Opeth - Heritage

Swedish progressive metal stalwarts Opeth’s 10th album Heritage — which follows 2008′s Watershed and 2005′s Ghost Reveries — is their strangest, most genre-melding to date. For starters it includes guest spots from Swedish flautist/composer Björn J:son Lindh and Weather Report percussionist Alex Acuña. As you may have guessed, it also includes 100% clean singing. Main man Mikael Åkerfeldt refers to Opeth records as “observations.” Of this one he notes, “[I]t feels like I’ve been building up to write for and participate on an album like this since I was 19.” Fittingly, he says he listened to a bunch of Alice Cooper over the past year. There’s also something youthful about the exuberant blend of jazz upswings, “God is dead” lyrics, and stop-on-a-dime tempo shifts in lead single “The Devil’s Orchard.” On the album it follows the two-minute scene-setting opening piano piece “Heritage,” a song Åkerfelt says was inspired by Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson and Swedish folk music. That in mind, take a listen to Heritage’s first explosive moment:


01 “Heritage”
02 “The Devil’s Orchard”
03 “I Feel the Dark”
04 “Slither”

05 “Nepenthe”
06 “Haxprocess”
07 “Famine”
08 “The Lines in My Hand”
09 “Folklore”
10 “Marrow of the Earth”

Heritage is out 9/20 via Roadrunner. Åkerfeldt produced the record and mixed it with Porcupine Tree frontman/guitarist Steven Wilson. Travis Smith worked with Åkerfeldt to create album artwork.

Comments (139)
  1. …um, oh my.

  2. WOW! This was the most amazing musical trip i’ve been on in ages. Definitely a new high for Opeth! See you guys in Bristol!

  3. This is going to be a great album for sure!!!!!!

  4. This reminds me of how Soft Machine, around their fourth album, just decided “Fuck it. We’re a fusion band.” Opeth has always skirted boundaries, but I think they have always done so from a safe “home base,” so to speak. Here they’re really out of their comfort zone, and I applaud them for that.

    • As a old school Progger (Yes,Gentle Giant) I am dying to get this CD. DT introduced me to Opeth around 2000 and at first I was not into Death growls and the like but kept coming back to their music, blew me away. After repeat plays I dug it. So now with Opeth turning full circle this going to be EPIC! Long Live SM,Rush,Genesis,Moody Blues,Spock’s Beard,Enchant,BTBAM,Colosseum,Nektar,Beardfish,Riverside etc. To @Fared Cod Swedan If all you listen to is Death Metal stay with Kataklysm and Goreguts rock on but Opeth is great at all they do.

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    • It’s one damned song, there always were some clean songs on every album, Hours of Wealth, Burden, Harvest etc. What the hell do you seriously think?

      • It was posted earlier but it seems has been edited out. Not sure if it’s still applicable, but there was a reference to the entire album being done with Clean Vocals.

        Not necessarily a bad thing, but we’ll see.

    • Ever hear of a critically acclaimed Opeth Album entitled “Damnation”?

      Clean vocals. 100%.

      • Oh yes, and Damnation is an killer album.

        This song is amazing. It might not have the death growls, but it’s still Opeth, and it’s still Prog. I’m looking forward to the rest of the album.

      • Thank You! This song has been a long time coming and I fuckin love it! Derilec herds as well as Throat of Winter were a good indication that this was the style they were going to go towards…the major change to me is the drum tone.. so jazzy…

      • Damnation album = amazing….but then again so was Deliverance…especially the title track, WOW! I think Mike put it best when he said essentially that there’s no way for him to push the medium forward with growls. If you want straight up death metal, there’s always Bloodbath, although what I heard from them so far didn’t do much for me. Oh, and guitarists, do yourself a favor and get his signature PRS SE guitar, it plays amazingly.

    • yes, the entire album is gonna be clean vocals. Just see this interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ht1seTCcDQ

    • you are an ediot

    • If ONLY the “Black ” album was like this.

      I might still be listening to Metallica today.

      Nice thing about about Opeth is that they are not for the casual listener and therefore not subject to being the flavour of the month.

      Pure gold for musicians and those who like their music to require something of the listener though.

  7. This is fucking incredible. So happy to see Haunting The Chapel getting the premiere too. I am unbelievably stoked for September now. Holy shitting dickballs.

