimental, rather chamber and less metallic.

In total, I consider Heritage to be slightly weaker than Watershed / Ghost Reveries, which represent their creative peak to me. Still, Opeth continue their musical journey in more than welcomed direction. Excellent addition for Opeth fans and proggers.

stewe | 4/5 |


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