Every Candlemass release is a landmark in the doom metal history.
The anticipation for their next move was, and will always be, great and their fans were often rewarded with masterpieces.
Not this time. If I was asked to describe “Death Magic Doom” with one word, that would be “disappointing”. Being a fan of Candlemass and Robert Lowe myself, I didn’t see this coming. Going through the eight tracks of the album I can’t find even one of them that is more than just decent. There is no “magic” here. Leif Edling and co seem to be left without any inspiration and Robert Lowe is almost unrecognizable. It’s like Candlemass are struggling not to sound like Solitude Aeturnus, and in order to achieve this they avoid the chanting and melodic vocal lines that characterize Lowe.
From the opening track “If I Ever Die” (that actually is not a doom metal song in any aspect) I was let down and the quality of songs remained low until the end, with “Dead Angel” being the finishing stroke. There are a couple of songs that stand out from the rest. “Hammer Of Doom” and “My Funeral Dreams” are good ones, but even these wouldn’t fit in a Candlemass “Best Of”.
I would only recommend buying this album if you are a die hard fan of Candlemass and you want to keep their complete discography in your collection. I’ve listened to “Death Magic Doom” over and over again, so it could grow into me but sadly that didn’t happen. I just hope they’ll find their way again.
The long awaited new album by the Swedish Doom masters Candlemass is finally here and it is the second one under the vocal blessings of Robert Lowe himself. “Death Magic Doom” is the title of the album and it includes 8 new songs.
Those who have listened the Lucifer Rising EP that was released some months prior to the album would have probably understand that Mr Leif Edling is in the mood of writing some faster tunes on this period and one of them has found the way as the opening track of the new album and yes it is the “If I Ever Die” song which -together with the Lucifer Rising track from the EP- can be mentioned as one of the faster Candlemass tunes.
Following “Hammer Of Doom” track is as slow as its title can describe although it has an up tempo breaking in the middle. It is a heavy anthem that presents the haunted singing of Mr Lowe blessing the riffing of Mr Edling. A mysterious melody -both by guitar and vocals- is the introduction of the “Bleeding Baroness” tune that follows with its main riff reminding us the main riff the classic “Mirror Mirror” track from the “Ancient Dreams” album.
“Demon Of The Deep” carries that -well known to the fanatics- special apocalyptic touch both in its riffs and melodies. It has a great interlude, a tombstone main riff and a great chorus / crescendo. A similar apocalyptic musical background can be noticed into the even more epic and mysterious “House Of The Thousand Voices”, with the narrative voice melodies of Mr Lowe to be the big trademark in here, together with the excellent riffing.
I have pointed before that Mr Edling is in the mood of writing some fast tunes. That explains in a way the fact the the bets song of the album called “Dead Angel” is in fast tempos. Yes it will make your head bang driving you in an ultimate Doom Metal ecstasy. The strongest feature of this anthem is its chorus which is simply one of the best choruses that Candlemass have written during the last years, a chorus that drives this aggressive classic Metal anthem into an apocalyptic and great crescendo. “Clouds Of Dementia” is the next track. It carries some great lead guitar melodies and a -once again- memorable chorus.
The epilogue of the album belongs to “My Funeral Dreams” which is with no doubt one of the top tracks of this album thanks to its heavy riffs, its dark melodies, its great main guitar solo and to the -once again- great performance of Mr Lowe, yes all those features have turned this mid tempo tune to a black anthem.
To sum things up I have to point that Candlemass have presented 8 new songs full of inspiration. We can hear lots of marvelous musical stuff in this album that after all is equal -but not better- to the previous one “King Of The Great Islands”. It is clear that the band has set up a serious musical basis writing great riffs, lead themes and melodies but they should have work a little harder on the final transformation of all this stuff to complete songs. What is my my exact point? All the structures of the songs are quite simple, I am missing the hidden melodies, the bridges, the -even more- guitar leads. I am missing some double voice melodies as well. I am coming across some great Doom stuff but every time that I finish listening to the album I have a strong felling that the songs are completed in a hurry. It is also a fact that Mr Edling presents a heavy, haunted and dark way of composing and Mr Lowe presents an even darker way of singing probably because they both want to avoid reaching the complete Epic Doom Metal background of Solitude Aeturnus. Well to tell you the truth I would to die to listen a record full of the Epic and apocalyptic music that Mr Edling offered in the first Candlemass period with the voice of Robert Lowe to be the ultimate trademark but this is simple a personal wish.
Do not make the mistake to mark this album as an average one. You will love it from the first hearing if you are addicted to those heavy as hell Candlemass riffs which is the basic and strongest feature in here. Candlemass have shown us their teeth once more and I am sure that they will sooner or later present an ultimate Doom Metal album marked by their golden line up. “Death, Magic, Doom” could be their ultimate one if they spend some more time preparing it. Now the simply have managed to release another great, high quality straight into the face and heavy as the final destruction Doom Metal album. Get ready for their next step….
Chris “CountRaven” Papadakis.
|Track List||Line Up|
|01. If I Ever Die
02. Hammer Of Doom
03. The Bleeding Baroness
04. Demon Of The Deep
05. House Of Thousand Voices
06. Dead Angel
07. Clouds Of Dementia
08. My Funeral Dreams
|Robert Lowe – Vocals
Lars “Lasse” Johansson – Lead Guitar
Mats “Mappe” Björkman – Rhythm Guitar
Leif Edling – Bass
Jan Lindh – Drums