It would be bizarre, if an artist with such an array of influences and a taste as eclectic as Mikael Åkerfeldt’s would keep on making the same type of music, insisting, among other things, on singing in a very specific and restrictive style. Furthermore, no one could ever accuse him of not having explored or evolved the irresistible progressive – death metal combination that made Opeth famous, in the fullest degree. The evaluation criterion for his releases was, is, and should continue to be the quality of the songwriting.
‘Sorceress’ starts off with the wonderful introduction of ‘Perspehone’, which is followed by the – identifiable for one thing – monolithic riff of the title track. In the next 50 minutes, Opeth wanders around in different roads and paths, yet leaves us with the impression that they failed to find a ‘destination’. On one hand it’s impossible to say that such a varied and musically dense album is not well crafted, on the other hand though there are songs that have little to offer and don’t justify their length. I’m mostly talking about the heavier, layered stuff, ‘cause actually the best moments on here are the simpler ones, ‘Will O the Wisp’ for example, a song that would fit on ‘Damnation’. By the way, ‘Damnation’ was a complete musical statement. ‘Sorceress’ is a different story, and the second only partially satisfying Opeth album in a row.