Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Opeth : "Sorceress"

Their last album was so bad it made me give up on them, but I'm such a sucker for "Blackwater Park" that I'll give this one a shot in hopes things have taken a heavier turn. The opening song only re-enforces the feeling that it's going to be flowers and prog all over again. The spiralling keyboards of the title track only build off of this fear of their over indulgent ways coming back to haunt. I can only hear wanna be hippies shimmying to this at some out door festival. A harder rock stomp develops, and the clean vocals don't bother me it's the fact there best attempts to be heavy are not convincing me that they know how to get back to their metal roots that I am bugged by. "the Wilde Flowers" finds me now hard pressed to tell the difference between Opeth and King's X. If you are a guitar player the solo section of this song might make you a believer, but if song are more than a bookend for guitar solos then you might be left wanting.

"Will O the Wisp" has a rambling Emerson Lake and Palmer feel to it. The first half is pretty unimpressive folk rock even when the drums come in. I could see this working much better on a Jethro Tull album. Once again the guitar solo really shines, but the song around it not so much. The first heavier riff shows up on "Chrysalis" . They really want to be Deep Purple here. The keyboards are allowed to run rampant.  This all works much better than the bulk of what I have heard on this album. There is no denying these guys are talented, but the bigger question is can they still write biting songs or is it going to be all jamming all the time?

The second take on the title track doesn't offer much hope in it's elf pleasing folk rock. There are cool sounds, but it has all the meat of cotton candy. I have heard more acoustic guitar than electric so far. This is fine if you are making "Led Zeppelin 3", but there has been no "Immigrant Song" to give this album any balls. I do like the fact "the Seventh Sojourn " has a darker exotic feel to it.  "Strange Brew" is not the Cream song. I also like the song " A Fleeting Glance" which serves as a good example of what they are capable of doing and ...should be doing if they are not playing metal as it harkens back to "Damnation". "Era" has more drive, but melody wise the vocals feel like they are all over the place and not locked in with the music beneath them.  This is a much better album than "Pale Communion" though still lacks balls, I'll give it a 6.

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