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OPETH

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Sweden


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Opeth biography
Yes, some people would consider OPETH to be a pure (melodic) Death Metal band but you have to differentiate a lot. The four guys from Stockholm/Sweden feature a lot of different elements on their albums. We have the aggressive death metal with Mikael's growls (which are not generated with help of a computer, it's actually his voice) with lots of breaks, mostly acoustic including Mikael's clear voice. Mr. Åkerfeldt himself always underestimates his clear voice and often points out that he is a novice regarding this kind of singing. But that's not true, false modesty is the term here. His clear voice is warm and simply beautiful. The whole music is guitar orientated, on the one hand we have great riffing for aggressive parts, awesome melodic solos and on the other hand acoustic breaks with admirable melodies with some Scandinavian folk influences here and there and of course Mikael's clear vocals. Sometimes you even get some PINK FLOYD or PORCUPINE TREE like parts or whole songs.

Sure, the band started out as a pure Death Metal combo regarding to their first release" "Orchid" but from their second release on the prog elements got more and more. The second album "Morningrise" for example features a pure Prog song with PINK FLOYD like parts as well as epic song lengths. Mikael Åkerfeldt who also is the indispensable head of the band, often mentions that he is a proghead and mostly likes bands like CAMEL and PORCUPINE TREE. No doubt, you can hear those influences on albums like "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park" but their highlight regarding to pure Prog for sure is their 2003 release "Damnation" which features an entire album in the style of PORCUPINE TREE. Not really astonishing regarding the fact that Steven Wilson of PORCUPINE TREE is a good friend of Mikael and Peter and even worked together with the band for their double release "Damnation" and "Deliverance". Steven Wilson also produced their album "Blackwater Park" which is regarded as their best work so far, not only by death metal fans but also by many others normally disliking death metal growls (like me). "Damnation" for sure is the album most of you would be interested in because it is a pure Prog album. But Mikael said that the band will not do something similar again, he even announced the next album to be their most heavy, we will see. Sure isn't that this release opened the door to new fans and certainly displeased some of their old fans coming from the death metal origin.


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Pale CommunionPale Communion
Roadrunner Records 2014
Audio CD$8.78
$8.15 (used)
Blackwater Park: Legacy EditionBlackwater Park: Legacy Edition
The End Records 2010
Audio CD$8.40
$11.40 (used)
Still LifeStill Life
Special Edition
Peaceville UK 2008
Audio CD$8.73
$17.66 (used)
DamnationDamnation
Import
Sony Import 2007
Audio CD$4.28
$8.33 (used)
WatershedWatershed
Roadrunner Records 2008
Audio CD$4.97
$5.09 (used)
Ghost ReveriesGhost Reveries
Roadrunner Records 2005
Audio CD$2.81
$1.97 (used)
My Arms, Your HearseMy Arms, Your Hearse
Extra tracks
Candlelight 2003
Audio CD$6.98
$6.00 (used)
DeliveranceDeliverance
The End Records 2007
Audio CD$2.93
$8.33 (used)
The Candlelight YearsThe Candlelight Years
Box set
Candlelight 2009
Audio CD$12.91
$11.67 (used)
MorningriseMorningrise
Extra tracks
Candlelight 2003
Audio CD$7.02
$6.48 (used)
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More places to buy OPETH music online Buy OPETH & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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OPETH shows & tickets


  • Opeth + Alcest at LKA-Longhorn, Stuttgart on 24 Oct 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Live Music Hall, Köln on 25 Oct 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Huxleys Neue Welt, Berlin on 26 Oct 2014
  • Pale Communion Europe 2014 on 27 Oct 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Roxy, Praha on 29 Oct 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Arena, Wien on 30 Oct 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Theaterfabrik, München on 31 Oct 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Komplex, Zürich on 1 Nov 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Alcatraz, Milano on 3 Nov 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Bataclan, Paris on 5 Nov 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Ancienne Belgique, Brussels on 6 Nov 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest + Purest Of Pain at Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam on 7 Nov 2014
  • Pale Communion Europe Tour 2014 on 8 Nov 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Store Vega, København V on 9 Nov 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Pakkahuone, Tampere on 11 Nov 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at The Circus, Helsinki on 12 Nov 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Sentrum Scene, Oslo on 14 Nov 2014
  • Opeth + Alcest at Münchenbryggeriet, Stockholm on 15 Nov 2014
  • In Flames + Opeth + Red Fang at Riviera Theater, Chicago on 3 Dec 2014
  • Red Fang + In Flames + Opeth at Mill City Nights, Minneapolis on 4 Dec 2014
  • In Flames + Opeth + Red Fang at Sokol Auditorium, Omaha on 5 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Ogden Theater, Denver on 6 Dec 2014
  • In Flames + Opeth + Red Fang at The Warfield, San Francisco on 8 Dec 2014
  • In Flames + Opeth + Red Fang at Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles on 9 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Marquee Theatre, Tempe on 10 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Warehouse Live on 12 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, Dallas on 13 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Tabernacle, Atlanta on 15 Dec 2014
  • In Flames + Opeth + Red Fang at Electric Factory, Philadelphia on 17 Dec 2014
  • Opeth + In Flames + Red Fang at Terminal 5, New York on 18 Dec 2014

