OPETH-Sorceress

Moderbolaget/Nuclear Blast

20 September 2016 by Michel van de Moosdijk

If you have been following Opeth from the beginning of their stellar career a little bit more than 25 years ago, you have been in for a weird trip. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Mikael Akerfeldt has during the years defied any sort of logic that a career of a band can have by chopping and changing the musical style of the band as he saw fit. Since the 2011 album ‘Heritage’ the band has more and more progressed into a progressive rock formation that has no boundaries. Opeth or should we say Akerfeldt is an adventurous type. On their twelfth album Opeth offers their fans more musical challenges. The album is a mishmash of everything. It is mellow, hallucinating, moody, folky, bluesy, jazzy, rocky, progressive, mystical and above all intriguing. I can imagine that fans of the early days when death metal influences dominated the music, have lost interest in Opeth, because those influences are long gone and the group has developed into a more seventies style progressive rock group in the regions of Camel, ELO and even Led Zeppelin. There is nothing ‘metal’ about Opeth anymore. But one way or another, I don’t think Mikael and his four compatriots give a damn, because the band has been pretty successful in their musical progression and boundaries moving journey. ‘Sorceress’ is the latest result of that journey with eleven tunes that will take you in a captive hold. It starts with ,,Persephone’’, a two minute instrumental acoustic based prologue and ends with ,,Persephone (Slight Return)’’ that is more based around a rudimentary repeated piano part. In between these two tracks the nine other songs will take you all over the place, like for instance ,,Strange Brew’’ with an acoustic opening exploding in a riff based heavy progressive rock track. One of the best tracks on the album. ,,A Fleeting Glance’’ is the most cheerful song on the CD, that is for most parts pretty dark and somber. On ,,Chrysalis’’ Akerfeldt delivers his best vocal performance and the interaction between guitar and keyboards might remind you of the old Deep Purple perhaps. Without wanting to take everything away from your willing ears, the conclusion is that ‘Sorceress’ is yet again a bold statement from a band that has developed into one of the best progressive rock acts that is out there at the moment. Yes, there are a lot of old fashioned elements in the music and the song structures are sometimes weird and no, it is not too heavy anymore, but at the end of the day Opeth go their own way and there is one thing that they are absolutely NOT: boring. Far from….







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