Genre: Epic, Doom, Heavy Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
Swedish Sorcerer handed important writing samples at a time when you could count the Epic Doom Metal bands of the world map, on the fingers of your 2 hands.
It is no coincidence that John Perez himself took the material of their 2 demos (“Sorcerer” of ‘89 and “Inquisition” of ‘92) and released it in that infamous “Sorcerer” CD collection of ‘95, with the band being already broken apart and with those listening to that material literally speechless. And it’s also no coincidence that as many Epic Doom Metal bands have appeared in the 1990s and later on, have reportedly mentioned-and still mention-Sorcerer as a major influence.
In 2010 the Swedes decided to get back in action and from the “In The Shadow of the Inverted Cross” of 2015 they follow a specific sound pattern which they gradually evolve in both “The Crowning of the Fire King” of 2017 as well as their latest work that is none other than “Lamenting of the Innocent”.
The sound pattern I am referring to has to do with the development of classic Heavy Metal elements that coexist along with the Epic Doom element of Sorcerer, which, however, is enriched. The Swedes maintain the classic formulas that gave birth to the Epic Doom stigma of their demos, but now focus on the sound heritage of Tony Martin’s era of Black Sabbath and specifically on the 2 most recognizable albums of this particular period: Headless Cross and Tyr.
The combination of all the above has become rather noticeable to those observing the bands course from “In the Shadow …” onwards, but it is clearly obvious that in “Lamenting of the Innocent”, the sound of the new Sorcerer is at its absolute climax. The new formula now works as a tool and the result is a well-written, inspired and to the point album which I personally consider the most complete sample of writing that Sorcerer has provided since their restart.
A single listen to the imposing “Hammer of the Witches” which is the first single of the album is enough to put you into the mood of the album. Imposing, mid tempo with Sabbathian main riff and epic chorus. The second single “Dance With The Devil” is clearly one of the darkest tracks on the album, while the third single in a row, called “Deliverance”, clearly shows the band’s synthetic virtues: Acoustic on one hand, melancholic and epic on the other, a beautiful a piece sealed by the voice of the great Johan Langquist (Candlemass).
Speaking of vocals, I must not forget to mention Anders Engberg, whose voice was and is the trademark of Sorcerer. In this current album we hear him in some really great moments of interpretation such as in the homonymous “Lamenting of the Innocent” which I personally consider the best track of the album. “Institoris” and “Where Spirits Die” are also songs that I singled out. The first one for its diversity (nice vocal melodies, variety in tempos and one of the best choruses on the album). The second one for its dark, almost mournful imposingness.
The lyrical background of the album is another positive element. It has to do with one of the darkest aspects of modern history: the witch hunt and the church as a carrier of blood and terror. Sorcerer’s favorite theme. Take a look at the title and cover from that ‘92 demo and you’ll understand.
In conclusion we are dealing with an excellent album; you’ll find many familiar references there. Sabbath, Rainbow, Maiden and Candlemass in their debut, all of this under the recognizable Epic Doom stigma of Sorcerer.