Opeth - Sorceress
Label: Nuclear Blast Entertainment
Reviewer: Mohammad Lahham - 2016-10-20
Highlights: Persephone , Sorceress , Sorceress 2, Will O The Wasp
Ever since I heard Opeth back in the mid 2000's for the first time, I became an instant fan of the band, because of their originality and super quality material, fantastic morbid style and poetic type of lyrics , music and performance. and even when they transformed completely into the progressive rock genre, leaving everything death metal behind, I was welcoming of their transition, and I actually enjoyed the last two albums very much, maybe not as much as of some of their earlier material, but still, I completely enjoyed the amazing work as progressive rock act.
Now coming to this album, I really really had high expectations towards it, especially that their last album was a complete work of art, and a highly beautiful masterpiece of an album. so, imagine my disappointment with such album, for the first time ever, I get disappointed with Opeth towards anything they do.
This album completely is not the opeth vibe type of music, Its a combination of the bands ( Camel , Yes and some Genesis ) along with many other influences, made and gathered into one album, to be called original and perfect. I still respect Opeth for what they do, Its their band, and they can do whatever the hell they want to do with it, but as a fan, I am very very disappointed. Do not get me wrong, this album got some solid solid moments and amazing songs, but as in general, this album isnt going to be anyone's favorite album anytime soon.
The album starts beautifully and very promising with an opening acoustic track ( Persephone ) , the perfect album opener to a progressive rock act. Then moves Directly into the 70's directly with the solid track ( Sorceress ) which is by far the most superior track on the album, atmosphere wise, lyrical and even instrumental performance. It contains one of the most interesting riffs of the year in my opinion , so my hopes got seriously high after those two tracks because I somehow build an amazing opinion on such album !
Then comes the third track ( The Wilde Flowers ) which is not bad honestly, it got some little opeth vibe from pre 2007 sound, but still isnt soo good that brought something groundbreaking to the album, The most interesting work about it, is The guitar solo past the 2:40 mark in the song, but as interesting as it was, it didnt seem to fit such a song at all, but also to be fair, the song from the 4 minutes mark gets back on track a little bit, with their ( ghost Reveries ) style , and if the song started from the past the 4 minutes mark, It would've been a lot better, but still as i said , the track is not bad at all, and its one of the better songs of the album.
Moving forward to the fourth track ( Will O The Wisp ), I have to say on this track, that if they added a much Diverse and less repetitive guitar solo like they did in the end of it, it would've been such a great great song, but sadly this song isnt too good, it is actually one of the boring songs on the album, It got great great potential to be a great song, but its just an acoustic track and thats about it, thats how anyone could describe this song, regardless the small short solo playing along in the background.
Then comes ( Chrysalis ) where it reminds me of their ( Heritage ) era where they shocked the entire would with their transition into full prog rock mode, but the only difference is that this song is a little more repetitive and a lot heavier than its pears on this album, the riff repeats its self over and over and over on the course of the first half of the song, with nothing interesting at all coming over out of this song and we are past the 4 minute mark so far, and then out of no where a double instrument solo between guitars and keyboards, and as much as I love double instrumental solos it just didnt fit at all, the song somehow is boring from the beginning and this double solo stunt sadly did not save the song at all, and although the song continues with the guitar solo through the end of the song , where it stops and continues allowing mikael to sing till the song fades to an end.
( Sorceress part II ) then comes to the mix to actually help lift my expectations a little bit with their acoustic try to balance the album, and somehow it did get to me and I actually enjoyed this track, so after many unliked songs, this one comes and helps with this album's case.
( The Seventh Sojourn ) made my hopes even higher with such a tribal vibe, and tribal drums and amazing and sinister acoustic work ! and its almost fully instrumental until in last minute mikael starts singing in the most chanting , relaxing and beautiful way, the OPETH WAY that we all love and adore.
( Strange Brew ) somehow starts perfectly with an acoustic and mellow side with mikael's vocals being astonishing , before the keyboards kicks in and makes a very messy noise before the guitars takes over and balances a little the song, adding a more sinister sound and a more familiar Opeth vibe, the ones we know and love, so .. and then adds a really sweet solo in the midst of it all
( A Fleeting Glance ) is basically a keyboards based track that reminds me of some of the later works of ( ELP ) and not the very good ones , the only thing about the again repetitive boring track , is the short guitar solo fredrek manages to do, and mikael's vocals in some parts of the song.
( Era ) also follows the tracks of its previous track, of being a boring, soulless track, that somehow reminds me of the ( Heritage ) era with the song , slither ! and sadly, the album ends in the most boring track of them all, the ( Persephone - Slight Return ), a piano outro with spoken words that seems very soulless !
I tried for the record to keep an open mind for this album, and i heard it over and over and over and over again, to try to make it grow on me, because im a major Opeth fan, but I couldnt ! Sadly the album is their worst since 2008's Watershed !
I would've got the album a better rating ,but because its Opeth and I care about Opeth , I must give some tough Love ! Come on Opeth, Pull Your Stuff Together guys, Whats wrong with you? If you are trying to piss us hardcore fans off, You did it ! now stop, Its not funny anymore !