Friday, May 27, 2011

OPETH: 'Heritage' Album Details Revealed

Swedish progressive metallers OPETH will release their tenth album, "Heritage", on September 20 via Roadrunner Records. The CD was produced by OPETH vocalist/guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt and was recorded earlier this year at Atlantis studios (formerly Metronome studios) in Stockholm. Mixing duties were handled by Steven Wilson (PORCUPINE TREE) and Åkerfeldt. Longtime collaborator Travis Smith also worked with Åkerfeldt to create, design and execute the album's artwork.

"Heritage" will be released in several configurations that will certainly incite the interest of OPETH's legion of fans, known for their passion for collecting and collectibles. The album will be released as a standard version; as a special edition loaded with extras; as a box set exclusive to the Roadrunner and the band's own official Omerch webstore; and as a double LP. There is something for every OPETH fan, thanks to this variety of options.

Commented Åkerfeldt, "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."

"Heritage" track listing:

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

OPETH will embark on a seven-week, headline tour of the U.S. Dates will be announced imminently.

OPETH's last album, "Watershed" (2008), sold more than 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 23 on The Billboard 200 chart. Its predecessor, "Ghost Reveries", debuted at No. 64 on the Billboard chart back in September 2005 with first-week sales of just under 15,000. OPETH's 2003 album, "Damnation", opened with a little over 5,000 copies.

Keyboardist Per Wiberg was relieved of his duties as a member of OPETH last month as part of a mutual decision with the band. Keyboard duties on upcoming tours will be handled by a musician who is already rehearsing with the group. Said musician’s identity will be released at a later date.

Åkerfeldt released the following statement on the matter: "Well, it's been somewhat of a revolving door of members during the last couple of years, and now Per is no longer a member. [Martin] Mendez [bass], Axe [Martin Axenrot, drums] and Fredrik [Åkesson, guitar] and I came to the decision that we should find a replacement for Per right after the recordings of the new album, and this came as no surprise to Per. He had, in turn, been thinking about leaving, so you could say it was a mutual decision. There's no bad blood, just a relationship that came to an end, and that's that. We wish Per the best, and he did a splendid job recording keyboards for the last record, which stands as his final recording with OPETH."

As part of the celebration of their 20th anniversary, OPETH released live footage and audio from the band's performance at London's famed Royal Albert Hall. The concert (recorded on April 5, 2010) included two sets, the first consisting of the band performing 2000's now-classic, breakthrough epic "Blackwater Park" in its entirety, and the second, a chronologically arranged selection of material from the rest of OPETH's extensive catalogue, totaling almost three hours of music. "In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall" is, like the rest of OPETH's greatest work, "purposefully warped in all the right places" (Decibel). The front cover artwork concept pays tribute to DEEP PURPLE's "Concerto for Group and Orchestra", underlining the band's longstanding love for their prog-rock roots.

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