ACHELOUS – Tower Of High Sorcery

ACHELOUS – Tower Of High Sorcery
Label(s):
No Remorse Records
Released Year:
2024
Type:
Full-length
Tracklist:
1. Whispering Forest (Introduction)2. Dragon Wings3. Istar (Blood Red Sea)4. The Oath5. Tower of High Sorcery6. Fortress of Sorrow7. Into the Shadows8. Pagan Fire9. When the Angels Bleed

In case you missed it, a couple of months ago ACHELOUS did a pre-listening session for their new album called “Tower of High Sorcery”.

As expected, Forgotten Scroll webzine was there, and you can read my first impressions in the tasty-lenghty article I wrote.

Having the chance to listen to the album a couple of more times I feel that the first impression was the most accurate. “Tower of High Sorcery” is a diverse, yet interesting album of epic metal (I feel that we should focus on the term and I will explain this later), that serves as a natural evolution to the band’s sound.

Should you be familiar with ACHELOUS first demo you couldn’t help but notice that there was always a friendly rivalry between fast straightforward metal songs and mid-tempo epic ones. However, it was obvious (especially in the band’s first album “Macedon”) that classic power metal tracks had the lion’s share in the album’s tracklist. Yet now I feel that the tide is changing: While ACHELOUS tend to feed and strengthen their classic metal roots with songs like “Dragon’s Wings”, “The Oath” and the impressive “Into the Shadows” (a song featuring the legendary Harry β€œThe Tyrant” Conklin), the impressive features of the album are the mid-tempo epic ones: “Isthar”, “Forest of Sorrow”, “Pagan Fire” and “When the Angels Bleed” where ACHELOUS unwraps their epic tendences. Most of these songs are lengthy, complex, feature acoustic/dreamy parts and other classical orchestrations and there is a fair dose of female vocals, elements that should impress anyone into DOOMSWORD, BATHORY, PRIMORDIAL, ATLANTEAN KODEX etc. And while I am not a hardcore fan of this kind of metal, I felt carried away with them, since ACHELOUS managed to write songs full of sentiment: rage, anger, despair, hope. I left the title track for the end since I consider it to be the absolute highlight of the album, a doomy mid-tempo song that reminded me of Chris Kappas early years in REFLECTION and his primary roots SOLITUDE AETURNUS and FORSAKEN.

I loved the band’s focus on their vision for the album. As I said in the pre-listening most bands nowadays tend to write the same formulaic songs over and over again, ACHELOUS dare to risk making a diverse yet consolidated album that each song is the natural continuation of the previous one.

I feel that this is an album that was meant to be heard as a complete work of art not the usual “two-three hit tracks and some filler ones”. And this is the path that ACHELOUS should tread. Don’t miss it.

“Tower of High Sorcery” will be released on March 22nd by No Remorse Records.


Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.

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