This is, hopefully, the tenth album for the Swedish metallers. The band has changed its musical style through the years… and the “Mikael Akerfeldt & co.” is now moving in a whole new music path. If I can recall… they said years ago (Mikael did) that they would never lose that extreme metal elements and the brutal vocals.
“Heritage” is quite the opposite as far as the previous statement of the band’s mastermind and composer is concerned. This album is heavily influenced by 70s prog rock music… with some psychedelic 70s elements here and there… it has a metal edge… but nothing that will bring the previous metal albums of the band on your mind. Some may say that this is evolution… yeah… evolution is to play minimal techno music as well… so, what is evolution after all… it’s all in the eye of the beholder. If you are a metal-head and like to hear extreme metal riffs and brutal vocals… and suddenly someone feeds you with flutes, acoustic guitars, various effects as well as prog/jazzy and psychedelic elements from the 70s… then… I do not think that you will be very happy with that.
This could have easily been a new Steven Wilson project or even Porcupine Tree’s new album… of course, Steven would have made it way better. So, now that the band’s music style has changed dramatically… do they have any good songs… some may ask. I’m afraid that they lack inspiration… that’s pretty obvious if you are following the band for at least the past 7-8 years… from album to album, they are losing their inspiration. The album is quite boring and uninspired… and the good production (Mikael did it himself) cannot change the lack of good songs.
Mikael has always been the exclusive composer of Opeth… everything is done according to his will… maybe, it’s time to let others contribute to this band… or… perhaps he should form a project where he can share all his agonies and his childhood musical influences. Only the diehard fans of the band will find something good in this album… but believe me, even those are gonna play their older album more often… in order to enjoy. Opeth never managed to become a big band… and surely, they won’t succeed now… I said it years ago… if you are on the 5th -6th release and you haven’t made a breakthrough, then you will never will…. especially if you’ve just released your tenth album. This is, without doubt, the most uninspiring and boring album of the band up to now.