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Candlemass Candlemass Review

Candlemass Candlemass Review

Artist: Candlemass
Album: Candlemass
Genre(s): Heavy Metal
Subgenres(s): Heavy Metal, Doom Metal
Released: 2005
Length: 55 minutes (58 minutes with bonus material)
Language(s): English
Label(s): Nuclear Blast

Track List:

01. Black Dwarf
02. Seven Silver Keys
03. Assassin of the Light
04. Copernicus
05. The Man Who Fell from the Sky
06. Witches
07. Born in a Tank
08. Spellbreaker
09. The Day and the Night
10. Mars and Volcanoes (Bonus Track)

Candlemass Candlemass Cover

Swedish doom metallers Candlemass return to form with their self-titled opus after 6 years and a brief hiatus. Candlemass also marks the return of singer Messiah Marcolin, who hasn’t recorded with the band since 1989s Tales of Creation and his voice remains as powerful as it was 16 years ago.

The lyrics tend to deal with fantasy and mythological subjects without the flamboyance that normally accompany heavy metal bands. Many of the verses are vivid in their description of scenes that you could half expect to be part of a book rather than a song. At times the lyrics can be quite gothic in nature and this helps to keep the band in line with the doom metal ethos that they helped create.

Candlemass does however breathe new life into their sound with founding member, bassist and sole songwriter Leif Edling expanding on the plodding doom metal framework that they pioneered in the 1980s. He achieves this by incorporating influences from traditional heavy metal that can be heard prominently on Black Dwarf, Witches, Born in a Tank and Mars and Volcanoes.

The song lengths are just as varied and go from a little over 3 minutes (The Man Who Fell from The Sky) up to 9 minutes (The Day and the Night). This gives the band plenty of room to play through extended passages without adhering to a typical verse/chorus format but at the same time the songs remain highly structured and never veer off without purpose.

Black Dwarf is uncharacteristic of the bands typical sound as it is incredibly up-tempo with a repetitive and infectious guitar hook that will immediately draw you into the album. The Man Who Fell from the Sky is one of the few instrumental songs Candlemass have done in their long career and while it follows a similar formula to Black Dwarf, it doesn’t have the same payoff when you expect Messiah Marcolin to burst out wailing but instead it simply continues to play on until it quickly fades to silence.

The rest of Candlemass is rounded off with songs that lean heavily in favour of their doom metal niche. Ominous songs like Seven Silver Keys, Assassin of the Light and Spellbreaker show off their modernised doom metal sound exceptionally well. Copernicus almost comes to a complete stand still after a thundering introduction and along with Spellbreaker, it is one of the few songs to feature guitar solos in their lengthy compositions.

It is not an overstatement to say that the self-titled effort from the Swedish doom metal pioneers is a triumphant return to form that will please old and new fans alike.

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My Dying Bride A Line of Deathless Kings Review

My Dying Bride A Line of Deathless Kings Review

Artist: My Dying Bride
Album: A Line of Deathless Kings
Genre(s): Heavy Metal
Subgenres(s): Doom Metal
Released: 2006
Length: 61 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Peaceville Records

Track List:

01. To Remain Tombless
02. L’Amour Detruit
03. I Cannot Be Loved
04. And I Walk with Them
05. Thy Raven Wings
06. Loves Intolerable Pain
07. One of Beauty’s Daughters
08. Deeper Down
09. The Blood, the Wine, the Roses

My Dying Bride A Line of Deathless Kings Cover

A Line of Deathless Kings is the 9th melodramatic outing by English metal outfit My Dying Bride. If the band’s name and song titles weren’t obvious enough, you can expect to hear a lot of what can only be described as funeral inspired music as interpreted by a metal band. Coupled with the morose lyrics of founding member and singer Aaron Stainthorpe, it becomes quite apparent that the members of My Dying Bride have being living in perpetual misery ever since their sand castles where kicked over one too many times during their childhood.

Monolithic guitar plods are woven together with haunted but infrequent keyboard ambiance and some contrastingly speedy percussive rhythms that create an eerie yet powerful sound for A Line of Deathless Kings. The album is highly consistent and My Dying Bride only breaks character momentarily on Loves Intolerable Pain and at the end of The Blood, the Wine, the Roses to go from their usual mournful tones to delve into flashes of rage that come as quickly as they go.

My Dying Bride lives up to their subgenres namesake and the poetic lyrics will be a treat for fans of the macabre but for those wanting something to smile about are better off looking elsewhere.