Heritage [Special Edition]

Heritage [Special Edition]

by Opeth

CD

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Overview

Heritage [Special Edition]

Heritage, Opeth's tenth studio offering, finds the Swedish band abandoning death metal: no growled vocals, no blistering fast power riffs, no blastbeats. Mixed by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson) and engineered by Janne Hansson, Heritage is easily Opeth's most musically adventurous -- and indulgent -- recording. Written primarily by vocalist/guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt, these ten songs are drenched in instrumental interludes, knotty key and chord changes, shifting time signatures, clean vocals, and a keyboard-heavy instrumentation that includes Mellotrons, Rhodes pianos, and Hammond organs -- ironic since keyboardist Per Wiberg left the band after Heritage was completed. Opening with the title track, a haunting solo piano instrumental, it careens into the explosive "The Devil's Orchard," with spectacular, arpeggiatic guitar work by Fredrik Åkesson and matching drums by Martin Axenrot. With a huge, swirling B-3 in the backdrop, it melds progressive metal to prog rock, with Åkerfeldt's clear, clean singing. "I Feel the Dark" marries Åkerfeldt's classical guitar to piano, flute, a droning Martin Mendez bassline, and double-timed, quietly tense drum kit work. "Slither" sounds like Motörhead meeting early-'70s Deep Purple. "Nepenthe" begins as a ballad but shifts toward jazz-rock in the instrumental break before finding its way back to a middle ground with sparse instrumentation and taut dynamics. "Haxprogress" draws real inspiration from King Crimson; Mellotrons and nylon-string guitars give way to Åkerfeldt's crooning, thundering basslines, and syncopated drums. At eight-and-a-half minutes, "Famine" is the album's most abstract cut, with guest Alex Acuña adding Latin percussion to the mix, creating spaciousness in a long intro before giving way to colliding prog rock at the seam where King Crimson's "Larks Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 2" meets Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick." "The Lines in My Hand" is the set's most aggressive cut, with a deeply satisfying guitar crunch. "Folklore," with its myriad instrumental and vocal parts, complex melody, and breakbeats, comes off as an eight-minute suite before closing with another jazz- and folk-inflected instrumental entitled "Marrow of the Earth." Love it or hate it, Heritage, for its many excesses -- and stellar conception and execution -- is a brave album. It opens the door for Opeth to pursue many new directions and reinvent themselves as a band. [The Deluxe Edition includes a bonus DVD that includes two extra tracks, a full, 5.1 mix of Heritage, and an hour-long documentary on the making of the album.]

Product Details

Release Date: 09/20/2011
Label: Roadrunner Records
UPC: 0016861770556
catalogNumber: 177055

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Opeth   Primary Artist
Björn J:son Lindh   Flute
Alex Acuña   Percussion
Martín Mendez   Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Mikael Åkerfeldt   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Mellotron,Piano (Grand)
Per Wiberg   Mellotron,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Piano (Grand),Hammond B3
Fredrik Åkesson   Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Joakim Svalberg   Piano (Grand)
Martin Axenrot   Percussion,Drums

Technical Credits

Steven Wilson   Vocal Engineer,Effects Engineer
Mikael Åkerfeldt   Composer,Director,Producer,Engineer,Concept,Filmmaker
Janne Hansson   Engineer
Andy Farrow   Executive Producer
Travis Smith   Artwork

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