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Opeth - Heritage CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.81 | 1248 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Opeth takes a sharp left turn on this release and moves away completely from it's trademark death metal sound and veers completely into the progressive metal genre. Gone are the growling vocals completely, which was my only complaint that I had about the band before, even if they did alternate from dirty to clean vocals in the past. Now, this is not the first album where Opeth turned away from dirty vocals completely. In "Damnation", the album was completely mellow and featured all clean vocals, but they remained true to the acoustic aesthetic of death metal. This time, on "Heritage" all death metal leanings are left behind. What you get in replacement is a great reward, 10 top notch progressive compositions that stay completely true to the genre and it's heritage.

In my opinion, this is the best Opeth album up to this point. Opeth has always been know as a band that always improves, but never have they taken as huge of a risk as this. These tracks are all elaborate and heavily progressive songs through and through with variety in abundance. There is still a heavy presence of guitar, but there is also a lot more keyboards with a lot of mellotron. You'll hear all kinds of influences in this music, but even with that, the sound is original. Acoustic is meshed with electronic and with hints of jazz oriented prog thrown in for good measure. This is very apparent in "Nepenthe" which starts on the mellow side and suddenly explodes in a jazz/prog fusion that sounds very much like UK. They also tap into the arpeggios that were made popular by King Crimson and they expand on this beautifully. And Mikael's vocals are amazing. I don't know why he had to hide them under his growling vocals for so long

Of course, most metal heads were furious at this album at first. Some of them never came around, but others, for whatever reason, were intrigued with the sound and eventually fell in love with the album. I love the fact that Opeth could open some minds with this album and with their music. I could never figure out why or how anyone could just stick to one genre anyway, there is so much great music out there under several genres.

Those of you, on the other hand, that thought that Opeth was a great instrumental band but couldn't handle the growling, this is your album. This one has all the prog that you could want and all the variety that you crave. Songs are constantly changing meter, dynamic, timbre, even style. This really almost sounds like another band, but those who have been familiar with Opeth know without a doubt that this is the real band. It's so great to hear them break away from the sound that could really get repetitive and allowed for very little exploration beyond what they had already perfected. This album represents the breaking away of expectations of a narrow genre, even though the band was consistently stretching the boundaries to there limits. Now there are no limits. Now the band is free to explore so many avenues of music, and this is what they do. And it is amazing that they can reach masterpiece status on their first attempt. Yes it's true that they have been honing their skills and musicality on past great albums like "Ghost Reveries" and "Blackwater Park", and now we have the culmination of everything. This is an excellent album and it is a shining example of a band that continues to progress. Amazing! Beyond your expectations. 5 stars.

TCat | 5/5 |


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