Sorcerer- In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross (Metal Blade)

Another band from the 80's has reunited to let their music see the light of day.

If I didn’t know any better, I could swear that I have some kind of guardian angel that looks after me (no one's ever called me that before - Ed). For two quality doom releases that name-check the likes of Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus to land in my inbox consecutively, there must surely be some divine force at work right? Well, even if that’s not the case, In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross is still a pretty good album.

However, unlike Crypt Sermon who are a young band that sounds old, Sorcerer really has risen from the grave to deliver their riffs onto us. That’s right folks; we have another band that was buried in the 80’s getting a second chance at life in the new millennium. There might be cause for cynicism amongst some more seasoned listeners, as the whole reunion trend has gotten quite a bit of traction in the metal world over the last few years. There is justification for this, as a large amount of dreadful music has been released by old bands getting back together (cough13cough). At the same time though, this surge of nostalgia has managed to reveal some gems the world would have otherwise overlooked. Of this latter category, I can firmly say that Sorcerer belongs to.

As for the actual music, it stands extremely strong for those of you who like your music riffy and old school. Opening track The Dark Tower of the Sorcerer bursts out of the speakers with crisp production and a riff guaranteed to shake the rust off your grizzled necks, while Exorcise the Demon stomps along with a very satisfying mid-paced riff before settling into a moody quiet passage that erupts into a lead break. A special mention should be given to the solos on this record, they are perfectly placed and supremely effective. The vocals too are a highlight. Anders Engberg sounds like a mix between Joey Belladonna and Tony Martin and there isn’t a song on here where the man doesn’t deliver a memorable and catchy vocal hook or chorus. I dare you not to be humming them for hours afterwards. Running at a reasonable 55 minutes, there isn’t a song on here that doesn’t work. Yes, maybe a little fat could have been trimmed off here and there, but that’s really a nit-pick.

If you had checked out the recent album by Crypt Sermon and liked it, then I urge you to pick this up ASAP as there’s very little distinguishing those two albums in terms of style and quality. It seems it’s going to be a tight race for 2015’s best doom album.

In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross is out now.