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Review: Runemagick - Envenom

Label: Aftermath Music
Year released: 2005
Duration: 51:15
Tracks: 5
Genre: Doom/Death

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: March 6, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 3/5 (60%) (13 Votes)

Ninth full-length from workaholic Nicklas and his pals. I don't know how he does it, but no band comes close to this kind of pace, and no other band could put out so many albums so fast and have them all come out so good. True, I found last years "On Funeral Wings" a bit of a letdown, but "Envenom" is another excellent Runemagick CD that easily gains back what little they lost.

Now Runemagick have always been doomy, but this is the doomiest they have ever been. At over an hour with only five tracks, you know this has got to be seriously doomy. I mean the shortest track is still over 8 minutes, with the rest hovering between 11 and 15. I think this is very cool, but then I love doomy excess. It is not an accessible album, and will definitely put off those not already into slow, crushing music with sparse vocals and a lot of ambient passages. This is even slower and more obtuse than "Darkness Death Doom", and I have to say I miss the somewhat more uptempo bits from that and other earlier albums. But this is Doom all the way, with no nods to anything else. "Vultures" opens the album with a slightly more conventional approach, but then the title track ooooozes out of the speakers and buries you in doom for 15 minutes. The album tends to get slower and more strange as it goes on. I can't say it kicks ass, because it doesn't kick – it's more like being pressed to death.

So "Envenom" is a bit of a departure for this outfit, and we shall have to see if Runemagick will continue this way, or go off in another direction. Runemagick always stay within the bounds of their chosen style, but they always try something new within those bounds, and for such a prolific band to keep challenging themselves is a real achievement, not to mention a treat to hear. "Envenom" will take some spins to get into, but be assured it is worth it.

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