  8. Oh yes, Album of the year anyone? ;D What a killer solo from Freddy! <3

  9. Very progressive. Very awesome indeed! Love the fact Mikael is singing 100% clean! Yeah BOI!!

  10. Man, this HAS to be Liturgy’s best work yet!

  11. Truly transcendental

  12. The death-metal kiddies cant take the proggy awesomeness of this tracks and start to cry… glorious.

  13. Interesting. I’m really diggin’ it.

  14. great sound …. love the music. definitely into new grounds … can’t wait for the release

  15. I hate people who can’t accept change from bands. Everyone moves on to a new sound no matter what. Good track, I’m sure this will be a good Opeth album!

  16. you just have to make yourself to listen to OPETH. they are very cool band even if they don’t make death -growl voice effects.they are very prog in the esence of that meaning!!

  17. wow, what a strange but lovely trip. i hear some neat little psychotic waltz references here and there, i’m psyched to hear the whole thing :D

  18. Im confused at the moment.. i cant get grip from this song until the vocal part.. But dont judge me yet. Its not that i dont like it.. i just need few more times with my headphones with this so i can start understand it. I think there is some insane album incoming! Cant wait.

    • Same here….
      of course a great song, but I need some time to understand it. The beginning with Fuzz-guitar-sounds is confusing me. ;-)
      But for sure, it will be an awesome masterpiece of Opeth!!

  19. I am laughing at all of you jaded Opeth fans who were obviously a fan for the wrong reason. This has ALWAYS been Opeth. Get over yourselves, if you want the same crap over and over and over and over and over, listen to Slayer or Cannibal Corpse.

    This is REAL art, you don’t have to like it.

    It will be nice for the next Opeth show to be nearly devoid of 15 year olds!

    This is progressive… definably!

    • who do you think you are patrick GOD? i’m 28 i like the sound of this song and i like all opeth albums except ghost reveries but to say that only 15 year olds like growls and death screams is rediculous and don’t like slayer or corpsey your a knob think you need to grow up a bit mate i hate people like you so much your not cool your a dik

    • Please don’t slam Slayer like that

  20. Everyone that is saying “OH MY GOD HOW COULD THEY DO ALL CLEAN VOX NEED MY BROOTALZ” are officially stupid. Does everyone seem to forget the album Damnation?

  21. Outstanding change….the appeal of Opeth is for this reason, one moment Mikael is shredding it up the next he is singing clean. Can’t wait for September 29th in Charlotte!

  22. sounds sick but im gonna miss those growls :-/ opeth never disappoints me so its probably gonna be amazing as usual

  23. I like it. If you don’t, so be it. Forget the genre nonsense for fuck’s sake.

    • Addendum – “oh derp i can;z bahleib(er) dey no use mikael’s death-grwohls no more!”

      Damnation anyone? Seriously. Just bask. And if you don’t like it, or it’s not metal enough, go listen to Bloodbath.

  24. That’s what makes OPETH so unique is how they can change styles & still sound bad ass…………………… I to miss those growls.

  25. Opeth is my favorite band of all time, and last album I accepted the fact that they were transitioning from black/death metal to a more stoner and progressive style. I like their new stuff, and even though I’ll listen to the older albums a lot more, I always like to hear the new things Mikael comes out with. The musicianship will always be there at least. I can understand why some fans don’t like this though, so I don’t think the Opeth fanboys on here need to take a holier than thou stance about it. Still excited about the new album, and I’m hoping for at least one crushing song on here for old time’s sake :D

  26. Have you ever listened Damnation album?

    If the answer is yes shut the fuck up because Damnation has clean voice and its one of the best albums

  27. Great song and I love the album artwork. Sounds very much like Opeth to me. I don’t get what all the fuzz is about. Guess people are just narrow-minded, “first demo was the best!”. Yeah, right…



  29. I love this Album, although I guess you can’t really judge the starting of this song all alone ’cause i think it’s gonna be a concept album where you, of course, can list a single track but the whole feeling of this album will only come while listening the full tune.

  30. ahhhhhh so i see you are very interested in the new opeth album;) really cool track it just makes me VERY excited for the new album

    God is dead…..

  31. I am enjoying this immensely, the proggy-ness is so much fun. Definitely different than the Opeth I originally got into (Deliverance in 2006), but all their material is great. I have a total crush on Mikael, and he’s pretty fun live.

