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album review : Heritage (2011) – Opeth

album : Heritage

artist : Opeth

genre : Extreme Progressive Metal

year : 2011

Although I can never understand how an album leaks, I am not complaining. This new record by Opeth has slipped from the band’s hands and the progressive hungry bunch would provide the verdict on their new sound roughly three weeks before the album hits the stores. Sitting here in India, I am trying to figure out from where this new direction has been inherited by Opeth.

Heritage, as they name their tenth album, is an indication that the band wants to hide the extreme parts on their music and instead want to replace the same with a lot of effects that paints a mild picture of the band. I wouldn’t deny that I had to yawn my way through Heritage, but considering the band is trying to balance a lot of things here they clearly entered the studio with their past buried. With almost negligible traces of anything they have played before, the scent of old-Opeth is dearly missed.

Following their journey uptil Ghost Reveries and then of course Watershed, even Opeth geeks might not have predicted this but this isn’t amusing. A promising intro allows one to cook up big things in the mind, but only until the first track The Devil’s Orchard begins. Those comfortable and experienced fingers seem confident but as the song unfolds I realize there isn’t much to hold onto here. While I wait for things to settle down, I can’t help but notice songwriting not being a part of the band’s agenda.

With just a mood to accompany the name I Feel The Dark for the first half of it’s six and a half minutes duration, the song is seen going nowhere towards the end. The album speaks up on Slither, and defends the allegations made till now by displaying a lot of twisted energy. Progressive ray of light, finally. Nepenthe did not make any sense, nor did Haxprocess. Next track Famine was devoid of music for a longtime but picks up somewhere along the way. Not enjoyable, and this is not a mindset, this is exactly how the album is.

In a general view of the situation right now The Lines in My Hand sure would sound relieving but Folklore comes across as a song by some amateur band that definitely does not have nine albums to it’s credit. Opeth brings down the shutter with Marrow of the Earth and I could not wait for the album to get over. You know what I mean.

In the recent times we have seen bands of the likes of Amorphis and Anathema change the definition of their music and I still haven’t stopped hearing their new stuff, but Opeth has missed the target by a huge margin. This wasn’t a progressive album, there are no traces of death metal and we would not have minded some bits of both. Heritage is all set to release on the 19th of September, and now that I have already been put to sleep by this new offering by Opeth I’d suggest the band wakes me up only when September ends.

Rating : 2.5/5


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