OPETH – 'Sorceress' (2016)

29 September 2016
OPETH – 'Sorceress' (2016)
  • Лейбъл: Nuclear Blast/Wizard
  • Издаден: 2016
  • Aвтор: Nikola Shahpazov
  • Оценка:

If you’ve been following OPETH’s YouTube channel during the last month or so, then you already know what to expect from 'Sorceress' –  the band uploaded two lyric videos (the self-titled track plus 'Will O the Wisp'), as well as a bunch of webisodes, depicting the process of studio work.

If you’re unaware of those particular uploads, then be warned – OPETH’s new work is by no means a second 'Ghost Reveries' (not to mention a follow-up to 'My Arms Your Hearse'), so sorry – no death metal riffing and no infernal growls from Mikael (except for live events).

'Sorceress' is a nearly perfect, heavily conceptual and dimly-occult progressive rock album possessing that undeniably OPETH vibe, while being unapologetically influenced by a myriad of grand bands (Mikael and Fredrik point out Caravan, Queen, Porcupine Tree, Led Zeppelin and even ABBA). What’s even better – 'Sorceress' is the nearly perfect prog product, pretty much unlike its unusually flawed predecessor 'Pale Communion'.
 
This is without any doubt the OPETH album that features most prominent use of piano and all sorts of synthesizers (check out the technical details at the YouTube videos) – and that’s easy to heat both in the title track 'Sorceress', as well as in the awesome 'The Seventh Sojourn' – both perfect examples of how rich, multi-layered and at the same time perfectly balanced and un-kitschy the album’s sound is.
 
'Sorceress' is heavy-on acoustics as well (check out 'Will O the Wisp' – a nearly perfect outtake from Jethro Tull’s 1979 'Stormwatch' sessions), making it sound at times as un unlikely comtinuation of the semi-acoustic 'Damnation' but then again, it’s a full-on OPETH release with heavy guitars and tasty solos that work most delightfully on 'Era' and 'The Wilde Flowers'.
 
Now is ever more important to stress how important it is to listen to 'Sorceress' in its entirety and not as individual tracks. It is quite a pleasure to feel and listen to how brilliantly 'The Seventh Sojourn', 'Strange Brew', 'A Fleeting Glance' and 'Era' blend and work with each other, following one another. This here release is so full of great surprises it takes a while to fully emerge oneself into it. And it’s most certainly worth every second.

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