Album Mini-review: Opeth — Sorceress
File next to: Porcupine Tree, Metallica
On their 12th studio album, Swedish group Opeth continues its move away from its death metal origins. Fans who cherish Mikael Åkerfeldt‘s Cookie-Monster-from-Hell vocal growling will be disappointed, but their loss is everyone else’s gain. In fact Opeth has been on this path for years now; their current sound maintains the uber-heavy riffage of old, but contextualizes it amid melodic minor-key excursions. Tracks like “The Wilde Flowers” – the song title is a nod to the late ’60s Canterbury scene – have it both ways, with organ runs that channels early ’70s Deep Purple, and a central melody worth of Metallica at its best. Spanish guitars, Mellotron and vocal harmonies abound on Sorceress, offering up bone-crushing power and nuance in equal doses. It might not please aficionados of black metal, but with Sorceress, Opeth has crafted a work that rivals their very best.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.