By Paul Rodgers
Sweden’s Opeth have been in the game a long time, going all the way back to 1990. Releasing 12 albums along the way, becoming known the world over as one of the most diverse groups working in metal and refusing to get tied down by one individual set of stylistic constraints. Sorceress is the group’s first release on the mighty Nuclear Blast record company, one of the most reputable in the industry.
Album standout “The Wilde Flowers,” has a sort of Mike Patton-era Faith No More operatic quality to it. The next tune, “Will O The Wisp,” calls to mind Jethro Tull with a very gentle minstrel nature with just acoustic guitar and clean story telling vocals. Opeth’s last record, 2014’s Pale Communion, saw the group flirt with the sonic realms of the ‘60 and ‘70s, and the prog rock sound has remained a continually prevailing influence.
Now on Sorceress, frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt states an influx of jazz into his already bursting record collection provided new creative elements from which to work with.
The album is a real journey and perhaps the group’s most adventurous work yet. Moments of tranquility are interspersed with great high points, shredding solos and soaring ranges of vocality. Opeth remain steadfast in their pursuit of forging onwards into new musical territory for themselves.Opeth, Sorceress