Album Review: Opeth – Sorceress

OPETH - Sorceress

On the 30th of September, Opeth released their new album called Sorceress published via the Nuclear Blast imprint Moderbolaget Records, a new record label  owned by the band.

This work follows the lines around a new painting that represents the new style of the band that is slowly taking shape since Heritage, an album which scored the final change for Opeth, leading to the absence of growl vocals and heavier riffs. Sorceress opens with an intro entitled “Persephone,” leading the way that this work will take with a decidedly old school prog and analog sound.

Second song is the title track “Sorceress” which narrates the exploits of this witch with a dull sound and a catchy main theme, intro organ, bass and drums which then give way to a simple riff, but quite heavy; track with serious links with Pale Communion.

“The Wilde Flowers,” the last single released before the album, does indulge Mikael with his ’70s prog influences making the track very dynamic, developing around various themes. “Will O The Wisp” takes us on acoustic journey similar to the first song with a folk atmosphere and a very “hot” solo for lovers of feelings rather than shred. Beyond these features, however, the song may be a little flat.

“Chrysalis” focuses the totally new sound for Opeth and experiments more musically, with solo battles between guitar and organ, almost in the wake of Deep Purple. A definitely solid track and certainly a song that will be most loved by the fans of the “new” Opeth. “Sorceress 2″ turns out to be the opposite of the previous track because of the acoustic style that prevails. Mikael’s voice, characterized by various effects, is a headliner of the song, accompanied by acoustic and keyboard arpeggios. “The Seveth Sojourn” presents an acoustic theme, accompanied by percussions for the first two minutes of the song, followed by an explosion in a strong “Arabic” mood within the final in which the voice always comes loaded with effects while acoustic guitar and piano place the red carpet for the next track.

Here comes “Strange Brew,” easily the best song on the album that follows on the heels of the previous track and explodes with break full of backbeat, the proggiest moment of the album. The last songs, “A Fleeting Place,” “Era” and “Persephone (Slight Return)” close the album recalling the style of Gentle Giant, Camel, ELP. Not bringing anything new, but leading to a more than worthy end of Sorceress.

The album is dynamic and you can hear it in every song, going from calmer moments gently played with a lower volume to those more heavy, pushing up the volume and dynamics in which those moments are played. Sorceress goes straight into the top 10 of the best Prog albums of the 2016 in sweet company with Haken, Katatonia, DTP and others. Playing songs from this album live will not be an easy task for Opeth, but we are well aware of the technical and expressive abilities of the band and we can expect everything.

With Sorceress, Opeth will certainly let the others talk, good or bad, but afterall, the thing is that we listened to it because we definitely enjoyed it.

Rating: 8.5/10

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