OPETH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

OPETH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 474 ratings
Orchid
1995
3.72 | 541 ratings
Morningrise
1996
3.92 | 562 ratings
My Arms, Your Hearse
1998
4.33 | 1168 ratings
Still Life
1999
4.25 | 1197 ratings
Blackwater Park
2001
3.76 | 696 ratings
Deliverance
2002
3.93 | 983 ratings
Damnation
2003
4.24 | 1113 ratings
Ghost Reveries
2005
3.94 | 910 ratings
Watershed
2008
3.84 | 953 ratings
Heritage
2011
4.28 | 343 ratings
Pale Communion
2014

OPETH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 88 ratings
Lamentations: Live at Shepherd Bush Empire 2003
2006
4.08 | 165 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
2007

OPETH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.01 | 185 ratings
Lamentations: Live at Shepherd's Bush
2003
4.06 | 123 ratings
The Roundhouse Tapes
2008
4.69 | 196 ratings
In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall
2010
3.89 | 9 ratings
Live at Enmore Theatre Sidney Australia
2011

OPETH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.23 | 44 ratings
Limited Edition Box Set
2006
3.78 | 63 ratings
The Candlelight Years
2008

OPETH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 20 ratings
Apostle in Triumph
1994
4.30 | 37 ratings
The Drapery Falls
2001
3.89 | 28 ratings
Deliverance
2002
4.49 | 37 ratings
Still Day Beneath the Sun 7''
2003
3.05 | 21 ratings
Selections From Ghost Reveries
2005
3.22 | 35 ratings
The Grand Conjuration
2005
3.00 | 19 ratings
Watershed - Radio Sampler
2008
3.66 | 37 ratings
Porcelain Heart
2008
3.62 | 36 ratings
Mellotron Heart
2008
3.69 | 53 ratings
Burden
2008
3.45 | 60 ratings
The Throat of Winter
2011
3.66 | 81 ratings
The Devil's Orchard
2011

OPETH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pale Communion by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.28 | 343 ratings

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Pale Communion
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Pale Communion" is the 11th full-length studio album by Swedish progressive rock/metal act Opeth. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in August 2014. There´s been a lineup change since "Heritage (2011)" as keyboard player Per Wiberg has been replaced by Joakim Svalberg.

With "Heritage (2011)", Opeth more or less took a left turn fully embracing a 70s influenced progressive hard rock sound and leaving their death metal past behind. They did a similar thing on "Damnation (2003)" but returned to their trademark progressive death metal sound on the next couple of albums. This time around they seem to mean business though and as "Pale Communion" is now their second album in a row which features a 70s influenced progressive hard rock sound, we can probably safely assume that the band´s death metal days are now behind them and that a new chapter in the band´s history began with "Heritage (2011)".

So the music on "Pale Communion" is a continuation of the progressive hard rock sound on "Heritage (2011)" and as such has little to do with metal although there are some hard rocking riffing on the album and references to artists like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, and Atomic Rooster are valid enough (also because of the dominant use of organ). But there are references to a lot of 70s artists and musical styles on the album. Vocalist/guitarist/main composer Mikael Åkerfeldt are known for his broad tastes in music and you´ll hear elements from both hard rock, symphonic progressive rock (the sections with mellotron and the sections with orchestration are beautiful), folk rock, and even a whiff of jazz rock on "Pale Communion", which is ultimately a pretty varied album.

