Runemagick - _Dawn of the End_
(Aftermath, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8.5 out of 10)
A short while ago, Runemagick released an album entitled _Darkness Doom Death_, a title as every bit accurate as it is unimaginative. But given that every single band from Emperor to St Vitus sings about "darkness doom death", a bit of elaboration is required.

Their tenth full-length (Nicholas Rudolffson and his cohorts have maintained an average of one album a year since 1997) consists of a disarmingly simple, yet devastatingly effective motif of old-school death metal along the lines of Celtic Frost, Treblinka / Tiamat and early Entombed slowed down to a doom metal crawl. The songs are long and deceptively simple, dragging on for lengthy periods, yet never short of engaging. Naturally, this is not a zone where leads are particularly welcome. Although it is fairly unique, it paradoxically does not sound fresh -- they could have emerged from the metal swamp at any time in the past fifteen years at least.

When one can listen to an album of lengthy numbers that occasionally end in the two digit zone and not be bored for a single moment, it is no small achievement -- especially when it takes eight minutes for the first vocals to kick in. The mysteries of the Futhark have served Rudolffson and his cohorts well, and this is recommended for fans of everyone from Celtic Frost to My Dying Bride. I just hope the title is not prophetic; this entity is at the height of its creative powers, and any foreseeable demise would be premature.


(article published 27/4/2008)

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