Album Review : Opeth – Sorceress
30th September 2016, 17:10
Posted by Tristan
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Portrayed in a multitude of characterisations the idea of the woman is that of finesse, fidelity and grace. A compassionate, caring and truly delicate symbol of fertility, culturally shown in a plethora of examples. One of the most prominent being that of the orchid a strong, sensual flower that is both beautiful yet can retain air of deception. Bottling this mystique Opeth return after severing their umbilical cord to the Death Metal accolade they have nurtured. Rebellions against the constraints of genre classification Opeth deliver their blossoming ode to fidelity in Sorceress.

Tracklist:

  1. Persephone
  2. Sorceress
  3. The Wilde Flowers
  4. Will O’ The Wisp
  5. Chrysalis
  6. Sorceress 2
  7. The Seventh Sojourn
  8. Strange Brew
  9. A Fleeting Glance
  10. Era
  11. Persephone – (Slight Return)


Length: 62:00
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release date: September 30th 2016

With no two songs sounding the same Sorceress is a veritable feast for the ears. Gently nuzzling the listener with the quasi Flamenco style preamble of “Persephone” brings the delicate connotations of a woman to the context of the album. Shrouded in deception the songs themselves play a mischievous game. Title track “Sorceress” sees Opeth deftly move into unexplored territory. After the hazy skronking bass the listener is seamlessly transported into the song’s main section seeing Akerfeldt’s vocals truly take flight. Navigating uncharted territory Opeth have always been buoyant outside of their comfort zone. After the proverbial smoke of the previous self titled track has cleared we’re carried into the transient fragrance of “The Wilde Flowers“. Arguably the most experimental track on the record our peacock shows its feathers fairly early on. The purposefully convoluted final riff alluding to confusion with Akesson taking center stage to show Kirk Hammett how a wah-wah pedal should be used.

The mystery behind the genius of Sorceress however lies in the inherit sense of life in the record. The sentient feeling throughout the album brings an understanding of true song writing. Despite its fierce diversity there is an incredible dialect formed in the record’s language. “The Seventh Sojourn” acting as the album’s instrumental midsection settled well within the double harmonic scale gives the midsection an arid clarity. Rustic rustle of “Will O The Wisp” works not only as a hat tip to Ian Anderson and co but neatly tethers the idea of rural silence chanelling then rely awakened inner Progressive spirit.Not one for staying too long in the light we’re retreated back to the cavernous gloom of “Strange Brew” with feather like piano sections working with silence to create a truly mischievous atmosphere before dispelling this hue with some of the heaviest material on the record.

Exhibiting Opeth’s daunting accuracy as a band with stop on a dime riffs as Akerfeldt’s vocals and biting leads coalesce to form a beautiful quasi Psychedlic crescendo in the expansive soundscape of “Era“. Similar to the all put Prog madness exhibited on “Chrysalis” the track could be seen somewhat as a metaphor for the band themselves seeing them break from their confines to greet their absolution, to become whatever they please..  As we return to the album’s coda of “Persephone : Slight Return” casting us back to the album’s beginning. hearing our faceless harlot whispering once more to create a neatly tied end to our sprawling tapestry. With eleven individual petal’s the flourishing flower that is Opeth has once again delivered a world class recording. Which, twelve albums and twenty five plus years into their career, is nothing short of a masterstroke. Reinventing themselves as they flew off the map with Heritage, pulling back the reins with Pale Communion has seen our beautiful maudlin flower blossom when all others wilt. Simply phenomenal.


Sorceress sees Opeth triumph once more, greeting individuality, welcoming the experimental it’s precisely this explorative nature that has made them unattainable all these years and now they can add Prog gods to their intimidating resume.

If you like what you read / heard then you can pick up the brand new album here!