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Sorcerer - The Crowning Of The Fire King Award winner

The Crowning Of The Fire King
by Jon Conant at 06 December 2017, 1:32 AM

SORCERER are a band that have technically been around since the mid-90s, and damn it shows. Their second full-length effort we have in our hands now, “The Crowning Of The Fire King”, is outstanding, and obviously written by experienced musicians. While SORCERER have been around since the 90s, they were ultimately limited to demos in their earlier years (which were a relative success), before splitting up up between 1995 and 2010. When they got back together in 2010, they spent several years reorganizing the band before signing to Metal Blade Records, and then releasing their “debut” full-length in 2015, “In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross”. Now, only 2 years later, they are back with “The Crowning Of The Fire King”, and it is excellent. I honestly have no idea what the band’s ambitions are in terms of commercial success, but I hope they want to make it big because they certainly have the sound to do it. It is especially impressive that they have come out swinging with such a strong pair of albums because with a history as tumultuous and difficult to track as theirs, it would be easy not to expect much.

It’s always a good sign when an album starts and immediately you find yourself involuntarily head banging. While normally I am a strong believer in intro tracks/intro portions of tracks to begin an album, and will dock bands who don’t do it, SORCERER jumps straight away into a riff on the first track “Sirens”, which is so good I don’t even mind that they’re jumping straight into the action.

The entire song follows suit, with perfectly executed drum work full of emotion and technical skill, resounding bass, perfectly blended guitars, all capped with classic Heavy Metal/Old School vocals. While I am saddened by the lack of harsh vocals, it is reasonable to expect this from a band coming from the 90s, and what they’re doing works for their sound well enough that I can get past it. You’ll also note the EXCELLENT production value which I absolutely love. Something you will notice with lots of older bands that attempt a comeback is their production is still stuck in the 90s, 80s, etc. I am so happy to see SORCERER are embracing the modern era of production that we are in.

Remember how I said I didn’t even mind track 1 lacking a real intro? No worries. Track 2, “Ship of Doom”, has that covered. Starting with a soft and ambient melodic line driven by a thoughtful guitar solo, it then breaks into a slow more ballad-feeling type of track, but without loosing its metal feel. It’s an interesting choice for a second track, especially following the epic nature of the opener “Sirens”, but it works and I am not going to knock a band for ordering their songs the way they want to.

“Abandoned by the Gods” follows, and it is fantastic. It has a heavy, slow, and chugging riff to start out with, and then breaks into an eerily melodic chorus that feels like a blend of Doom and Power Metal, and it works REALLY well. The song as a whole is creepy but alluring, I feel like it could be a trailer song for The Matrix or something of that nature, for it is decidedly epic. The vocals really soar too; Anders Engberg doesn’t have much he’s doing wrong. That might be my favorite aspect or SORCERER, they are musicians who really know what they’re doing.

Another point worth noting is the longer nature of the songs. They are all longer than 6 minutes, with the exception of track 5, “Nattvaka”, which is beautiful, instrumental, and perfectly sets the stage for the last 3 songs on the album. Tracks 7 and 8, “Crimson Cross” and “The Crowning Of The Fire King” provide more heavy and grooving riffs to set up the stage for their epic closer. I think the longwinded approach is also what really helps with the epic feel of this album. The songs give themselves time to build and have ebb and flow, which lends to the advanced nature of their songwriting.

Album closer “Unbearable Sorrow” is a CLASSIC closer, and I love, love, love that. Beginning with a long, ambient, and melodic intro (very similar to the beginning of “Ship of Doom”), it then breaks into 10 minutes of epic resolution that perfectly caps off the album.

All in all this album is fan-fucking-tastic, and not what one would expect from a smaller scale band attempting a comeback from the 90s. The album is chock full of grooving and Heavy Metal riffs, perfect musical execution, and fantastic production. About the only thing missing for me are the harsh vocals, but then again, I cannot knock them for that. I absolutely recommend giving “The Crowning Of The Fire King” a serious listen.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Sirens
2. Ship of Doom
3. Abandoned by the Gods
4. The Devil’s Incubus
5. Nattvaka
6. Crimson Cross
7. The Crowning of the Fire King
8. Unbearable Sorrow
Anders Engberg - Vocals
Kristian Niemann - Guitars
Peter Hallgren - Guitars
Johnny Hagel - Bass
Richard Evensand – Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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