As Opeth are wrapping up their new album and prepping for a tentative June release, some of the journalists were lucky enough to get an early copy of the yet-untitled effort.
One of those guys was Greg Kennelty of Metal Injection, who was also kind enough to share his thoughts on the fresh stuff and even post a full review.
Noting that he "liked 'Heritage' but I thought it could've been a little more focused at times" and stressing once again that this is clearly not the final version of the record, the journalist kicked off the song-by-song rundown, ultimately drawing the following conclusion:
"Honestly? This is the best record Opeth have put out since 'Ghost Reveries.' The band continues their tradition of not repeating themselves but in a much better, more accessible way than they have in the past. The melodies and riffs from each song are instantly identifiable as that particular song, the new elements incorporated into the music fit extremely well and it seems like the record was written with each separate song in mind.
"As in it doesn't sound like any particular song revolves around one singular instrument or riff, but has everything beautifully play off each other. Where 'Heritage' and 'Watershed' may have been a little unfocused at time or lost in their own adventure of a new song, this record knows exactly what it's doing and nails it through and through.
"I'll even go as far as saying this record conveys the widest range of emotions I think I've ever heard Opeth convey, and with unbelievable grace and style. Absolutely none of the writing is heavy-handed in trying to get a point across.
"As a point of reference, I'd say this record is either the missing link between 'Damnation' and 'Ghost Reveries' or if 'Heritage' was written directly after 'Ghost Reveries' without 'Watershed' having ever existed. You get the idea.
"So hey, Opeth. If any of you are reading this - thanks. You've written one of my favorite records of 2014. If not my favorite record of 2014. If not my favorite record of the last few years," the reviewer concluded.
The full review also includes detailed thoughts on each of the eight new songs. Check it out here.