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Opeth - Sorceress CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.69 | 497 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I ordered this album and received it on the day it was released (September 30, 2016) and have gave it a few good listens and I am very convinced this could very well be the best album they've done since Mikael Åkerfeldt dropped the death metal growls (starting with Heritage). My copy is the American pink vinyl pressing. I was very amused the label Moderbolaget (Opeth's own personal label) spoofs the swirl Vertigo label of the early '70s. Not that the logo looks anything like Vertigo's, but the appearance and layout on the b-sides of both discs look exactly like the old Vertigo b-side, except for the logo, of course, the same white label and printing arrangements. It's blatantly obvious: Mikael Åkerfeldt is paying homage to the swirl Vertigo label, as he owns quite a few titles from that era of the label, which unfortunately costs a king's ransom, not just the hyper-rare stuff like Ben or Dr. Z, but even Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, and Gentle Giant, especially if they're UK pressings (I did get lucky and acquired an original UK swirl of Gentle Giant's Acquiring the Taste for just $20, the least I paid for a UK swirl original). Given Åkerfeldt is probably not exactly broke due to the success of Opeth allows him to spend ungodly money for those rarities (rarities high on my want list, but can't afford them if copies show up).

This album alternates between heavier stuff, and more acoustic stuff. The heavier stuff is actually heavier than their previous two albums, but if you're expecting a return of the monster growls, you won't find them here. It's basically a continuation of the heavy prog style explored on the previous two, although with more of an edge. At times I get reminded a bit of Anekdoten (a band that I'm sure Åkerfeldt is big on), especially that grungy approach. Aside from the label, the band is making tributes again, with "The Wilde Flowers", an obvious reference of the pre-Soft Machine and Caravan band, and "The Seventh Sojourn" which I'm sure is a Moody Blues reference (although the music has a strong Middle Eastern feel to it). Occasional reminders of Deep Purple surface, but with Åkerfeld's own voice. The opening "Persephone" has a rather medieval feel, reminds me Jan Akkerman's foray into medieval music occasionally found on Focus albums (like "Delitae Musicae" and "Elsbeth of Nottingham"). I am certain the death metal purists have pretty much screamed "Treason" at this band already (especially Pale Communion), forgetting there's always been underlying progressive rock elements (even during the growls), something brought more in the forefront of recent. For the rest of us, this is a really great album of heavy prog, and by far the best they've done in the post+death metal phase.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |


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