With a career that is now a quarter-century old and amounts to eleven studio records, Opeth have brought us their 12th studio effort, “Sorceress”. Still continuing down onto their most prog rock road, like they did with the last two records (“Heritage” and “Pale Communion”), this new work adds a slightly different and fresher perspective to their approach to progressive rock.
The album has an psychedelic atmosphere that in a way works as a tribute to their clear inspiration and vibe from some of the progressive rock classics from the 1970s. In here we can find a touch of evil and blues, complemented with a few nuances of old Opeth that are present in some tracks. For instance, the track “Will O The Wisp” has a very “The Drapery Fall” feel to it, and one of the main riffs transports you to the “Blackwater Park” days, but in the end it almost feels like there is something missing, and ends up sounding very repetitive and uninspired.
This feeling of “it could be almost good” is present in most of the album. It starts in beauty, with the instrumental intro “Persefone”, continuing with the track “Sorceress” (a prog rock masterpiece) and “Chrysalis”, which are the tracks that stand out the most. For the rest, the tracks just get lost in time and it simply becomes a somewhat pleasant background music you listen to while being focused on other doings.
Overall it’s the kind of record you’ll listen to a couple of times before putting it aside. Although they’re scantling, it has some brilliant and delightful moments that Opeth has gotten us used to, but it’s just that, a few inspired moments lost in a repetitive progressive rock vibe from the 70s. It could have been brilliant, but it came out short in the end.