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WLM Reviews: Sorcerer – The Crowning of the Fire King

October 8, 2017

Well here is a bit of a surprise.  A band that was formed nearly 30 years ago, now releasing album number two (just two years after the first).  Sounds like there might be some problems, but so far I’ve found Sorcerer’s The Crowning of the Fire King to be quite a good album.I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one much at all, but I went ahead and gave it a shot.  Obviously since it’s getting a review, there must be some redeeming qualities, right?  Right!  Though labeled as a Doom Metal band – and there are certainly some of those elements – Sorcerer comes across as much more a straight ahead Metal band that plays at a moderate to slow pace and maintains a spirit of a traditional style as well.

Metal Blade Records did the right thing by picking up Sorcerer.  These guys are very talented and certainly have a degree of maturity woven into their music.  Sometimes I find Doom to be far too repetitive and slow, but in this case there is a good deal of variety and even some songs that might be called Speed Doom.  OK – that’s kind of dumb, but Sorcerer does more than play at 20 beats per minute.  Once again, the singer is the difference maker.  Anders Engberg has a fantastic voice and lends a lot of gravitas to the album.

There are a couple of tracks that are somewhat detrimental to the overall quality of The Crowning of the Fire King.  They aren’t necessarily bad, just a bit below the standard set by most of the remainder.  Ship of Doom, by its title, should be a massive track, but it doesn’t quite make it there.  It’s actually more of a morose ballad than a bottom heavy Doom Metal song.  It’s OK, but not special in view of the other songs here.  The acoustic instrumental Nattvaka is also all right, but seems more of a filler and doesn’t seem to go much of anywhere.

On the other hand, the other six tracks are very good to excellent.  Opener Sirens, Abandoned by the Gods, the title track, and closer Unbearable Sorrow are as good of songs as you’ll hear in Metal.  Elements like a great sense of melody, passionate playing, great songwriting, and interesting arrangements all contribute to some good Doom Metal with a traditional flair.  Guitarists Peter Hallgren and Kristian Niemann are very much talented and find the room to put their chops on display – both through the Sabbath-like riffs and the killer solos they’ve recorded.

Check out Sirens:

Every once in a while I find a Doom influenced album or group that appeals to me.  Sorcerer is one of those and proves to be talented and able to play some great Metal.  Look for Sorcerer’s The Crowning of the Fire King.  It’s a great album and needs to be heard by the Metal community.

I hear the sound in a Metal way

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