Tuesday 18 October 2016

Opeth - Sorceress (Album Review)

Release date: September 30th 2016. Label: Moderbolaget, Nuclear Blast. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Sorceress – Tracklisting

01. Persephone
02. Sorceress
03. The Wilde Flowers
04. Will O The Wisp
05. Chrysalis
06. Sorceress 2
07. The Seventh Sojourn
08. Strange Brew
09. A Fleeting Glance
10. Era
11. Persephone (Slight Return)

Band Members:

Mikael Åkerfeldt – vocals, guitar, production
Fredrik Åkesson – guitar, backing vocals
Joakim Svalberg – piano, keyboard, backing vocals
Martín Méndez – bass guitar
Martin Axenrot – drums, percussion


Yes. That's right. Outlaws Of The Sun are reviewing the new Opeth record. I've been given boss man Steve's blessing to stray outside of our normal subject matter because, well because Opeth.

I'm going to go ahead and just tell you where I stand on this whole "Make Opeth growl again" matter.
If you miss the growling and the more typical heavy riffs go and put on Blackwater Park and get over yourselves. Not every band is content to churn out the same album time after time after time. (Hi Slayer!)

OK with that neatly tidied up lets move on.

Sorceress is the natural progression (pun intended) from Pale Communion, the riffs are riffier, for example the incredible title track, which is impossible not to play air guitar to and the prog is proggier, a great example of this also being the title track.

In fact this is a trick deployed throughout the whole record, giving Sorceress the perfect blend of blood and thunder and also the more flamboyant 70s influenced freedom to explore the tracks. Special mentions for the wonderful vocal hook in The Wilde Flowers proving Opeth's metal credentials (lighting a light as the flames grow higher/searing skin on a funeral pyre) and also for Will O The Wisp.

Imagine Harvest from Blackwater Park, but better. An absolutely beautiful track which perfectly showcases why Opeth don't growl anymore. Because if you could sing like Mikael Akerfeldt sings you wouldn't either. I genuinely think I'd get goosebumps listening to him sing his shopping list.

In Sorceress, Opeth have once again delivered an album that excels in incredible song writing, flawless musicianship and beautiful story telling. They've also delivered an album which will no doubt divide opinion again. I know which side of the debate I'm on and I urge you if you're unsure to give this a spin as otherwise you could be missing out on a strong candidate for album of the year.

Words by Simon Ross Williams