Release: In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross
Label: Metal Blade
It’s now 2015, 23 years since famed Swedish doomers Sorcerer released the second of their two demos, their only output aside from some compilations until now. Their demo material has already made them among the most widely acclaimed names in epic doom metal, and I was at once excited and a bit concerned to find that they were recording new material. I was glad there would be more Sorcerer, but far too many comeback albums are only shadows of former glory. Ultimately my mixed feelings leading up to this album’s release were mostly met with pleasant surprise; In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross is a fine album, but at times it does not capture the epic, mystical formula that made classic Sorcerer classic.
In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross has some big shoes to fill following demos with such a legacy. Returning from the lineup that recorded the venerated self-titled demo are vocalist Anders Engberg and bassist Johnny Hagel, now accompanied by drummer Robert Iversen and guitarists Kristian Niemann and Peter Hallgreen. Losing more than half of the band might have been a bad sign, but the whole lineup offers a solid performance. The most immediately striking performance is Engberg’s vocal work. He has plenty of range and power and uses it to his fullest, bringing to mind Rob Lowe and other soaring doom vocalists; his voice was effective on the demos and it is here.