Johnny Hagel [Sorcerer]

Swedish epic doom metal legends, Sorcerer was formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1988 but disbanded after two demos in 1992. Both demos are considered true Doom Metal classics and have been released on CD in 1995. Now they will release their Metal Blade debut album In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross March 24th.
I asked bass player Johnny Hagel some questions!


Kristian Niemann, Johnny Hagel, Anders Engberg, Peter Hallgren & Robert Iversen.

This is so exiting, March 24th Sorcerer will release the new album “In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross”. How come you decided to make a come-back after all these years?
We got a mail from Oliver Weinsheimer (Hammer of Doom Festival/Keep It True Festival) who asked if we could play the Hammer of Doom festival.
This was in 2011. I called up Anders Engberg (singer) who was the only one i had contact with since the ”old” days. We talked about it for a while and we weren´t really up for it but decided that we should think about it for some days. After a couple of days I called him and we decided to do it. We really tried to get hold of the other members but didn´t have any luck with that so we decided to look for some other musicians.

Musically, which differences do you see from how you played in the early 90s and today?
Today we have internet, that is the biggest difference. Back then you had to post things, then wait 2-3 weeks or more to get feedback. And sometimes you never got any feedback at all. Then i hope that we all have got better in doing what we are doing but that is up to others to judge.

The album is mastered by Jens Bogren. How come you evolved a collaboration with him, and how it inflict the result of the record?
Our drummer Robert suggested a friend of him when we talked about who should do the mastering. After some days i asked him who his friend is and he said that his name is Jens Bogren. I said what and then let him do it. Jens has done a lot of great records and i think the end result talks for itself. He did a great job.

For especially the new listener out there, how would you describe the music of In the Shadow Of The Inverted Cross?
We have tried to do a diverse album with thinking of to get an album feeling. Our sound is heavy & epic.

Which tracks you feel that it represents the true essence of Sorcerer?
I would say Prayers for a King if i have to choose one song. It contains every element that i think is Sorcerer. From the beginning, the verse, chorus and the middle part.

What did you guys do in the time when the band was no active?
I played with Tiamat for a couple of years, I toured a lot and i made two albums with them. Wildhoney was really succesful and we even supported Black Sabbath, both in US and in Europe. Anders was a member of Lion´s Share and did albums with them.

Will we be able to see you on tour soon?
I hope so. We have no hurry we it comes to touring. As a new band we realise that it not going to be a world tour on this our ”first” album. We are booking some things for after the summer/winter and then will we concentrate on next years summer festivals. And of course we will write some new songs for the next album so we will be busy.

/Viktoria Colonna

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