(9/10) I have expected a great album from Opeth and the guys delivered. Actually the five-piece exceeds expectations with a longplayer that is fantastic from all perspectives.
What started many years ago in Stockholm as a furious death metal project developed over time to one of the most influential progressive metal acts, including a warm classic rock-based sound. Mikael Âkerfeldt and his gang continue the journey they start with records like Heritage" and "Pale Communion".
This time the album isn't build on a concept or a storyline. Each of the songs is an individual masterpiece that shows how all the variants heavy metal can offer.
"Persephone" is an acoustic opener that acts as an introduction for "Sorceress" - the next track and name-giver for this longplayer. Already the intro shows that Opeth has no problem with adding more silent moments to their sound. It's a great start before the title track takes over the scene. This number is a complex one that is build on many layers. However, the flow is guaranteed which makes the track to an approachable one; also for non musicians. It's anyhow the joy of this album that Âkerfeldt and band write songs that are complex without compromising on the song itself. There is a 'part 2' on the album too. "Sorceress 2" is a quiet song that builds a counterpart to the smashing titel track. I felt reminded of Alan Parsons when I listened to this number, something I see a positive sign.
"Will O the Wisp" is also one of these harmonic moments when bigger soundscapes replace harsh metal riffs. I guess that not that many bands with death metal roots could get away with this kind of music. The fact that Opeth fans actually appreciate this kind of music is soemthing that underlines the importance and the credibility of the five guys from Stockholm. Mikael Âkerfeldt and bandmates don't play this kind of music for any commercial or whatever reason. It's music that comes purely out of their hearts, a fact that makes Opeth so authentic and real.
Next to these silent moments of reflection there are the wild ones too. "The Wilde Flowers" is a very rhythm-based track that includes well-done keyboard parts. "Chrysalis" is also one of the heavier moments on the album with Opeth referring to classic rock as a general inspiration for this tune.
I song I also like a lot on this longplayer is called "Era" and comes a bit closer towards the end. The piano in the beginning gives the tune a certain depth before it builds up to a progressive masterpiece that comes with many twists, sometimes expected and sometimes unexpected.
"Sorceress" is the expected highlight of the years. It's an album that strengthens Opeth position in metal and lifts the guys into the premier league of rock music. Very well done guys.
- The Wilde Flowers
- Will O the Wisp
- Sorceress 2
- The Seventh Sojourn
- Strange Brew
- A Fleeting Glance
- Persephone (Slight Return)
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date EU: September 30st, 2016