The description above can more or less also be applied to "Heritage (2011)", but "Pale Communion" is not a sequal clone of that album, as the band have opted for a more structured and melodic sound on this album compared to the more messy sounding "Heritage (2011)". "Heritage (2011)" often sounded like Mikael Åkerfeldt had 10.000 ideas and was hellbent to cram them all on the album. That ultimately made that album quite an adventurous ride but at the same time not the most memorable or well composed one. With "Pale Communion" it seems that Åkerfeldt has cut a bit more to the bone and focused on the actual compositions and the longivity of the melody lines. As a result "Pale Communion" is instantly memorable and quite a bit more accessible compared to it´s predecessor.

"Pale Communion" is produced by Mikael Åkerfeldt and mixed by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and not surprisingly the album is graced with a warm, detailed, and organic sounding production, which suits the music perfectly. The musicianship are as always of high class. The instrumental performances are organic and tight and Mikael Åkerfeldt´s vocals are distinct sounding and delivered with conviction. The use of choirs and backing- and harmony vocals on many tracks are great assets to the music too.

The album features an overall great flow and all tracks are memorable after only a few listens although complex enough to ensure longivity. It´s not easy to pick standout tracks on an album where all tracks are equally great, but I´d like to mention the closing trio of tracks, "River", "Voice of Treason", and "Faith in Others", as some of the highlights. The former because of the surprising shift in atmosphere (here is a track where several different sounding compositional ideas work well together) and the two latter (which seque into each other to form a sort of mini suite) for their intriguing emotional impact and use of orchestration. But then again I could have mentioned any track off "Pale Communion" and call it a highlight.

While "Pale Communion" certainly digs deep into the 70s progressive rock and hard rock scene for inspiration and does feature a retro sound, it doesn´t feel as forced as it´s predecessor did. It´s more fresh sounding, more musical, and overall just a better and more memorable release. I was beginning to wonder where Opeth were heading with "Heritage (2011)", but with "Pale Communion" I think they are back on the right track. A track that brings promises of even greater future output in this style. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

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 Pale Communion by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.28 | 343 ratings

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Pale Communion
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Lute

5 stars What an album! This is one I play constantly. Funny seeing the complaints from some who never want the growling back and the others who dismiss Opeth for not growling any more. Every album is what it is. Opeth have always set the bar very high. This album is right at the top of their own bar. This is very atmospheric, technically brilliant without getting silly. Is this a mix of the good old DT and Steven Wilson I hear? Some say this is 70s and I would agree. That means it is music to my ears. I don't have a favourite track. I tend to play it back to back, 2 or 3 times and still do! Album of the year? Quite possibly!

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 Ghost Reveries by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.24 | 1113 ratings

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Ghost Reveries
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

3 stars I first encountered Opeth quite a few years ago, through their album Still Life. I was enthralled by the album cover, and decided that I wanted to hear the music that potentially warranted the artwork. I wasn't shocked by what I heard, since I had heard descriptions of what the music sounds like, but I did really enjoy it. However, Opeth is something that I simply can't listen to often. I do, though, acknowledge their abilities.

Ghost Reveries is an album that I checked shortly thereafter, and I found it to have some fairly nice songs. Yet like other Opeth albums, I grew fairly tired of it, and I cannot listen to it the whole way through. Many of the sections within the songs are very nice to listen to, and are fairly brilliantly written and arranged. However, Opeth's style is something that I cannot listen to much of at the same time.

I know that this album is well-written and is great for fans of the genre (which I'm not necessarily one of), and for those reasons I believe it merits a 3 out of 5 stars from me, because my personal tastes come in the way of my enjoyment of the album.

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 Pale Communion by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.28 | 343 ratings

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Pale Communion
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

5 stars There was too much 'talkabout' on Opeth's new album. I loved Heritage (2011) thought it was a fantastic new sound for the band. Now, all this talking about the band kind put me off a bit, especially after the horrific weak single released before the album ('Cusp Of Eternity') so I waited to listen to their new album, Pale Communion (2014).

Now, I'm giving it a spin on it through Spotify and what can I say, track one 'Eternal Rains Will Come' is simply outstanding, amazing track. Then off we go to 'Cusp Of Eternity' that's way too much SW for me, and Opeth is better than him, doesn't work really. Good that 'Moon Above, Sun Below' comes in to erase the previous track very well indeed. 'Elysian Woes' continues the high quality path, but acoustically.

