Friday, July 31, 2009

Candlemass - Death Magic Doom

In the doom metal word today, Candlemass might be king. It is true, doom metal is a bit of a dying breed, but if one band has the ability to change that, Candlemass would be the one. This album is not as much tradition doom/epic doom as their past releases – they have incorporated a lot more elements of standard heavy metal. And this is most definitely not a bad thing. Through the simple addition of more heavy metal styles their music gained so much more power.Since Robert Lowe stepped in at vocals, it seems, the band has taken a bit heavier sound. It’s unclear whether this is because of Lowe, or because Leif Edling has decided to simply write heavier music. The only problem is that with the heavier writing, they have forgone some of the more doom sounds, and the music has a less dramatically depressed sound. But one thing is clear for sure and that is this album is the beginning of a new era for Candlemass.

King Of The Grey Islands showed great promise for the new lineup of the band, but something was lacking. The songs were solid, the production was heavy, and Lowe delivered a great performance behind the mic. All of the elements were there, but the album still seemed to lack the spark that would make it a classic. Hearing Death Magic Doom, the first album written specifically for Lowe makes it clear what was wrong before.Death Magic Doom does not suffer from any of these problems. As soon as the first riff sets in, it is clear that this is a band rejuvenated by the new blood Lowe brings. The production is massive, as a thundering riff pounds out a tempo faster than anything Candlemass has ever tried before. In fact Lowe towers over the wall of sound, his vocals more powerful than even the darkest doom.

The album kicks off with the uptempo If I Ever Die, that's packed with hooks and really memorable riffs. That segues into the more traditional and aptly named Hammer Of Doom, which is slow and alternates crushing riffs with lighter moments. Demon of the Deep turns another doom song on its head, ending with a melodic section that sounds as hard rock as doom metal. Likewise, Dead Angel bounces along with a chorus that is the closest doom metal will ever come to pop, while My Funeral Dreams is able to fuse all of these elements into a five-minute blueprint of everything Candlemass can be if they want to.

Death Magic Doom surpasses the Messiah reunion record and harkens to the era of the first three albums. An impressive release, all the more so with new vocalist Robert Lowe. Its simply marvellous how he fits right in the riffs instead of on top of them, whether the tune's mid-paced or slow. Candlemass has been around for a long time and has released some of the definitive and pioneering albums in the doom metal genre, so expectations are always high for any new release. Death Magic Doom lives up to those lofty expectations.

No comments:

Post a Comment