Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Opeth: Heritage

So I've been a fan of Opeth for a good long while, ever since their "Ghost Reveries," album. I have anticipated every Opeth album since with great anticipation, so to say I was expecting great things from Heritage is an understatement. To say the least, I wasn't disappointed. Yes, those fans of Growl Vocals will be let down. There are no such vocals on this album. But for me, maybe since I'm getting a little older, and that I come form the older days of metal, before the full-throttle onset of death metal vocal overload, I was a great fan of Iron Maiden, Ronnie James Dio, and others.

I grew up around Tampa Florida, which at the time was the Death Metal capital of the world. I was there when this style of vocals emerged. I grew to like it, but as time has passed, I think it's become a detriment to the musicality of some bands...one such band (to me) is Isis. I purchased their, "Wavering Radiant," cd and loved the music, but any time that dude harps on with his death vocals, it destroys the beauty of what's lying beneath the layer of harsh vocals.

Ok, enough said there, now back to Opeth. One of my most favorite albums of their is, "Damnation," which as most of us know is nearly all acoustic and possesses such mood that it nearly claims your soul. The same can be said for, "Heritage."

To me, "Heritage," is nothing short of a masterpiece that not only appeals to those fans of metal, but it can appeal across the board to multiple genre's of music for it's shear brilliance of musicallity. The silence in between the notes is almost as potent as the notes being played. So I'm not going to go down a track listing, all I can say is this album breath's life into the listener from the opening brevity of the solo piano piece to the end, with the slow melodic guitar as it fades out. It has it's slightly heavier moments, but nothing really metal'ish. To me, it's more like Jethro Tull or Deep Purple with it's classic sound.

Seeing how they recorded this album almost raw, without a ton of processors, the sound is really rooted to the true Heritage of what great, magical music once sounded like--Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Zappa. The musicality in this new offering is equally dynamic, with almost jazzy drums in certain spaces, combined with a haunting flute, in combination with the primal percussion. I can't help but recommend this album to anyone who loves great music--not metal, but great, true, honest music, that stirs your soul.

Also, I was fortunate enough to be able to see them on this tour, at Amos Southend, in Charlotte N.C. It was a great evening. They refrained from any Growl Vocals and really concentrated on playing their more chill, ambient, and acoustic material from past to present. Yes, there were a few moments when they rocked out hard, but for the most part, it was a very chill evening. And very worth while. Katatonia was a great opener; I have since purchased two of their CD's, and am very glad I did.

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