With their first two albums ‘In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross’ (2015) and ‘The Crowning Of The Fire King’ (2017) Swedish doom metal band Sorcerer established themselves straight away as one of the leading bands in the genre, competing with their countrymen of Candlemass, The Doomsday Kingdom and Avatarium and especially with their second album beating them all on points. ‘The Crowning Of The Fire King’ was of epic proportions reaching the level of the godfathers of the genre: Black Sabbath. Would the band be able to top that? With ‘The Lamenting Of The Innocent’ singer Anders Engberg, the guitarists Kristian Niemann and Peter Hallgren plus the new recruits Justin Biggs (bass) and drummer Richard Evensand (who in the first stages of the band played on their second demo tape) give you an answer that creates clarity. Working over a year on the songs and sound Sorcerer yet again have outdone themselves. Assisted by Conny Welen and Ronnie Björnström (this duo has been involved with all Sorcerer releases so far) in the studio on keys, mix and mastering the band members produced themselves again. Keeping their enormous power and might the sound and songs have been really worked on, nothing has been left to chance and you can bloody hear it. It is not that ‘The Lamenting Of The Innocent’ is just a logical follow-up, no Sir! Sorcerer has developed the sound a bit further without losing even an inch of their identity. More melody has been added, more diversity has been applied but it sounds as natural as can be, this is still Sorcerer that is as recognisable as ever, just as epic and just as powerful. The evolution in sound and songs has been done in a natural way. Yes you might hear some more classic rock and heavy metal on this album and there is also room for a sensitive ballad in the form of ,,Deliverance’’. With these subtle changes Sorcerer absolutely do not lose their image as a doom metal band, the band has just allowed themselves to develop and make their sound more melodic and maybe more accessible as well. The storyline that the songs are telling is without a doubt interesting. If you are into ancient history you might have heard about the fact that in the Middle Ages the Catholic church hunted down witches and people that were seen as heathens or nonbelievers, many of them being tortured and burned to death for no good reason. In a nutshell this is what the lyrics are about with a matching cover design of the album sleeve. On the last song ,,Path To Perdition'’ the main prosecutor gets what’s coming to him. In good and usual tradition with the exception of ,,The Hammer Of Witches’’ and ,,Institorus’’ all songs clock over five, six, seven and eight minutes and the way the songs have been put in sequence on the album is a guarantee that ultimate variation is delivered. Based on monster riffs the songs give the mighty vocal chords of Anders Engberg all the room he needs to direct the tracks to where they are going, while Niemann and Hallgren as always treat the listener on bone crushing riffs and spectacular solos while Biggs and Evensand lay down a beat and power that is second to none. The best thing about ‘Lamenting Of The Innocent’ is that the album just keeps growing and growing. When I heard it first it was already impressive but now a few weeks and a bunch of listening sessions later it has become an almost daily must to hear it. This band has taken the time to create something special for doom, hard rock and metal fans and it has paid off in more ways than one. Probably the best album in its genre so far this year and somehow I have the impression that I have already heard my album of 2020! I just can’t see any other band in this genre coming close let alone topping ‘Lamenting Of The Innocent’. It just leaves me with one thought….How much further can Sorcerer take their music, what kind of ‘next’ level can they reach in the future?
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