While 'Goblin' indeed reminds the classic Italian band, 'River' is a folk ballad in the same path of Rush's 'Rivendell'. 'Voice Of Treason' and 'Faith In Others' continue the good path of the album.

Pale Communion (2014) is able to bring all the classic Prog Rock that I love with a fresh air to it, and that's why this is so interesting and one of the great releases of the year that so far was so week.

4.5 stars really!

Recommended!

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 Still Life by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.33 | 1168 ratings

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Still Life
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars While sticking to My Arms Your Hearse formula of long songs with alternating death metal and acoustic sections and some more traditional metal riffs and solos, Still Life improves in major areas. Songs are longer, extreme parts are better integrated, creating for some interesting textures, as opposed to just juxtaposing the two extremes. Some of the riffs and solos are actually catchy to nod your head to in a thrashy sort of way, as opposed to just skull crushing and dissonant. But I still think this is overrated. Almost every song from the My Arms-Still Life period repeats the same formula heavy-less heavy-acoustic etc. and you'd be pretty much content with one of them, say, The Moor, or Godheads Lament. Fortunately, the album redeems itself with Face of Melinda, which is a classicist tune that has nothing to do with modern metal, foreshadowing things to come in Heritage and Pale Communion, proving that talented people would be talented in all the styles they try.

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 Watershed by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.94 | 910 ratings

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Watershed
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Opeth on Watershed sound like a band that either thought Ghost Reveries were too catchy for their own good, and tried to do some convoluted stuff even by Opeth standards, or thought that they achieved all they could with their trademark lets-hop-from-death metal-to acoustics-every-minute style, and indulged experimental tendencies. A folksy duet with female vocalist Coil, a melodic vocal over a blast beat, a wholly classicist track Burden, and is that a laugh at the need of Burden? Now thats progressive death! (Although the death stuff is still very much prevalent here). However, to my ears all this sound more like a lets through in some weird stuff and see what happens, rather than musically logical.

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 Heritage by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 953 ratings

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Heritage
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Opeth, I have not explored so much of their discogrophy, only a metal album in the middle and the real prog album of this year "Pale Communion". That was a story they began 20111 with this record "Heritage" the band's tenth record. When I started to listen to this record a long time ago had I hard to understand it and I found it too melancholic for me. Now that has changed. Heritage is, and I am sure most people think that a good record. It features Mikael Åkerfeldt on vocals, guitar, mellotron and grand piano, Fredrik Åkesson on guitars, Per Wiberg on organ, mellotron, fender rhodes, wurlitzer and grand piano, Martin Mendez on bass guitars and Martin Axenrot on drums together with percussionist Alex Arcaña and Björn J:son Lindh, a fabulous flutist who unfortunately died recently and the pianist Joakim Svalberg.

The cover is one of the best things with the album. It is an amazing paintign with the heads of the band members and in the background we see a burning city and under the tree we see hell. The album is a heavy progressive album with so much interesting notes. It has its ups and downs and for me it's hard to keep my interest through it all but the highlights are worth picking up. The opener and the closer are almost only piano and the melody feels like Swedish folk music. For those who have heard Jan Johansson's jazz record with Swedish folk tunes will these tracks remind you of them. "Marrow of the earth" is honestly the album's most nice track (10/10) like massage for my ears. Second best is "The Devil's Orchard"(9/10), an explosion of melodies, riffs and strong progressive music where Åkerfeldt's vocals do a fantastic job. He sings very well on the whole record. "Nepenthe" is another example of song with wonderous vocals and the song is jazzy too(8/10). "Famine" is a long and lovely song also, a varied and story telling track with J:son Lindh's flute and lovely vocals(8/10). "I feel the dark"(7/10) and "Folklore"(7/10) are also more than good and the rest of the songs are good as well.

This is definitely an interesting record with high quality music and some very interesting tracks. Opeth has big potential to be an even better prog band if they become more pretentious. Perhaps is it also the sad feeling this music bears that holds down my feelings and so also my rating. For me it's a strong three star record and a little preview of what's going to come three years later.

