Yo, Baby, where u been all my life?
A crystal clear mix of Heavy and Doom Metal pours out of my earphones and just startled me awake. Oscillating between these two styles, but leaning more towards the doomy mix of nuts served with this Metal Long Island Ice Tea.
A long time in the making, the new album In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross of the Swedish Metal Band Sorcerer is like a bunch of vitamins to a somewhat neglected field of this metal universe. Dark, magical, stepping right out of the mists of the treacherous moor onto the stage.
I am so pleased that they have returned, and produced something so corny and steadily metal. This is like enjoying a younger Black Sabbath, combined with a dose of Dio and some Iron Maiden mixed into this menu. Added to that – never forget – are the high-reaching vocals of Anders Engberg, who was with Sorcerer off and on since its inception way back in time. He is adding much-needed spice to this production, a nice counter-weight to the heavy riffs, drums, and stuff going on.
Sorcerer actually started way back in the ’80s, got some action under their belt, and then – nada. Or not much. Some gigs here and there, some releases of remastered older material. Revived back in 2010, they released an album in 2011, or more it got released for them as far as I seem to understand. And now they came back with some brand new and outstanding material.
What a stellar surprise!
The style is really stripped-down metal. And this is consistent, from the beginning to the end of the record. The only kind of botched track is Exorcise the Demon, but otherwise, the album is pretty cool and rock solid. And very glad I am that they checked all that symphonic mystical stuff right at the door. And went on with cool metal into In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross.
This is 7 tracks of pure metal delight and one with mixed feelings. I am listening to the standard version. Starting with The Dark Tower of the Sorcerer, letting her rip right from the beginning. First going steadily Heavy Metal, but very quickly turning into the Doom road. Sumerian Script is very good, but beaten off the pedestal of glory by Lake of the Lost Souls – the change from (doom influenced) Heavy Metal in the last track to Doom is remarkable. And then the solo in the middle: Holy. Shit.
In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross – the title song – leads neatly, but in a kind of grungy way, into the second half of the album. Luckily the record does not lose too much steam towards the end and maintains a pretty steady quality.
Prayers for a King is just state-of-the-art Doom Metal. Ozzy could not have done better. And I particularly like the last song Pagan Dance. Slow, yet spicy with a stellar solo.
This leads me to one of the most positive aspects of this album.
There are guitar solos at every corner of this record, and very good ones, too. I mentioned a few before. And this is one of the hallmarks of a good metal production. Well done, folks!
Well, it looks like the years in waiting for this band have helped them to be very creative. Sorcerer produced some stellar material with all that pent-up energy that just asked for release. In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross – some friggin’ sorcery right there! I like it.