Sorcerer make their comeback with Reign Of The Reaper. Can the Swedish metal troupe forge more musical gold?
Release Date: 27th October 2023
Label: Metal Blade Records
Format: CD / Vinyl / Digital
Reign Of The Reaper is Sorcerer’s fourth long player. Since their return in the early 2010’s, Sorcerer have released a treasure trove of stupendously good, epic, heavy metal. A doom label is regularly applied but it is a little unfair to pigeonhole them as such. Yes, there are elements; however there is so much more going on – it’s Sorcerer’s style of doom.
Morning Star was released as a first taste of the album. It is based on the fall of Lucifer, and musically, shows the band are in imperious form. The marching drums and melodic guitars act as a call to arms before the band hit their stride and deliver an awesome groove. Throughout, you get a taster of what is to come as the band move through various tempos and really put their marker down.
Reign Of The Reaper offers a more sinister affair with great bass work and a ghostly voice pervading the early strains. A little piano breakdown in the middle of the song gives more than a hint of John Carpenter’s classic Halloween theme. Thy Kingdom Will Come brings pace from the start, which is a nice turn. “Ride, side by side, the pounding of hooves on the ground;” this lyric goes a long way to summing the song – full blooded, battle soaked battle lyrics. Glorious.
As far as the term epic goes, Eternal Sleep fits the bill. The story telling within the song has a style that could grace a stage play (think Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds). Anders Engberg absolutely sings his backside off – it is spine chilling. Curse Of Medusa picks up the pace again with a brilliant drum introduction paving the way for razor sharp guitars that could take the head of the aforementioned slithery gorgon.
Unveiling Blasphemy is a standout track on Reign Of The Reaper. There is a seeming synth undercurrent that swirls below the main mix of the band. It creates an otherworldly feel full of atmosphere and mystique. Richard Evensand once again masterfully drums whilst Peter Hallgren and Kristien Niemann trade solos. The Underworld cascades ferociously in and brings a short, sharp stab of Sorcerer. “Save us from the underworld,” is a brilliant chorus line and will be a brilliant feature of a live set.
Break Of Dawn closes out the album in grand fashion. It is of slower pace and gives a more ethereal vibe. Like the opener, it showcases all that is brilliant about Sorcerer. The acoustic parts on the song are beautiful and the closing acoustic melodies bookend the album perfectly.
Deluxe editions of the album come with the Reverence EP. It is well worth the acquisition as the covers contained are insanely good; especially their rendition of Black Sabbath’s When Death Calls. There are also covers of Saxon, Rainbow and Ozzy Osbourne.
Reign Of The Reaper is a shorter affair than previous Sorcerer albums, however, the album benefits from this. The four minute bluster of The Underworld is refreshing, and the longer, more epic closer of Break Of Dawn fit perfectly. What is also nice, is that the vinyl format of the album is side a and side b – no money spinning ‘etchings’ or 2LP sets cut at 45rpm to squeeze a few more pennies from peoples purses.
Thank you Sorcerer – this is the album for autumn and winter. A real highlight of 2023.
Listen to Morning Star below. We will also have an interview with Kristian Niemann in due course.