Sorcerer
The Crowning of the Fire King


4.2
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
October 22nd, 2017 | 85 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: No longer the best kept secret in epic doom metal…

…and rightfully so because Sorcerer once again have proven why they are one of the top acts in a genre that when it clicks, boy it delivers. Having taken them 27 years from their formation to release their debut in 2015 – one of the better traditional metal albums of the past 20 years – the Swedish act has since then shown an unexpected prolificacy which fortunately hasn’t impacted the quality of their output.

Having read a couple of reviews for this album, a common misconception among them is that it is not easy to go wrong with epic doom metal. Nevertheless, that doesn’t make justice to either Sorcerer or a number of legends/significant bands ranging from Candlemass and Solstice to Solitude Aeturnus and Scald (check Will of the Gods is Great Power). It doesn’t make justice to the inspired songwriting and the catchy riffs but most of all, the convincing atmosphere on albums like Nightfall, New Dark Age and The Crowning of the Fire King, because, given the time, this is the appropriate company for the latter.

Sorcerer’s sophomore effort is a highly evocative effort that is cleverly based on great guitar work and accentuated by an amazing vocal performance which borrows elements from Ronnie James Dio. Just listen to Anders Engberg’s vocal lines towards the end of “The Devil’s Incubus” or the way he complements some of the guitar solos/leads and it is textbook Dio. However, Engberg is far from being a copycat as his own tone and approach place him among the best modern “metal” vocalists. Going back to the LP’s atmosphere, the combination of instrumentation and clever use lyrics which are simple yet easily understood and effective, make up for a highly evocative outcome.

Moreover, Sorcerer’s brand of epic doom is based on Leif Edling’s gospel and includes elements of NWOBHM but at its core, it lives and breathes Dio-era Rainbow and Martin-era Sabbath. As a result, The Crowning of the Fire King is a varied effort which moves from energetic – bearing in mind the genre – cuts such as “Sirens”, “Abandoned by the Gods” or “Crimson Cross” to epics like “Ship of Doom”, the title track and “Unbearable Sorrow”. What makes the album special is the fact that even the longer tracks are not tiresome. This is the result of strong songwriting combined with a colorful vocal approach and infectious leads and solos which owe a lot to ‘70s heavy rock. Sorcerer are not afraid to sacrifice heaviness for melody, so those of you who are fed up with doom metal bands who try to be heavy by playing one goddamn riff with insane amounts of distortion in order to hide their inability to create interesting music, are in for a treat. Kristian Niemann and Peter Hallgren’s riffs at times feel like waves crushing a longship while being melodic and exciting at the same time.

Overall, The Crowning of the Fire King has the potential to be among your top choices when you are in an epic doom or traditional metal mood. Whether it is a better album than the band’s debut remains to be seen as only time will tell. Personally, I slightly prefer the somewhat heavier approach of In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross but Sorcerer once again prove why they are one of the premier epic doom acts of all times. Simply put, modern traditional metal cannot get much better.




Recent reviews by this author
Pagan Altar The Room of ShadowsParadise Lost Medusa
Iced Earth IncorruptibleDanzig Black Laden Crown
Deep Purple inFiniteAmorphis An Evening with Friends at Huvila

user ratings (29)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4)
Sorcerer's second full-length album requires more patient listens than their debut but may ultimatel...


Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Really happy this turned out so awesome. 2017 AOTY for the time being.

Digging: Travelin Jack - Commencing Countdown

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


7603 Comments


Good review, virtual pos.

Heard the album as well and had a good time while doing so, if anything, it stands out of the lot.

Digging: Fleurety - The White Death

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Thanks Voi.



Really love the variety of these guys' music. It was hilarious to read in the latest Metal Hammer that a band like this is being asked to play live for free. How ignorant can one be?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


7603 Comments


^^Well, nowadays bands are measured by how many albums they sell, not their quality or their seniority, which may be relevant or irrelevant to their commercial magnitude.

To give an example that recently came to my attention, Nocturnus who pioneered the progressive end of death metal in the early '90s, are being promoted as a band suitable "For fans of Vektor" (see band pic).

http://nocturnus.bandcamp.com/

This is a strategy that's understandable at first, but becomes odder and odder, especially if you think that back in the day, Nocturnus were second to none, in terms of style.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

That's some sad reality. Another one that felt odd was Accept supporting Sabbaton recently.

deslad
October 22nd 2017


597 Comments


Excellent review manos and the album sounds really interesting, I should check it out soon.

Digging: Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Thanks des. Knowing your taste, you'll probably enjoy it a lot.

EvoHavok
October 22nd 2017


7228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome read, manos. I've been thinking about spinning this these past few days.

brainmelter
October 22nd 2017


4557 Comments


Doom? ehh
nice review anyway

Digging: The Khayembii Communiqu / The Vidablue - The Khayembii Communiqu / The Vidablue

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Thanks guys, appreciate the kind words. Hope you dig if you decide to check the album.

UniqueUniverse
October 22nd 2017


7635 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shouldn't it be Fire Lord?

Digging: Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart

BallsToTheWall
October 22nd 2017


48141 Comments


Fresh nugs. Wheezin the juice.

Digging: Midnight - Sweet Death and Ecstasy

Maco097
October 22nd 2017


2457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I told you this is the year of doom [124124141234]

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2017


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Solid year indeed. Below - Upon a Pale Horse is also one of my favorite doom releases from this year.

Dewinged
October 23rd 2017


6354 Comments


Great review as always manosg.

I was jamming it before and instantly thought Tony Martin, it really sounds similar to Tyr somehow.

On the other hand, for some reason the album is not clicking with me as much on first listen.

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Tower

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2017


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Cheers Dewi!



Actually, this one didn't click with me during the first couple of listens maybe because, personally, I was expecting too much given my love for their debut. Maybe give it another shot, even though sometimes things just don't click with us for a variety of reasons.

PsychicChris
October 23rd 2017


265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is another low 4 for me so far but I'm gonna need some more listens with this one. Good review!

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2017


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Thanks Chris!

EvoHavok
October 23rd 2017


7228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What the hell's up with all those low ratings?...

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2017


10580 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

lol have no idea. Maybe guys are trying to increase their objectivity. Or maybe I have no idea what I'm writing about.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy