I’m a lifelong fan of Opeth. Um, meaning Opeth’s lifespan. I’m excited about the September release of their new album “Heritage,” even if that means parting with money that certain parties I don’t exactly support will benefit. Cryptic. Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out who I mean.
Anyway, part of anxiously awaiting the band’s 10th album is finally getting to see the album art, and it is … interesting? It’s almost awesome. Almost. I like the burning castle, the weird medieval village, the dual devils underground, even most of the tree. It’s the fruit on the tree that makes me chuckle. The band’s heads?! Whose idea was THIS? It makes a pretty cool album cover into something campy and worthy of mocking. I mean, their HEADS?! And do they have to look so damn goofy? Can’t they be dead or bleeding? At least less whimsical? This is death metal after all. Well, here it is…
Their longtime collaborator Travis Smith is responsible for this thing. Maybe I’m making too much of this because at the end of the day, it’s just album art. The music on said album is what really matters, and we’re still waiting for even a few seconds of that. A single/video for “The Devil’s Orchard” is expected soon, so that’ll be our first taste of this thing.
The record is in stores Sept. 20, and there will be special versions available through both the band and their label Roadrunner. Below is the track listing. Note that there are 10 songs, which is few more than we typically get from the band (2008’s “Watershed” had seven cuts, though an expanded version has three bonus tracks). Despite the cover, I’m psyched.
2. The Devil’s Orchard
3. I Feel the Dark
8. The Lines in My Hand
10. Marrow of the Earth
Another notable fact is keyboard player Per Wiberg has left the band in a move that sounds amicable. He performed on the record, but reportedly Joakim Svalberg (Yngwie Malmsteen, Glenn Hughes) has been practicing to perform live with the band. He’d join band leader/guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt, bassist Martin Mendez, guitarist Fredrik Åkesson, and drummer Martin Axenrot. Opeth’s tour lands in the United States in September, and you can find the tour dates below. Obviously I’m sad the band won’t be hitting Pittsburgh. Let me Mapquest that trip to Columbus …
(UPDATE! Opeth and Katatonia play Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh on Halloween evening. Should not have spoken so soon…)
Sept. 19: Worcester, MA (Palladium)
Sept. 20: Hartford, CT (Webster Theatre)
Sept. 21-22: New York, NY (Webster Hall)
Sept. 26: Columbus, OH (Newport Music Hall)
Sept. 28: Nashville, TN (Cannery Ballroom)
Sept. 29: Charlotte, NC (Amos’ Southend)
Oct. 06: Kansas City, MO (Beaumont Club)
Oct. 08: Winnipeg, MB (Garrick Centre)
Oct. 16: Portland, OR (Roseland Theater)
Oct. 21: Pomona, CA (The Fox Theater)
Oct. 25: Denver, CO (Ogden Theater)
For more on the band, go here: http://www.opeth.com/
For the band’s web shop, go here: http://www.omerch.com/
For the band’s label, go here: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/