Heritage - (Import CD)


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Sweden’s most revered and respected progressive metal mavens Opeth will release Heritage, their third album for Roadrunner, on September 20th. The first video and single will be the song “The Devil’s Orchard”. Heritage follows up 2008’s Watershed and 2005’s Ghost Reveries, each of which garnered the forward-thinking, genre-bending band some of the best reviews of their career. Opeth frontman and guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt weighed in on Heritage, saying, "It will be our 10th album/observation. I dig it; we all do. In fact, it feels like I've been building up to write for and participate on an album like this since I was 19." Åkerfeldt went a little deeper and described the music contained within Heritage, saying, "It's quite intense at times in some 'old' murky way, and quite beautiful and stark at times, if I may say so myself. It's obvious I'm going to say nice things about it since I wrote basically the whole piece, but I guess it will raise a few eyebrows and it certainly is an acquired taste. I think you'll need a slightly deeper understanding of our music as a whole to be able to appreciate this record. I've realized my influences for this album are so diverse that I can't really say what it sounds like. If I can compare it to any other band, it would have to be Opeth, but it's different from the stuff we've done before. I've listened a lot to Alice Cooper for the last year, yet I can't say it sounds like 'No More Mr. Nice Guy'. I hope you'll like it once you hear it." The album was produced by Åkerfeldt and mixed along with Porcupine Tree frontman/guitarist Steven Wilson, who is also a labelmate of Opeth. Longtime collaborator Travis Smith also worked with Åkerfeldt to create, design and execute the album’s artwork.

  1. Performer
  2. Heavy Metal
  3. Progressive Metal
Number of Discs
Copy Control
Number of Items
Country of Origin
Elektra (Label)
Mono / Stereo

Rolling Stone (p.68) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Add flutes, Middle Eastern percussion and Celtic- and flamenco-specked guitar beauty, and you have a career record that reimagines prog as actual rock & roll..."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.99) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Acoustic and keyboard textures of all kinds blend with unpredictable arrangements and unexpected sonic sidesteps..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.86) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[C]hugging riffs segue into extended passages of jazz fusion or sombre Scandinavian folk."

  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] - Heritage
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] 2-- The Devil's Orchard
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] 3-- I Feel The Dark
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] 4-- Slither
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] 5-- Nepenthe
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] 6-- H--xprocess
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] 7-- Famine
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] 8-- The Lines In My Hand
  9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] 9-- Folklore
  10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] 10-- Marrow Of The Earth
Songs / Tracks
  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Heritage
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Devil's Orchard, The
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] I Feel the Dark
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Slither
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Nepenthe
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] H„xprocess
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Famine
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Lines in My Hand, The
  9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Folklore
  10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Marrow of the Earth
Pop / Rock
Release Date
1 September 2011
South Africa

Personnel: Mikael kerfeldt (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, grand piano, Mellotron); Fredrik kesson (electric guitar); Per Wiberg (grand piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond b-3 organ, Wurlitzer organ, Mellotron); Mart¡n Mendez (upright bass, electric bass); Martin Axenrot (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixers: Steven Wilson; Mikael kerfeldt.
Recording information: Atlantis Studios, Stockholm (03/2011); Junkmail Studios, Stockholm, Sweden (03/2011); No Man's Land Studios, Hemel Hempstead, UK (03/2011); Atlantis Studios, Stockholm (2010-2011); Junkmail Studios, Stockholm, Sweden (2010-2011); No Man's Land Studios, Hemel Hempstead, UK (2010-2011).
Photographer: Sandra Artigas.
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 kerfeldt, 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 kesson and matching drums by Martin Axenrot. With a huge, swirling B-3 in the backdrop, it melds progressive metal to prog rock, with kerfeldt's clear, clean singing. "I Feel the Dark" marries kerfeldt's classical guitar to piano, flute, a droning Martin Mendez bassline, and double-timed, quietly tense drum kit work. "Slither" sounds like Mot”rhead 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 kerfeldt's crooning, thundering basslines, and syncopated drums. At eight-and-a-half minutes, "Famine" is the album's most abstract cut, with guest Alex Acu¤a 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. ~Thom Jurek

56m 58s
Audio Format
PCM Audio
Studio / Live
Video Disabled
Mikael Akerfeldt
  1. Opeth
Date Released
Janne Hansson; Mikael Akerfeldt
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