29 November 2016

Opeth - Sorceress

File:Sorceress Album Cover.jpg

This is the twelfth studio album by Opeth and one that I was keen to review as I have had a soft spot for this band for quite a while now. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed.

"Persephone"starts the album off softly, a gentle guitar based intro that leads into the more lively "Sorceress", an electronica whirl that soon settles into a steady, riff driven melody that grabs you and doesn't let go. It might be a little on the slow side for some, but it's effective. "The Wilde Flowers"is a more... whiny track? No, not whiny, but it has that edge to the style of singing that tends to grate a bit. Definitely the weakest of the main album tracks.

Things improve massively with "Will O the Wisp", a western vibe'd track that has more than a hint of Tubular Bells in the key changes. This track, I really liked, putting in mind something like a return of Firefly (if only the TV Gods were so kind). This was my second favourite track.
"Chrysalis" brings us back to earth with a loud, confident cracker of a song, and at over seven minutes long, it manages to hold your attention throughout as it changes to a lovely long fade out at the end.

"Sorceress 2" is another slow, guitar led track that has a haunting feel, one that the lyrics and singing style back with in spades. It's a one tone track, but that's to it's strength.

"The Seventh Sojourn" is my favourite of the lot. This middle eastern-cum American western-cum whatever track is the strongest on the album. Listening to it on the bus, it reminded me of a cross between the Modern Warfare series of game soundtracks and anything you might have heard from the Bourne film series. It has a sense of style that, although hinted at throughout the album, comes to the fore here. The delicate ending is a treat in itself.
"Strange Brew"begins slowly, but not for long, a discordant, jarring song follows for 8 and a half minutes of style, power and changes in tone that bring to mind Sigh at their best. Another good addition to the album.

"A Fleeting Glance" is a softer, more whimsical song, though not without it's own punch here and there, and rather uplifting with some cracking guitar work towards the end.

The penultimate track, "Era", starts with light piano work before the quickly paced main section kicks in, building to a crescendo that doesn't let go, before switching into the final track, Persephone (Slight Return)", which bookends the album rather well.

Overall, I really enjoyed the album, and it's a very simple matter of giving it a 9, even with the dodgy "The Wilde Flowers". As you already know, the best of an admittedly good album is The Seventh Sojourn.

Bonus Tracks - yep, there are five bonus tracks, "The Ward", "Spring MCMLXXIV", "Cusp of Eternity (Live)", "The Drapery Falls (Live)" and "Voice of Treason Live)". The three live tracks are corkers, "The Ward" is fairly generic yet "Spring MCMLXXIV" is simply superb! Head boppingly good, it has more than a touch of mid Pink Floyd, which is no bad thing, yet it has it's own voice.

So, you can follow Opeth here, grab the album from Amazon here, and on iTunes here.

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