  32. Not thee Opeth i was expecting ! … i better lsn to the rest of the album if its concept one !!!

  33. It’s AMAZING! Love this one!

  34. Simply put; This is Opeth. If you don’t like this, then don’t claim to be a fan.

    • That’s amusing. I’ve been a fan since ’97. Simply because I don’t like progressive rock and I’m not too thrilled about this track totally invalidates my ability to be a fan? People who liked Opeth still love the older stuff and hate the newer albums, same goes for those who love the newer stuff.

      Don’t hold it over my head if the band I like decides to take a road I’m not comfortable with. I won’t bash them, I support them in whatever they do. Will I give my ticket to the concert away? You better believe it. I’ll cherish the memories I had and move my own direction, thank you.

  35. My neighbors are hating me right now! Mwahahahaha! *turns up the bass*

  36. Yes, the whole album is clean vox.

  37. This is far from the caliber of damnation. I do enjoy Opeth, but i must say, Damnation and Deliverance was their pinnacle. Upon hearing Devil’s Orchard, i’m not too excited about this album. But, to each his own

    • Personally I like every Opeth album in it’s way. For me they have no ‘pinnacle’ Every single album is a great listening experience on its own. To go really into it: Damnation altough great, was for me way to easy accesible and obvious. Upon hearing this song, I actually like the things they are doing or try to do. It is refreshing and yet the Opeth ‘touch’ remains. I’m looking forward to it.

  38. I was afraid this was going to be a second “Damnation.” (Not saying Damnation is a bad album, but I don’t need two of them). I am pleased to hear some heaviness on this track. It’s like Led Zeppelin rereremastered, set to a jazz rhythm, handed to a club DJ for mixing, and containing the distinctive vocals of Mikael Akerfeldt. That, and it still sounds like Opeth (and not just due to the vocals). How does this band do this?

    Also, I’m not sure why certain “Opeth fans” bash an album for being different from the others. What gives this band the longevity that most groups struggle to maintain is the fact that they are not content with releasing another Ghost Reveries or another My Arms Your Hearse. They recognize that if you’re a fan, you have those…you don’t need more of the same.

  39. this sounds distinctively like Opeth, but obviously a new version. I like it :) Still waiting for that black metal album though Mr. Akerfeldt

  40. If you didn’t for a moment consider the possibility that Watershed was leading up to an album like this, then in my opinion you’re stupid. Stephen Chwalek is right. This album will separate the true music lovers from the metal heads. This still sounds like Opeth to me, and I love it. Every band worth their salt should have at least one album that polarises their fanbase. You can’t keep writing the same stuff forever – It just goes stale. Somebody earlier mentioned Cannibal Corpse, and I agree – I love Cannibal Corpse, but if you’ve got one album you’ve pretty much got them all.

    • You’re exactly right. They cannot keep writing the same stuff forever – no one can. With that said though, their discography is more diverse than almost any other band. Stylistically, Opeth’s albums have similarities, but each one is a layered, multi-textured delight in its own right.

      The sound is amazing. While there are no death vox, this isnt exactly as melancholy or demure as Damnation is, and I think they’ve found the perfect balance. This song is as good as anything Akefeldt has written, and I think it safe to say our collective expectations for this album are pretty high.

  41. I do sort of wish Axe would relax his playing slightly on songs such as this, though. It feels like he’s right up on it when he – in my opinion – needs to sit back a notch.

  42. fk ALL OF YOU PROG FGS KNOCKING DEATH METAL AND METAL IN GENERAL I L;IKE ALL OPETH(except ghost reveries)and i like alittle band called blood bath remember them the band akerfeldt and co started because that is what inspired them originally your all gay…opeth rule…

  43. This album will separate the true Opeth fans from the noobs. Fuck all of you. GOD IS DEAD!

  44. Did anyone get that Opeth 7″ from record store day this past year? If you think this is really changing things up, you should check that out. It’s basically a straight folk record… really cool though.

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  46. perhaps, in a parallel dimension where the shame of sweden and the ungifted apprentice of satriani convinced james to develop it’s 70′s prog components further.

  47. when are you coming to australia?? please be soon!

  48. Love This! I have never heard bad music from opeth !

  49. Love it! It’s really different from what they’ve done before, but it’s still Opeth! Can’t wait for the album!

  50. I was at least expecting a song like Harlequin Forest, the first part that is. This is.. different..

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