A new Opeth album comes inevitably with an incredible amount of high expectations, doubts and overzealous criticism. When listening to the twelfth full length release “Sorceress” the oblivious/ingenuous listener must understand that mastermind Mikael Åkerfeldt is always focused on creating music that can offer a high degree of diversity because Opeth is not like any other band and will never be.
The fragile medieval acoustic intro “Persephone” is immediately followed by the darkly title track that delivers a persistent moody melancholic theme. Among several heavier rhythmic blasts, the prog rock heart is quite dominant but the unpredictable style changes provide a unique musical depth that cannot be, and doesn’t need to, easily categorized with monotone stereotypes. An exquisitely retro vibe further enhances the groovy aspects of a song that never fails to impress.
“The Wilde Flowers” offers an outstanding musical kaleidoscope where 70’s influenced guitar riffs reach a glowing acme with a majestic shredding solo. Other highlights can be found in the super catchy chorus and the softly cathartic breakdown that focuses on ethereal harmonies.
“Will O The Wisp” leaves behind distortion or pompous special effect and delivers a highly nostalgic range of acoustic melodies spiced up by a languid jazz influenced lead guitar work. The melodic nature of this song makes it an easily accessible track but also creates a magical musical depth that should not be taken for granted.
“Chrysalis” is surrounded by an irresistible vintage vibe strengthened by a dazzling multichromatic combo of nostalgic retro organ and ravishing modern prog oriented guitar solo. The final part of the song delivers a dreamy darkened atmosphere gracefully adorned by vibrant jazzy guitar work.
“Era” begins with an atmospheric poetic classical piano melody that soon gives way to a faster blistering drum driven moody tempo in prog fashion. A strong technical, yet rather emotional, guitar solo elegantly blends additional prog rock elements in the midst of a spontaneously energetic groove.
“Sorceress” shines for the extremely meticulous loving care for every stylish detail and for its dark passionate sophisticated soul that can effortlessly guide the listeners into a musical visionary adventure that must be savored in its entirety.