I can't help but admire Opeth, especially the brave genius of Mikael Akerfeldt that stands behind its creative force, and Heritage is its latest embodiment. It sounds like nothing that Opeth has ever done and at the same time it is everything. The form is very different, but the content is full of undeniably Opethian spirit. As the band members have numerously mentioned, the new album is a musical heritage, not only of Opeth's past achievements, but also the music that Mikael likes, e.g. the evident presence of 70's prog and classic rock and, as others have noted, Swedish folk music, which I am not yet familiar with.
This new child of Opeth is not a perfect album, but it is a blow of fresh air; it is daring. One must be free indeed to delete forever two ready songs similar in style to Watershed (and that's what Mikael did) and yield himself to what one's heart is telling him. Free, daring, and independent, this is what this album is, but also utterly original and surprising.
It will take a few spins to start appreciating Heritage, but those spins will take one on an exiting journey. Yes, it will hurt a little at the beginning, but once the mind opens, an entire new world will unravel to discover and explore. Dare to do it.