Swedish epic doom metal band, Sorcerer, have released a new single and lyric video. The track is called Ship of Doom and it will feature on the band’s 2nd full length album called The Crowning of the Fire King. The Crowning of the Fire King is due out on the 20th of October via Metal Blade Records.
With it only being their second album, you would think Sorcerer were a new band but they actually formed in 1988. They released a few demos and also a compilation album between then and around 1994 before the band split up. Another compilation was released in 2004 and the band reformed officially in 2010. In 2015, having existed (kind of) for almost 30 years, the band released their first proper full length album. That album was called In The Shadow of the Inverted Cross and the band have been churning out music at speed since with an EP called Black and a single called Sirens all quickly coming out too.
Sorcerer have had a lot of changes over the years but today they are founding member Johnny Hagel on the bass guitar. He is the only official founding member still in the band. He is joined by Anders Engburg on vocals. Anders originally joined the band in 1989 so isn’t far off being a founding member too. On guitars we have Peter Hallgren and Kristian Niemann who both joined in the early 2010s. Finally, on drums is Richard Evensand. Richard was in Sorcerer is the early 90’s, before the band split up and re-joined them this year.
That leads us to Ship of Doom, the forerunner to their latest album. The track certainly comes across as epic, and doom, in terms of length being just under ten minutes long. That is pretty much where both epic and doom end. It all starts off well with a nice eerie sounding acoustic guitar joined by drawn out electric lines. There is a bit of atmosphere in the early sections and a nice deep bass tone comes in shortly after, then a heavier guitar sound and finally a slow thump of drums. It is a very slow build up but it does feel like it is going somewhere. It is just where it goes that confuses me a bit.
As the vocals come in they are high pitched – old school Dio or Dickinson in style. That is absolutely fine but the style doesn’t lend itself well to doom at all. I get that “epic doom” does go this way sometimes but the instruments don’t back the sound up well here. The drums sound a bit tinny. They need a bit more oomph to give that feeling of grandeur you associate with a lot of doom music. To me, it feels like a power metal track with it’s lyrics about a ship, a section of gang vocals and the high pitch vocals and a couple close to soaring solos and guitar leads. It just wouldn’t be a good power metal track either, lacking a bit of catchiness and a fist thumping chorus.
You can preview it here –
Ship of Doom isn’t a bad song exactly. Engburg does have a very good voice and there are a few nice riffs. I do like the intro but outside of that I think this song is completely confused. It is not doom and, aside from one or two riffs, it never feels like a doom track. It isn’t exactly epic doom because the drums are weak and it never captures that feel of epic grandeur for me. Ship of Doom feels more like a power metal track but lacks all the good things about power metal in terms of tempo and catchiness. Ship of Doom doesn’t come over like a good mix of genres, instead feeling like two very diluted sounds and, at almost ten minutes long it is mostly very boring.
The band obviously have talent – you can hear that in moments on the guitars and vocals. You don’t really get that on the drums though. They could do with turning up and having a bit more bite to them. With the talent on board, it will be worth seeing what the rest of the album sounds like but another track or two like this one and that would probably be it for me.
Still, as always, you should check it our for yourself. It might be your thing so you can watch the lyric video and hear the track at Metal Blade’s YouTube page, here. If you love it, and want to preorder the album, head to here. There are some nice packages available. Check out Sorcerer on Facebook, Twitter and at their website for more info on them and their music. Make sure you give them a like or follow while you are there.
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Ship of Doom by Sorcerer (The Crowning of the Fire King)
The Final Score - 4/10