Sorcerer - Lamenting of the Innocent

Sorcerer Lamenting of the Innocent cover
Lamenting of the Innocent
Metal Blade Records
The once mighty Metal Blade might have lost to time and other companies a lot of artists over the years and has sort of made groovy modern American metal and death metal it’s bread ‘n butter, but through the signing of specific ones (ie Satan, Mirror, Sorcerer) and the retainment of others (ie Lizzy Borden) seems to still have a healthy little stable of interesting traditional heavy doom bands.
Swedish doom merchants Sorcerer in particular seem fast poised to become a firm favorite, since their reformation that started bearing fruits by the middle of the last decade. Two additional albums, including the current one, seem to be cementing their reputation as reliable gloom architects, capable of taking the Sabbathian blueprints and updating them with the power and glory of traditional heavy/power metal in a combination that’s hard to resist and makes the heart of an old school metalhead like me – well not skip a beat, but at least, beat as slow as the tempo on a good number of songs on offer.
“Persecution” makes for a mysteriously splendorous intro, to the leadoff single “The Hammer of Witches”, which is very reminiscent of the better moments of Tony Martin era Sabbath, an era that might be the most favorite for many of the band’s fans, but has really a lot of awesome tracks to offer. For Sorcerer to be able to effortlessly match it, speaks tomes and books to how great they are… possibly most of them being cursed grimoires…
“Lamenting of the Innocent” drops everything down to a hellish plod, with Anders Engberg sounding almost angelical, among the cyclopean walls of sinister riffology.
“Institoris” has a rather “Candlemassey” sort of intro but soon reveals it’s Martinesque core, which is nothing to scoff or laugh at… BTWOTS!
The intro to “Where Spirits Die” feels sufficiently sad to make the leaves on trees to go brown, but there’s so much more as the lamenting continues throughout the song… while the tempo and duration of the song kind of start taking their toll, with it becoming a little less impressive than its predecessor a rather flashy solo and some well placed Dio-like melodies keep it from completely withering out.
While it might have been wise for the band to infuse the album with a little bit of energy at this point, they seem to decide to go for the exact opposite, with “Deliverance” being an acoustic tune that dives to the depths of despair, to deliver itself from pain… while it feels kind of lost at first, it does find its way, eventually.
The much needed shot of energy and release comes in the form of “Age of the Damned”, a song that might not be fast, but is massive as hell, with riff that weight a ton each and a really soul-wrenching performance by AE. Its solo manages to keep it from really slipping into too much repetition and becoming boring.
“Condemned” let’s that energy die out, just a little, going for the middle of the way power/doom metal path, only a stone’s throw away from early Solitude Aeturnus. Also nice acoustic moods that make the heavier ones contrast… the hopeless lost love, lamented for makes this one strike close at home.
And what’s a metal album without a mention of the old Nick, but incomplete, “Dance with the Devil”, other than an overused title, brings things back to the Faustian source and the Sabbath lyrical archetype. While it goes for a sound that sounds more inspired by the tenets inscribed on later Sabbath stones with even a little bit of a Ghostly presence – standing just like a pale apparition over it all, it manages to keep the interest of the listener unwavering, throughout.
Last but certainly not least, on the “Path to Perdition” where everything is fated to burn and turn to ashes, the band pulls all stops, bringing together all of their influences in an awesome metallic alloy that truly shines brightly.
The legacy that bands like Sorcerer will leave is their songs. They all sound like sonic masterpieces carved out of the hardest granite. Timeless metal delivered once more from these Swedish alchemists.