Opeth - Sorceress

7.3 | 481 votes |
Release date: 30 September 2016
Style: Progressive rock


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Disc I
01. Persephone
02. Sorceress
03. The Wilde Flowers
04. Will O The Wisp
05. Chrysalis
06. Sorceress 2
07. The Seventh Sojourn
08. Strange Brew
09. A Fleeting Glance
10. Era
11. Persephone (Slight Return)

Disc II [limited edition bonus disc]
01. The Ward
02. Spring MCMLXXIV
03. Cusp Of Eternity [live]
04. The Drapery Falls [live]
05. Voice Of Treason [live]

The Best Album Artwork Of 2016; The Biggest Letdown Of 2016

Mikael Åkerfeldt - vocals, guitars
Fredrik Åkesson - guitars, backing vocals
Martin Axenrot - drums, percussion
Martín Méndez - bass
Joakim Svalberg - Hammond C3 organ, mellotron, Fender Rhodes 88, harpsichord, grand piano, moog, percussion, backing vocals

Additional musicians:
Pascale Marie Vickery - voice
Wil Malone - string arrangements

Additional info
Produced by Mikael Åkerfeldt. Co-produced, engineered and mixed by Tom Dalgety.

Staff review by
When a trailblazing monster of a cult act turns into a '70s prog tribute band, there's surely going to be some backlash. Opeth have been getting loads of backlash (deserved and not) since 2011's Heritage. I have no doubt that Sorceress will be met by many with at least the same amount of hostility. Whether or not it's justified is a different story; let's see how different they are.

published 03.10.2016 | Comments (39)

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16.10.2016 - 02:48
Rating: 8
This one is growing on me. The musicianship is there as always and Mikes vocals are just piercing. Great job boys!
17.10.2016 - 11:56
Rating: 8
Aries Rising
The best out of their wannabe 70s prog rock wank material. They needs to bring back some of what made their older material great.
20.10.2016 - 17:11
Rating: 6
I can't help but feel like Opeth are capable of so much more than this.
20.10.2016 - 21:08
This album could've been so much more. It's still a tribute to Classic Prog but with a more modern approach (unlike Pale Communion) and I really like some new elements they tried to incorporate, you can hear a more Baroness-que type of sound in songs like Sorceress but enough not too lose the trademark Opeth feel.

BIG problem of the album is the track listing. It's a mess, keeps breaking the mood over and over again. Sorceress 2, The Seventh Sojourn and almost the whole Strange Brew song, which are the middle of the album, are calm songs. They arent bad, specially Seventh Sojourn takes me back to the Damnation arabian riffs, but they just seem to break the mood a lot.

I feel this is the weakest of the Prog Rock side of Opeth but its still a fine one.
30.10.2016 - 09:53
With this album Opeth started a new genre of metal. It's called "sleep metal", because it makes you sleepy.
30.10.2016 - 15:14
Rating: 5
TBH, I don't care about vocals, they can be growls and insanely harsh or smooth and clean, or even be completely absent.
First you must have a good composition and/or melodies and/or themes to begin with, then some good vocals and other instruments can shine.
Heritage was almost a failure in this regard, Pale Communion was a lot better as others have mentioned, just listen to great arpeggios, chords, vocal melody and that great ghost notes on drums on "Eternal Rains Will Come" and that great vibe in guitar solo, the same can be said about "Cusp of Eternity"; it has a direction and purpose and it reaches that well and there are other great moments on that album like "River" middle section or "Faith In Others". Also I should mention the great production on "Pale Communion" which has a kinda old prog rock "real" sound and modern tight and neat sound all together.

But what do we have here on "Sorceress"?
First bad point: it has a super mediocre and generic intro, I'm sure if you search, you'll find some exact music like this, it's that unoriginal.
Second bad point: Not a really good mix, I love more low end in mix and more full rich sound, but this is not as balanced as it should be, really can't listen to this album on my reference monitors without dialing down bass and low end settings a lot, it sounds horrible on monitors and reference headphones. It sounds boomy and "too much bass" on Hi-Fi speakers too and have to lower the bass on them too to not drown in excessive, unnecessary bass.
Third bad point: Lack of direction or even innovation composition-wise, a lot of tracks have a generic theme and they don't progress to reach something, well, with the exception on "The Wilde Flowers" and "Chrysalis". "Sorceress 2" sounds interesting too, but it sounds like 1000 songs we've all heard before, but I guess that's OK compared to the rest of the album.

Overall, I can't say why Opeth did this, and TBH I don't care that much, my philosophy is "don't be a fan, be the audience and listen/watch/read for your own enjoyment and/or your own quest to understand and reach new steps in life and support the people who did something great IYO."
It seems like Opeth is on a way to more mediocre/mainstream stuff? So be it, who cares.
And about the music? Well, probably won't listen to this album because of production and overall sound anyway. Still, would listen to damnation and some older stuff and probably "Chrysalis" outro.
05.11.2016 - 10:41
At first I thought it's not as good as their previous albums, but it turns out I am incapable of disliking anything that comes from these guys. It's a bit cold and emotionless in certain places and a bit too loud for the sake of being loud in others (with no direction, as some of you mentioned) and the second half is weaker than the first, but overall it's still one damn good album.
21.11.2016 - 23:49
Written by angel_heart on 05.11.2016 at 10:41

At first I thought it's not as good as their previous albums, but it turns out I am incapable of disliking anything that comes from these guys. It's a bit cold and emotionless in certain places and a bit too loud for the sake of being loud in others (with no direction, as some of you mentioned) and the second half is weaker than the first, but overall it's still one damn good album.

I think exactly the same, the album is good but lacks of direction. I guess there are at least three song that can be taken out (Will O The Wisp, Sorceress 2 and A Fleeting Glance) those songs do not have a big moment or any diferential signature Opeth's is used to.

My Favourites are The Wilde Flower, Chrysalis and Strange Brew, particulary think Chrysalis sounds like a song of Watershed, you can put it after The Lotus Eater and would fits perfectly.
26.11.2016 - 09:59
Sorceress 2 is indeed rather dull (and too heavily inspired from Pink Floyd), but I like the other two. Will o the wisp especially is in the same vein with Windowpane and I love Windowpane.
07.12.2016 - 20:25
Rating: 1
This is not a real Opeth. They should move into a side project and let Opeth remain the band we used to know. Are we talking of the marvelous metal band that we can listen on Orchid, Morningrise, My arms your hearse, Still life, Blackwater park and Deliverance, Ghost reveries and Watershed? I don't think so... Ok for damnation, once in a lifetime could be interesting. The other albums are something I can describe as metal nor Opeth. I didn't buy the last one but while listening to it I almost fall asleep... If I wanted Prog music I would listen to something else. I expect Opeth to do something better. Very disappointed. It is my opinion and I respect everybody but Opeth for me are musically dead.
09.12.2016 - 14:03
Rating: 8
It is a good or even a great album. But Opeth used to be magnificent, capable to ascend a human soul into eternity. I am not judging solely the lack of power or the inexistence of growls in vocals .

I always expect perfection from Opeth, that´s all.

However, one cannot expect eternal perfection of something or someone, only moments of perfection. And Opeth holds a ton o perfection in their career!

All you need to do is listen to Ghost Reveries one more time!
09.01.2017 - 18:43
Rating: 9
The Warchief
The best album during their new era for sure! (the last 3 albums)
21.04.2017 - 21:55
Rating: 6
Dreadrealm 2.0
I can honestly say that this is the first album by Opeth that utterly bored me. I liked some songs from Heritage and I really loved some songs from Pale Communion, but this album is just a chore to listen to. I was quite positive about Opeth's change of direction back in 2011, I thought they might end up creating some great albums once they perfected their new approach, alas, wasn't meant to be.
Dreadrealm's Bandcamp with free downloads: https://dreadrealm.bandcamp.com/ (200 Free Downloads Every Month is Bandcamp's limit)
11.08.2017 - 02:26
Rating: 7
Nihil's Maw
Almost a year later, and I'm finally giving this album a listen. Weird, considering Opeth is the band that got me into extreme metal in the first place, and is thus the reason for my current music taste...

I wouldn't say that they're making bad music now, but I will say that it's just not really that interesting to me. I liked Heritage just fine, and I'm glad they're still changing up the sound a bit on each record, but all the same I'm already tired of this sound from them. I don't need growls, or even metal, necessarily, but it would be nice if they brought back that dark, gloomy, brooding feeling they used to have. Re-treading a sound that has already been done before (while of course putting their own spin on it, to be fair) doesn't really seem like much of a progression to me.

Anyway, I generally really love the production quality of the album--sounds simultaneously clean and organic. Not too polished, not too rough, very real and in-your-face. The songwriting is still good, it just isn't something I care to listen to as much as their older albums. Eh.
23.12.2017 - 18:31
Rating: 7
Pretty cool prog rock album. Doesn't really hold a candle to Pale Communion, Heritage and Damnation. Much more sterile and over-polished sound. Also somewhat uninspired by their standards and quite monotonous and generic. But then again uninspired Opeth is still better than a lot of other bands at their best.
The worst thing to me about Opeth's 70s prog rock oriented albums were always Åkerfeldt's clean vocals. Here they are as monotonous, emotionless and boring as ever. Which is especially frustrating since he is actually an excellent singer who can do so much better if he wants to. Opeth was never a band that I listened to because of the vocals anyway, but it's still something that's completely incomprehensible and annoying to me.
16.02.2018 - 20:52
Guys, 'member when the avg for all Opeth albums were in green colour? I 'member.
I'm derp.

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