Opeth - Heritage
Alright speaking of disappointments I'll get to this album. Of all the albums released this year, this one is probably the most difficult to rate honestly. Because it's by one of the great kings of Prog Metal, Opeth. You know what, I do like this album - but I almost kept it off this list entirely because it's hard not to be clouded by how much of a disappointment it is. To elaborate, you can look at ANY previous Opeth album, and if I were making a top 25 of their respective years, there is NO WAY that each one wouldn't make the top 10, probably top 5 (and Blackwater Park is probably my favorite album of 2001). Heritage comes in at somewhere half as good as the rest of Opeth, not breaking it's way into my top 20 for this year.
Thus it's difficult for me to admit that I do like this album, because when I try to talk about it I compare it to other Opeth albums in my head and end up wanting to shit all over it for being such a letdown (I suspect this happens with a lot of us
). BUT, trying to be as legit as I can, I say that this is actually a pretty good album. It's soft Opeth, so no growls or really metal parts whatsoever (this is a plus for some, a minus for others - I'm personally neutral towards it). However it's nothing like Damnation
, and barely sounds like Opeth at all at some times. It adopts a more 70s psychedelic vibe, and is probably accurately described as a 'rock' album because it doesn't go completely soft despite dropping all affiliation with metal. There are moments on this album where it really does come together quite splendidly. But the glaring fault is that quite the opposite happens just as often. It's worth an honest listen though, and when looked at without Opeth-tinted glasses it does stand on its own as a good album in my opinion.