Artist / Title: Opeth: Heritage (2011)
Month Reviewed: October 2011
Opeth have been building up to this album for years and tested the waters a bit with the beautiful, haunting and stunning Damnation album a few years ago.. There were hints of what was to come in the previous Watershed album (another stunning record!).
So what we have here is a pure prog rock record. No death metal or metal, for that matter, just pure prog rock that ticks all the boxes (except, curiously, there are no super duper long epics – nothing over 8 minutes.). It’s not about the length, as they say, it’s about the quality. And this album delivers it by the bucketful.
Akerfeld has always been a great vocalist, but he is something else here: soulful, expressive, melancholic. The songs go off in more tangets that you can initially keep up with: it really is an album you have to devote time to. Get a nice coffee, a biscuit and some spare time and give is a few spins. You will not fail to be impressed.
Sure, there are hints of Camel, King Crimson, the Canterbury sound, fusion, Deep Purple. As you would, I guess, expect. Having said that, though, there is no mistaking – by any stretch – the sound of Opeth. Their take on prog rock is as distinct as their take on death metal/prog metal.
If you only like the death metal version of the band, then stay away. If you like both or just like prog rock, I have no hesitation in declaring this one of the finest prog rock albums in recent memory – it really is that good.