|Review: Candlemass - Death Magic Doom|
|Death Magic Doom|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: April 6, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Death Magic Doom
After the loss of legendary vocalist Messiah Marcolin a lot of people assumed Candlemass was over, despite that the band has worked with other singers on such fine albums as Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and Chapter VI. I vastly prefer Candlemass with Messiah, but I am not such a fanboy that I can't admit they can work successfully with other singers. Despite my reservations, even I had to admit Rob Lowe gave a good performance on their last album King Of The Grey Islands. There were things wrong with that album, but he wasn't one of them. The songwriting was just lackluster.
The songwriting this time, however, is definitely not lackluster. Opener "If I Ever Die" kicks things off with a hard and heavy attack with some great riffs, and then the album gets even better as it kicks into the awesome "Hammer of Doom", the even more awesome "The Bleeding Baroness", and then the album's pinnacle "Demon Of The Deep". All three of these are crushing Doom epics with punishingly heavy riffs, powerful vocals, and enough hooks to make a Cenobite envious. Any of these tunes can stand up to the band's classic-era material without giving any ground at all.
The rest of the album can't quuuiiite keep this up, and the second half is slightly but noticeably weaker. "House of 1000 Voices" is pretty good, and "Dead Angel" has some killer riffage but a weak chorus. "Clouds Of Dementia" goes on too long and also has a slightly weak chorus. Fortunately closer "My Funeral Dreams" has some of the coolest riffs on the album and gains back a lot of the strength lost with the two preceding songs.
It is a real treat to finally hear a reunion album that sounds like Candlemass firing on all cylinders. When this band is at full power, as on "Demon Of The Deep", then there is no one on earth who can match their awesome Doom might. On Death Magic Doom Leif Edling has written the best songs he's penned in years, and the band sounds tight and heavy as they ever did before when we were all younger. Lowe really steps up as a singer, and I would call this the best performance of his career, as the challenge of winning over Messiah fans has obviously goaded him to use his voice to its fullest potential. I was never a fan of his before, but now it's obvious the band chose the right man for the job. This album is not as consistent as the self-titled reunion album, but it reaches highs this band has not touched in twenty years, and nobody really thought they ever would again. Highly Recommended.
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