(Metal Blade Records)
It was always hoped that following their revival in 2010 – after 18 years out – Sorcerer would make up for lost time. And while 2015’s In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross, the band’s first real debut album, was certainly gratefully received, it pales in comparison to this follow-up.
Why? Because The Crowning Of The Fire King is an imperious work of epic doom, a tour de force from the Swedes, a place where glorious melodies surge and majestic solos soar, and where singer Anders Engberg delivers a career-defining performance. There’s a real depth to his delivery, true power in his mighty lungs… and the frontman is a rival to anyone plying their trade in today’s traditional metal scene. Want the evidence? Listen to the title track’s stratospheric chorus and feel your spine tingle.
By the time you’ve finished with opener Sirens and second track, Ship Of Doom, you’ll know you’ve discovered a magical record – and you’ll probably want to skip for another helping of those songs. Journey further into the album though and you’ll discover even more wizardry, especially from guitarists Kristian Niemann and Peter Hallgren, whose sheer class illuminates songs like The Devil’s Incubus.
Sorcerer’s take on doom certainly isn’t going to attract the hipsters, but for anyone who is moved by passionate, gutsy heavy metal, The Crowning Of The Fire King is absolutely essential.