|Review: Runemagick - Darkness Death Doom|
|Darkness Death Doom|
Label: Aftermath Music
Year released: 2003
Review online: July 15, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Darkness Death Doom
I thought "Requiem of the Apocalypse" had its flaws, but it was still one of my favorite death metal albums last year. I just like the Runemagick sound, and even though the album went on a bit and tended to meander, I still liked it a lot. For the follow-up Runemagick are back with "Darkness Death Doom", and I have to say it is a major leap forward for the band.
With this album, Runemagick seem to have distilled the cool things about their sound. This is mostly slower or midpaced, as previous releases have been, but the songwriting is much more focused this time around. The songs here, while very long (witness the nine-minute monster "The Venom") hang together as songs rather than just collections of riffs. Runemagick still offer up plenty of variety within a song, changing riffs and tempos, but they have worked out how to do so without losing their grip on the overall composition. "Darkness" drips with cool, vaguely Entombed-ish doomy riffs that crush over everything like a cloud of death. The production here is amazing, with the coolest guitar tone I have heard in years. "Requiem" was a little too dry, but "Darkness Death Doom" has a very warm, sludgy tone - very analog, if you get what I mean. A lot of the riffing and drumming is very odd-sounding and different, almost oriental or even jazzy from time to time without losing the evil and doomy vibe. Songs like "Eyes of Kali", "The Venom" and "Doomed" are heavy, doomy, and arrestingly different all at once.
The case is a digipack, so let’s talk about something else. The art design is first rate, with a very cool medieval look to it. The lyrics are pretty cool (any song praising Mother Kali is good in my book) but the band photos suffer from a severe lack of big glossy pics of bassist Emma Karlssen – what a babe.
With all the death bands out there treading in the footsteps of giants, it is enormously refreshing to encounter a band dead set on doing something different. With their creepy, doomy sound and complex chord progressions, Runemagick have evolved a unique sound, and they stand as true innovators of an original style.
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Interview with Nicklas Rudolfsson on August 1, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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