CD Reviews

Sorcerer - 'In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 21, 2015    
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Absolutely awesome.

It's not very often in the cut-throat world of music that a huge miscarriage of justice gets a chance to be rectified – in recent times I can only think of one other case (that of U.K. Metaller's Hell) – but after being the stuff of myth and legend for so long, Swedish Epic/Progressive Doom Metal act Sorcerer finally get to release their official debut album!

Formed in Stockholm in the late 1980s, the band (which incidentally features vocalist Anders Engberg of Lion's Share, Therion and 220 Volt (amongst others) fame) recorded a couple of highly prized demo tapes – 'Sorcerer' in 1989 and 'The Inquisition' which arrived some three years later – both of which actually sold better than a lot of bands albums at the time. Often likened to both Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus – personally speaking, I'd throw Tony Martin era Black Sabbath and maybe a soupçon of Veni Domine into the mix as well – for some completely inexplicable reason they never got signed (despite near universal rave reviews). As a consequence, the various members drifted apart into other projects with the Sorcerer name ultimately passing into the realm of legends.

Both demos were re-issued on CD in 1995 (and then again as an expanded version in 2011 – if you can find a copy, their version of 'Stargazer' alone make it worth the entrance fee!), but after bassist Johnny Hagel was contacted about reforming the band to play the Hammer Of Doom Festival in Germany in 2010, they decided to give it another shot. A real labour of love, 'In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross' has taken more than two years to write and record, but the end results are nothing short of breath-taking!

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This is a humongous, riff strewn monster of an album with superb vocals (I'm assuming no one actually needs me to eulogise on how good a singer Engberg is?), massive hooks, epic arrangements and seismic guitar flurries. I'm not kidding when I say this is arguably the best release of its type since the seminal 'Nightfall' from Candlemass back in 1987! Filled to the gunnels with epic arrangements, the eight tracks (most of which clock in at the six to eight minute mark) that make up the album serve up a veritable aural banquet of everything that's great about this particular branch of the Metal tree ... bold, ambitious, soaring and majestic.

But don't just take my word for it, emerge your senses in gems such as 'Prayers For A King', 'Sumerian Script', 'Lake Of The Lost Souls', the title track 'In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross' itself or the pulsing 'The Gates Of Hell' and experience the imperial majesty of Sorcerer for yourself.

Absolutely awesome!

Dave Cockett

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