Welcome to day 23 of my ‘Album of the Year 2017 top 30 countdown’.
I’m really excited to bring today’s pick to you because it is another example of just how surprising 2017 has been for me. It is definitely one of those albums that I could never have envisaged being in my end-of-year list at all, let alone so high in the standings.
But enough of the intro, I want to get on with the most important part of the post – the unveiling of today’s pick.
There’s just time to remind you that links can be found below for all of my previous posts in this year’s series, along with a couple of ‘honourable mentions’ posts and the entire series from 2012-2016.
The Crowning Of The Fire King
Metal Blade Records
‘The Crowning of the Fire King’ is an incredible album, consisting of eight songs that have well and truly captured my attention and my imagination. As only an occasional liker of doom metal, I had thought to give this record only a cursory listen to see what all the fuss was about and because I was drawn to the stunning cover artwork. However, this throw-away action has led to something much more profound. Don’t you just love it when that happens?
Admittedly, as someone suggested to me, the music on this record is not so much doom as it is sedately-paced power metal, so that might help to make sense of my great affection for ‘The Crowning of the Fire King’.
There is certainly truth in that statement but I personally describe the music on this excellent record as a superb blend of old-school no-frills doom metal, classic heavy metal, 70s hard rock and melodic power metal. Each element plays its considerable part in the overall tone and delivery of the record, helping to shape it into the dominant beast that it is. Think Black Sabbath, think Candlemass, think Dio, and think of the upper echelons of European power metal. Now put them all together in a huge cauldron, season with a huge production, stir and then sit back and enjoy the results.
Quite simply, if you are a fan of heavy metal, you have to hear this record. It doesn’t matter what subgenres you like or which ones you don’t think you like. I almost guarantee that there will be something within ‘The Crowning of the Fire King’ to get your juices flowing. Quite simply, Sorcerer have created an incredible piece of work that it is just too good, too powerful and too damn catchy to ignore. I wish there were more bands that produced music like this, damnit.”
Read the full review here.
This album was another big surprise for me in 2017. I’d never listened to Sorcerer before, I never knew anything about them and, as my review above states, I had little intention of writing about this record, their first since splitting in 1992. The main reason for this is because, as you know, I’m not the biggest doom metal fan.
However, I was convinced to listen to the quintet’s return from an extended period in the wilderness initially by the artwork and then after hearing some exceedingly positive things about it by people of which I generally take notice. It was also part of my conscious decision to try to listen to some more diverse material in an effort to broaden my knowledge and my musical horizons just a little bit.
Needless to say, I was smitten on a first listen. But importantly, my opinion of this superb album has grown every single time that I have listened to it. At the time of the review I was fairly confident that it would win a spot in my top 30. However, this is one of those records that has become so integral to my playlist in 2017 that it has steadily climbed up my list.
‘The Crowning of The Fire King’ has now deservedly broken into my top 10.
I’ve used this phrase a few times this year, but ‘The Crowning of the Fire King’ is one of those special albums that has reminded me exactly why I am such a slave to heavy metal. It has a je ne sais quoi that extends beyond the songs themselves; something almost intangible. There is a magic at play that grabs me every time I listen, something that makes me smile, and makes me feel strangely invincible.
The combination of irresistibly heavy riffs and huge melodies within epic and anthemic choruses is simply irresistible. Add to that some excellent, passionate vocals and muscular rhythms and you can maybe understand why I have fallen so hard for this particular record. Everything about it is completely and unequivocally on point, down to the artwork and the meaty production. When I listen to this triumphant slab of metal I find it hard to believe that these guys have not been together under the Sorcerer banner for over 20 years. I just hope they stick around long enough to release a follow-up, because I’m going to want to hear that.
If you missed either of my 2017 ‘honourable mentions’ posts, here they are should you be interested:
Previous posts in my 2017 Top 30 countdown:
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 9
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 10
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 11
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 12
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 13
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 14
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 15
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 16
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 17
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 18
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 19
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 20
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 21
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 22
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 23
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 24
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 25
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 26
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 27
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 28
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 30
And from previous years: