Published on December 9th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Sorcerer: The Crowning of the Fire King (Metal Blade)
The resurrection of Swedish doom metal band Sorcerer has to be one of my favorite stories in metal these days. The band was originally active from 1988-1992, but the band members went on to other projects (among them, Therion, Tiamat, Lion’s Share and Ebony Tears) before releasing a proper album. After 20+ years away, they reunited and finally released their debut (the massive In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross) in 2015, taking the doom metal world by storm in the process. Now Sorcerer is back with a follow-up, titled The Crowning of the Fire King.
In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross was such a huge album in the best epic doom metal tradition, yet somehow Sorcerer has managed to deliver an even more titanic album in The Crowning of the Fire King. Beneath a suitably dark and foreboding cover image (courtesy of Colin Marks) is an album that establishes Sorcerer as the rightful heirs to Candlemass. It’s a slower, heavier, and more ponderous album than its predecessor, but not in that gloomy and depressing doom metal kind of way. It’s more relentless march to war that anything else. Once again Anders Engerg (ex-Lion’s Share, ex-Section A) is a dominant force on this album, bringing a power metal sensibility and more than a few times sounding like a dead ringer for underrated Black Sabbath vocalist Tony Martin.
It’s hard to pick favorite songs when the whole album is this strong, but The Crowning of the Fire King does have some truly legendary moments. The nearly 10-minute “Ship of Doom” is the best song Candlemass never wrote, and with its stunning vocal performance the 9-minute “The Devil’s Incubus” would have been right at home on Headless Cross. The album’s title track is another completely epic, completely unstoppable force with a chorus that makes you picture a whole army raising their swords to salute their king.
This is about as good as epic doom metal gets. The Crowning of the Fire King easily qualifies as one of the best albums of 2017, and is the best epic doom metal album since, well, the last Sorcerer album. It’s an absolute must-have album for fans of Candlemass, Solitude Aeternus, Tony Martin era Black Sabbath, any era Black Sabbath, Grand Magus and heavy, powerful metal in general.
Edition Notes: The deluxe CD release of The Crowning of the Fire King comes in a digibook and includes two bonus tracks – “Disciples of the Dark” and “Bringer of Misery.”
Summary: Doom metal perfection