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 Pale Communion by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.28 | 343 ratings

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Pale Communion
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Hemiprogger

5 stars I have been following Opeth one way or another for some years. I picked them up around the Damnation/Deliverance period and found the juxtaposition of the Death meta with melodic vocals and some fabulous melodies really addicitive. I suppose my favourite thing about the band is how they have continued to change each record introducing something new and different. This record is once again a further change from Heritage , Watershed and Ghost Reveries and the strength of it is seen when you go back and listen to those again.

Its full of classic 70's progressive sounds the keyboards and mellotron are all over the songs though not dominating. I am not a studio engineer so I am not going to comment too much on mixes and vocal positioning. To me it all sounds warm and and a bit retro sort of like a Led Zepplin album which I am sure was the desired effect. It does sound just like something from the late 70's but natural not contrived and that is something I really like about it.

The songs vary in style in some ways its a tribute to various prog luminaries like Yes, King Crimson and others. I have to admit I am not an authority on those but yeah I get the idea Akerfeldt has never been shy about displaying his influences.

I would have enjoyed a little more variation in the vocals I think a guest would have been nice for contrast. But that said its really strong on melody and the harmonies. The guitar solos are fantastic flights of skill the drummer is on a special jazz groove trip and the keyboards whirl and swirl and provide great momentum.

Mikael Akerfeld is really doing a sterling job of being an artist. He and his band are only interested in making the music they feel they need to make now, not the best bits from their biggest selling album or whatever some record company dope says is popular right now. Of course among Prog type groups this sort of thing is expected but still I think they should be applauded for not playing it safe. For those mourning the loss to metal - well the back catalog in that department is pretty strong..I wouldn't panic - I am sure they haven't forgotten how to produce top quality heaviness if they feel the need.

Overall its a top class record will be listening to for years to come like a lot of other opeth work. - support artists - get it.

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 Morningrise by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.72 | 541 ratings

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Morningrise
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars There are two most common approaches to Morningside. One is to regard it as some sort of a lost masterpiece, another - as a warm-up to what was to come. There are a lot of things to like here. It stays true to the trademark Opeth style - frequent changes between extreme metal and vocal sections and softer, more melodic. But it actually is less aggressive than the following albums. A poor production, paradoxically, makes you hear all the instruments, and you can find one of the better Opeth guitar harmonies and melancholic melodies this side of the Damnation album. I can never fully like an album with this much vomiting vocals, especially as poorly produced as here, but Morningrise, nevertheless, is a must for Opeth fans.

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 Heritage by OPETH album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 953 ratings

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Heritage
Opeth Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Igor91

4 stars I always wanted to like Opeth. I found them musically interesting, but one thing prevented me from listening to them - the "cookie monster," death metal vocals. I tried listening to them, but once those growls came in, I immediately lost interest. The one exception, prior to 2011's "Heritage," was, of course, "Damnation," which I thought was very good. But, with Mikael Akerfeld claiming that "Damnation" was a one-off album, and that the band would return to its death metal form, I left Opeth behind. With the release of "Heritage" my interest in Opeth was restored, and my faith in great new music being made was fulfilled.

"Heritage" is a turning point point for the band and I can understand why many long-time fans were unhappy with the album. I, too, have been disappointed when some of my favorite bands have turned in a direction not to my liking. However, as long as a band is changing direction in order to stay true to their musical interests, and not merely trying to go with what is more commercially viable, I have always had respect for those bands, even if I did not like the new music they were making. So, with "Heritage" being far from a commercial "sell-out," I am puzzled by many of the old-school fans' contempt for Opeth's new direction.

I feel "Heritage" is a great, classic prog rock album. I have read many reviews bashing the song writing and complaining about a lack of flow, and I strongly disagree. When first listening to "Heritage," it can come off as disjointed, or lacking in flow as an album. However, this is a truly progressive album, with complex, non-traditional songwriting, and can only be appreciated after many listens. While you can certainly hear the influence of 70's prog rock, Opeth injects their own style into the songs, making it a truly unique listening experience.

To conclude, Opeth's "Heritage" is wonderful piece of heavy prog that can only be appreciated by repeated listens and having an open mind. It is a stepping stone to Opeth's next effort, "Pale Communion," which I feel is less progressive than "Heritage." I give it a solid 4 1/2 stars. If you only gave "Heritage" a few listens and were unimpressed, try listening a few more times. You may end up changing you mind, like I did.

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