The legendary Sorcery have come crawling once again from the Swedish underground with fire in their bellies and riffs from the vintage book of Swedeath. Their classic debut, ‘Bloodchilling Tales’, is a favourite of mine, and we waited over 20 years for the follow up, 2013’s raging ‘Arrival at Six’. Not so long a wait for new record ‘Garden of Bones, 52 minutes of classic death metal goodness from Xtreem Music.
Opener ‘Holy Ground’ opens with a total righteous riff, that tears forward with fearsome power. Each track possesses a primal rage, where fetid chugging riffs meet a thick growl and a dense, atmosphere coats the production. Every vintage Swedeath trick appears, from the galloping rage of ‘Hellstorm’ to the morbid chug of ‘Cleansed by Fire’. But as masters of the craft, Sorcery live and breathe these kind of riffs, rather than just being copycats.
What really impresses me is how the songs breathe and devleop. Anyone can write a three minute rager with chainsaw riffing and deathly roars. But Sorcery give each track a little more time, allows ideas to flourish and thus create a much more interesting and refreshing album. It’s great to see a band with this much history in the scene come back relevant and yet true to their roots. Take the monolithic closing title track, that exudes a regal strength and constrained ferocity.
‘Garden of Bones’ is a strong slice of vintage Swedish death metal that is at once contemporary and instanly recognisable. Sorcery do their legacy proud, and continue to prove that the twitching corpse of Swedeath still has much to offer. Hail chainsaw riffs of death!