Founded way back in 1988 Sorcerer stomped out of Stockholm before lying dormant for 15 years. Johnny Hagel (Tiamat ) and Anders Engberg (Therion) put the band back together for the Hammers of Doom festival . This collection of friends played a few gigs before settling on a stable line up and starting to record again.
The Crowning of the Fire King is like the next day from the early demos. This is epic sounding Swedish doom with a heavy dose of Dio era Sabbath. If the kids on Stranger Things graduate to Heavy Metal from their love of D & D this could well be right up their upside down alley.
Anders pipes resonate like those of fellow Swede Messiah Marcolin, he has a powerful mid range which has just the right amount of pomp and grandiosity without over cheesing the dish.
“Ship of Doom” is an epic slice of Heavy Metal that makes me feel like my late 80’s mullet is sprouting back. It is a little bloated at 9:48 for my liking but the prog leanings will certainly appeal to many. The sounds of sails creaking evoke a certain Rime.
Talking of Maiden the opening of “Abandoned by the Gods” has quite the whiff of the Eastenders about it before unleashing the heaviness from all cannon. To call Sorcerer Doom will confuse many modern doomheads as this is a long way from Conan et all. However the thudding yet epic sounds are a diverting trip down metal memory lane for some of us. I suppose the test will be whether newer converts to the dark grey path will want to follow.
By “The Devil’s Incubus” my interest has waned. The track is flabby and the lyrics a little too cliché for my ears . A nightmare without end? Angels crying. The chanted vocals remind me of Robin Williams doing the Ho Chi Minn trail Wizard of Oz skit in Good Morning Vietnam. It’s all gone a little pantomime. “Nattvaka” follows offering a slice of Led Zep before “Crimson Cross” kicks the metal back in some big riffs and a melody that would please many a Wackenite. The title track and closer “Unbearable Sorrow” are mighty tunes too weighing in at just sub 10 minutes each. Everything on the album sounds wonderful. The drums are bombastic and the music is well orchestrated with the guitars crisp and clean. For me there is a just too much of it. This is a giant chocolate fudge sundae of an album. One slice is delicious and gets the heart pounding Trying to digest all 8 tracks in one go is just too much for this poor diabetic. By the end of the album I am tired of Sorcerer’s hackneyed nostalgia and yearn for something with a little more salt.
(6.5/10 Matt Mason)