Reign Of The Reaper
Review by Michael on October 22, 2023.
I guess what Count Raven is for the Ozzy era in Black Sabbath, the Sorcerer is for the so much underrated Tony Martin era there (except the fucked up "Forbidden" album). Vocalist Anders Engberg almost sounds like him on Reign Of The Reaper. So there is no discussion about the greatness of the vocal performance here, this is absolutely overwhelming. And so is the opener 'Morning Star'. This is a magnificent epic doom song with some airy guitar riffs, heavy drums and a great chorus. This is what I was longing for on the previous album Lamenting Of The Innocent but I never got it there.
The band is much more focused on their eight new songs than before and didn't threw in as many unnecessary elements into these overlong, sometimes a little bit exhausting and going overboard songs. This is really good because Sorcerer sounds fresher and much more inspired than within the last few years. Even a quite typical song like the title track becomes something special because of the very surprising break with the suddenly beginning piano and the very casual guitar solo afterwards. This is really fun to listen to. Sometimes it is even hard to describe their style as doom anymore (just like I refuse to classify “Headless Cross” or “The Eternal Idol” as doom, too). Songs like 'Thy Kingdom Will Come' and 'The Underworld' are galloping heavy metal stompers with a lot of epic elements just like old Manowar used on “Into Glory Ride” or “Hail To England” (and not such crappy shit like “Laut Und Hart, Strak Und Schnell” – that was just the opposite of that, besides). With 'Unveiling Blasphemy' the listener gets some drama. The song structure is almost like a Greek drama. The tension rises with some really dramatically tuned guitars and very emphasizing vocals until its peak with a great whirring guitar solo. 'Curse Of Medusa' is a song that falls out of the frame most. Here the Swedes have built-in some more oriental sounds which are very repetitive. Apart from that the song is maybe their fastest track on the album with again some fantastic vocal lines, amazing breaks and again with pretty much drama in it.
Closing the album with 'Break Of Dawn' the band has saved their only “real” doom song for this. Starting with a very dark and gloomy atmosphere caused by the dark orchestration, Anders' vocals are a really interesting counterpart to this because they sound pretty bright and hopeful. This is almost like the battle between good and evil set to music. This is really the highlight of the album not only because of this performance but also because of some really almost heartbreaking melodies in it. To come back to Black Sabbath with Tony Martin – if they had a song like this on the aforementioned albums, this would have been a killer and probably still a classic.
Well, you cannot do anything wrong with the new Sorcerer album – if you were a little bit disappointed with the 2020 output, this will give you peace of mind again, if you liked the previous one, you will also like this. So just start the Reign Of The Reaper in your home and listen to your own acoustic drama in your stereo.
Rating: 9 out of 10396