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Heritage - Opeth

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Genre: Rock / Artist: Opeth / CD+DVD / Audio CD released 2011-09-19 at Roadrunner Records

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      13.05.2012 16:51
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      A mellow and laid back album that's great as atmospheric music.

      Ok many Opeth fans will know them as heavy metal and Djent with harsh vocals and overdriven guitar. In Heritage, there is none of that. For the guitar, you're going to hear what sounds like single coil stratocasters played quite often using finger picking. This isn't really unfamiliar territory with Opeth after releasing Damnation which was along the same lines. Opeth have always been a band that has never failed to suprise me. I never really know what to expect from the next song on each album unlike so many other metal/rock bands out there. In heritage you're going to hear inspiration from jazz, prog metal and maybe even a little country. Don't let this put you off, the more you listen to this album the more you'll love it! At first I was sort of let down that it wasn't a heavy album but trust me, there is no reason to be let down by this!

      Here's a breakdown on each song.

      Heritage
      ------------
      This beautiful piano opening sets the scene for the album. I was waiting for a riff or drum beat to kick in after about a minute of this but it just kept going, being nothing short of a masterpiece. I'm not sure if there's acompanyment from a double bass being plucked or an electric bass guitar played on clean, but it creates a romantic/classical feel and I wouldn't be suprised to hear Liszt or Choping playing this... Great introduction to the album.

      The Devil's Orchard
      ----------------------
      Ok here we hear the conventional rock band instruments. The twangy single coil pickups really stand out over the top of the solid bass line. This song is extremely progressive metal and I can hear some jazz aspects in the texture of the piece. Vocals on this album are entirely clean as I said above and they sound great! There's plenty of breakdowns on this piece making it difficult to actually put a structure on it. Each section is different, keeping your attention and creating suspense.

      I Feel The Dark
      --------------------
      This is one of my all time favorite pieces. The timing is pretty complicated for the introducing guitar showing their previous Djent influences. I absolutely love the section 4:45 onwards with beautiful vocal harmonies and phrasing. This song also is a good example of how good the bass guitar is on the album.

      Slither
      ------------
      One of the least complex songs on the ablum, but also one of the best. It's got a kickass riff and a great solo! The vocals are amazing on this too and fits in perfectly with the rest of the band. The drums are really great in this song too with nice fills and tom work.

      Nepenthe
      -------------
      This song is a little slow to start, with a quiet guitar opening backed up by some bass. This song doesn't really get going until around 2:40 where it sounds very jazzy and energetic. It sort of acts as a cooldown after Slither and gives the whole album an atmospheric effect.

      Háxprocess
      ------------
      This song opens up with a conversation between the vocals and either a keyboard or guitar. (it's hard to tell with all the effects). Once again it takes a while to get going, but when it does, it sounds great. It's best to put this on in the background and get on with some work and it'll blend in to the background perfectly. I find this piece especially relaxing.

      Famine
      ------------
      Ok this piece has about 1:30 that I would just cut out... it gets a little boring with nothing but background noise. Overall this song is probably me least favorite it's just a little boring.

      The Lines In My Hand
      ----------------------
      Drums are great in this track as you'll hear from the opening. Nice to see a drummer doing something unique rather than just double pedal and blast beats... The bass in this is kickass with amazing riffs. The guitar sounds almost Spanish and you could perhaps say it has some disonance. The vocal harmonies sound great, check this one out!

      Folklore
      ------------
      Slow paced, very Mastodon sounding song here with some really nice guitar licks and melodies. Once again the bass guitar shines through as being a main instrument in the making of this album.

      Marrow of The Earth
      ---------------------
      Approaching the end of the album here, this track is heavily guitar centred with beautiful melodies. I actually chose this piece to play for my music performance exam as I liked it so much! Very classicaly inspired and sounds amazing. If you're looking to chill out, listen to this!

      Pyre
      -------
      Nothing really new in this piece, it fits in well with the rest of the album. Personally I think there's a little too many of these slow paced songs that feel like they don't really go anywhere. Yeah they're good, but I think Opeth could have put them all together to make one large song instead of many shorter ones.

      Face In The Snow
      -----------------
      More gentle guitar introductions, played on what sounds like a spanish guitar. The vocals in this song are breathtaking... I found this song touching and nothing short of beautiful. A great finish to this album that I consider to be a masterpiece.

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