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Review: Candlemass - King Of The Grey Islands
King Of The Grey Islands

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2007
Duration: 53:55
Tracks: 10
Genre: Doom Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: May 31, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
King Of The Grey Islands

Rated 4.04/5 (80.77%) (26 Votes)

I'll be right up front and say that without Messiah this isn't really a Candlemass record. You can play doomy, you can get back to the fantasy lyrics and put a big skull on the album cover, but without Messiah it just doesn't sound like Candlemass. I was further disappointed to hear that Rob Lowe of the lackluster Solitude Aeturnus was taking the vocal spot. I have never liked his voice, considering him a weak singer with very limited range who is somehow, along with his boring band, thought to be awesome by a lot of people.

Well, King Of The Grey Islands does not sound much like an old Candlemass album, but it is still worth hearing. The production is a bit more natural and less slick than on the last eponymous disc, and the riffage is slower and more doomy than uptempo rockers like "Black Dwarf". I wasn't expecting much from Rob Lowe, but he delivers a solid performance, showing more grit and dynamic than I have ever heard him use before, and honestly I'd say this is his best performance to date. His voice doesn't have the richness and power of Messiah's, but he tries hard and pulls this off pretty well.

Musically this is just a bit weak. The riffs are good, but the songs as a whole do not really grab me, and after many listens the only one that really sticks in my head is "Emperor Of The Void", which is not one of the better tunes on here. "Devil Seed" is an enjoyable stomp, and "Of Stars And Smoke" probably comes closest to sounding like a real Candlemass song. "Destroyer" is good too. Overall this album is pretty good, and if this wasn't a legendary band I'd be more forgiving, but from legends I expect more. Still, if this band can keep churning out albums as good as this one, we could do far worse.

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