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Sorcery are anything but newcomers to Swedish death metal, with the band forming all the way back in the early days of extreme metal in 1986, before disbanding after just one full length album in 1997. The band marks their comeback this year with their brand new album, Arrival at Six, their first album in more than 15 years, and is an album that fans of old school Swedish death metal have certainly been waiting for.
Like many of the old school Swedish death metal revivalists, Sorcery fortunately retains that old school touch in their musicality on Arrival at Six. The band hits fast and hard on the listener right from the starting riffs of We Who Walk Among the Dead, and immediately the influences from early Swedish bands such as Entombed are clear, with the abrasive guitar tones and the d-beat style of drumming that Steinfaust utilises for quite a large part of the record. At the same time, the way the music on Arrival at Six is executed easily reminds one of records such as Dismember‘s Like an Ever Flowing Stream, in the high presence of rather melodic lead guitars and riffs that are on the album. Vocalist Ola’s style is even rather similar to Matti’s sounding like a hybrid gruff growl/shout.
There is not slowing down the band, as the record blazes through for the most part, and drummer Steinfaust provides lots of the energy on the album with his energetic style, be it the traditional death metal blasting or the more punkish d-beats on the album. Even on the few slower moments on the album, the band ensures that the intensity is not reduced, replacing their speed with even more heaviness, and moments like these easily reminds one of bands like Asphyx, such a the mid-paced Master of the Chains.
Throughout the record also, the band manages to retain that haunting atmosphere that genre has come to be known for, and things like the usage of sound effects such as the tolling of the bells, and the ominous lead guitar lines of Paul all make the experience of Arrival at Six feel as though one were trapped in the midst of a horror story.
This is Swedish old school death metal raw and dirty, the way that it is meant to be played. 12 years of hiatus has definitely not slowed Sorcery down one bit, and Arrival at Six is certainly an instant classic specimen of the genre.