OPETH – Heritage
Damn… …nation. Heri… …tage… Clean vocals. No, them two albums are not two for the price of one. Where the premium is an amazing journey through silent darkness, "Heritage" is an excellent progressive rock album. The sound is impeccable, Åkerfeldt’s singing is immaculate and the songs are ear candy for those who give it more than five spins.
I didn’t expect the album to grow on me during the initial meeting, since the songs felt much the same. But soon you start to notice the different melodies, the bass, the drumming, the singing – these are different from track to track. Not to forget the various elements that lurk in the dark. Plentiful of great hooks, from start to end. Ok then, not all tracks are on par with the outstanding "Slither" and "Folklore". That melody will haunt me in my dreams…
I do not miss those growls, and I think it’s perfectly fine that bands take different steps, if when chances are that fans will shake their heads and jerk off once again to "Blackwater Park" and "My Arms, Your Hears", etc. "Heritage" is a catchy rocker that holds more than first meets the eye. I mentioned the sound earlier. An other aspect is how the music feels free, there’s joy in the air. The production makes room for each instruments, as well as plenty of space for the effects in the background.
A couple of tracks reduces this from a brilliant release down to a very good one. One is "Nephente", which feels more like an intermission than another good track on "Heritage". Another is the following "haxprocess", that feels a bit silent despite the increased tempo halfway into the song.
As a whole though, the album is dynamic, exciting and a pleasant journey through Opeth’s legacy, minus the growls.