SORCERER The Hammer of the Witches

Swedish doomsters Sorcerer are continuing their winning streak of albums with their 3rd full length Lamenting Of The Innocent which is about to be released in a couple of days. Their singer Anders Engberg was our guest for this conversation…

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Greetings Sorcerer and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you guys doing these days?
Hi there! Well, we are of course affected the impact of the corona virus as everyone else, strange times. Other than that, we have a new album coming out which we are very proud of and we look forward to see and hear the reactions from press and fans.
The main reason for this chat is, of course your new album entitled Lamenting Of The Innocent! Now that everything is said and done, how are you satisfied with its final outcome?

We are super proud of the album and we feel that we have evolved a little from the last album TCOFK. There are some new elements in the songs that we never had before, some harsh vocals by Justin and some other more contemporary bits and pieces. In the end it still an album of heavy, melodic epic proportions in the same vain as the other two albums.

The album was supposed to be released 29th of May but as we all know, Coronavirus pandemic destroyed all the possible plans everyone had. How are you coping with this situation, will you perhaps organize some live streams to promote the album?

The digital release is still the 29th of May but unfortunately, we had to push the physical release one week so the release for that is the 5th of June. We actually had a live stream release party last Saturday. If anyone missed it we and our label Metal Blade Records will put it up for anyone to see over and over again on our YouTube channels. Other than that, we will be active with writing for the next album and some other interesting stuff that I can’t disclose right now. Touring is out of the question right now, sadly.

On the other hand, everyone has more time on their hands staying home and thus more time to digest the music. How are you satisfied with initial comments on the album?

Yes, we are very happy with hoe the new album is being received, I think we progressed somewhat compared to the last one. LOTI is more diverse in tempos and in performance, we have our old drummer Ricky Evensand back in the band and his playing have contributed to this very much. Also, Justin Biggs on bass has made a lot of difference. People hear that.

As we know, Sweden took a bit different route coping with this pandemic so what’s it like over there? Are you satisfied with your homeland’s reaction on this situation?

I’m no expert so I leave that to the authorities but we have not been under lock down as many other countries so that is a big difference, I guess. Other than that, I can’t really say if we have done well… people still dying here too.

Let’s return back to the album… In my opinion you have mixed things up a bit without sacrificing the standard Sorcerer sound. How would you describe the style of the album?

Exactly, we tried to progress a little bit from the last album, which I feel is only natural, to just put out the same record every time is not something we want to do. You can still hear that it’s the same band but with a broader musical pallet this time perhaps. We have moved towards the hard rock genre more and more for each album and this is drawn from our influences both new and older stuff, I guess.

Lamenting Of The Innocent has certain theme going through lyrics, as it is evidenced on cover art. Can you explain it a bit deeper to our readers?

Yes, it started with the song The Hammer Of Witches actually. We felt it was a cool subject (it’s been done before, we know) for Sorcerer to paint a musical picture around. I came up with the idea to do songs that revolve around this book the witch hammer- Malleum Malleficarum. We never did the full Monty and wrote a chronological concept album; we wanted the songs to be able to stand on their own without being connected to each other. There are some facts in the lyrical content but most of the lyrics are just fiction. It was important for us to portrait the women and victims of this horrible times, so the church is the bad guy in our take on this. The fight between good and evil if you will.

The song Deliverance features some special guests so can you tell us how did that cooperation come to be?

Johan Langqvist does a duet with me and the idea for that came up when the melodies for the song was finished. I’ve known Johan for over 30 years as I played in a band with his younger brother for years. Johan and I met on his brother’s wedding in the spring of 2019 and I asked him if he was interested and he never hesitated, which we are very happy about. Wonderful singer and a terrific guy.

You have already done three video clips for the promotion of Lamenting Of The Innocent, can you tell us something more about them? Do you think that videos still have a place in this day and age?

Videos are super important for all bands today. People are connected to the internet 24/7 and the best way to reach out is through digital channels and social media. I think that YouTube has taken MTV’s place and through this media we now see an explosion of videos and new bands, I think it’s just a progression and a sign of the times. The videos were directed end filmed by Dano Wahlström of Heavy Groove Media. He is a really talented guy and very energetic with a strong vision of what he wants to do. We just let him have a short presentation of the concept and he just did his thing. The videos were never shown to us before they were finished, and we love them all. We actually ended up doing a video for each song, 9 of them.

Two new members on drums and bass are in the band, Richard Evensand is not a new face in the band so to say so can you please spare some words about these changes?

Yes Ricky is back in the saddle after 25 years of absence and this is great not only for the fans but also for us, he is an extraordinary drummer and one of Sweden’s finest metal drummers. So, he really makes an impact on the new album. Justin Biggs, our Canadian guy also joined up on this album and really contributed to song writing and lyrics and growls. We are very happy with our line-up. Ricky joined already on Fire king right after the recordings and Justin too, so they’ve been promoting Fire king with us. Johnny Hagel has stepped back from playing but is still a member in the band, we also worked with our co-producer Conny Welén who is a huge part of the sound and songs.

What would you say is the biggest moment in Sorcerer’s history? You have risen to prominence very fast with killer work in your second incarnation, would you believe that the band is going to have such a successful second life?

I think we already are successful in a way, we have rebuilt the band and taken it further than it’s ever been. We see no end to our history for years to come, as long as we feel we can write great songs and we have a good time doing it Sorcerer will strife on, playing live and making records. When we did the reunion gig at Hammer of doom in Germany, I never thought we would be where we are today but I’m happy we are.

What lies in the near future for Sorcerer now that all the plans for live gigs are gone down the drain, how will you adapt to this situation? Do you think that humanity will use this situation as a wakeup call?

For Sorcerer this means that we have time to write new stuff later this year and find ways to promote the new album, live stream or other options. Time will tell. One thing is for sure; Sorcerer will not go into hiding or stay in the shadows.

That would be all for this chat, I would like to wish you all the best and thank you for your time! Stay safe and wash your hands guys, your last message…
Thank you for your support!!
Sorcerer will come back with a vengeance as soon as the pandemic regresses and shows can be played.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled!!

  • Answers by Anders Engberg
    Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic

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