Opeth - Sorceress
Progressive Metal / Heavy Psych
Moderblagat / Nuclear Blast
Opeth have been running the show and ruling the roost of progressive metal ever since the mid 90’s. At the turn of the century Opeth started churning out some of their strongest work to date, aided by producer extraordinaire and Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson. Albums such as Still Life, Blackwater Park, and Ghost Reveries have stood the test of time as masterpieces of progressive death metal, incorporating adventurous song arrangements and structures, an expert understanding of dynamics, and stellar musicianship. Over the last few years, bandleader Mikael Akerfeldt and crew have slowly drifted away from their more extreme death metal roots into a weird amalgamation of 70’s progressive rock and crunchy psychedelic hard rock which has alternatively expanded their fanbase and caused a massive rupture in longtime listeners pining for the old growling days. This transition came to head with 2011’s excellent but challenging Heritage, and it continues with Sorceress, another enigmatic combination of heavy psychedelic rock and prog. I wouldn’t say that everything is completely successful here, and all told Sorceress may be a weaker entry in the band’s growing discography, but the highlights are, as always, sublime, like the crunchy riffing on the title track, the relentless grooves of Chrysalis, and the pop-prog stylings of A Fleeting Glance. The Jethro Tull worship is still in full effect on the acoustic passages, especially in the pastiche of Will O The Wisp, but all told, any fans of progressive rock should find much to love here.