Candlemass - _Death Magic Doom_
(Nuclear Blast, 2009)
by: Colleen Burton (9.5 out of 10)
In 2005, Candlemass, still under Marcolin's direction, released an eponymous album which abandoned the idiosyncratic material last seen on _From the 13th Sun_ and verified a restitution of their classically epic technique; thankfully, they haven't since wavered in this approach. Less formidable than _Candlemass_, _Death Magic Doom_ has an immense, vibrato-laden sound that correlates naturally with the _Epicus Doomicus Metallicus_ tracks while perpetuating the approach of recent recordings like "Emperor of the Void" with a fresh layer of polish, reinvigorated sharpness and tighter delivery.

"If I Ever Die" unveils a reciprocity between the frequent soloing of the former album and their prototypical heavy riffing in addition to an aggrandized perusal of the admirable Robert Lowe's signature quavering vocals. No punches are pulled during this perfectly headbangable track, succeeded by "Hammer of Doom", also sure to become an indispensable component of the Candlemass anthology: a simply perfect manifestation of a style both minimal and grandiose. Saturated with morbidity and driven by the quintessential bass groove, "The Bleeding Baroness" keeps everything running full-pelt and segues into the unyielding and malevolently slow "Demon of the Deep". The latter half of the album is unmistakably weaker, but Johansson's leads never cease their onslaught for a moment. At any rate, it's still easy to sink your teeth into tracks that borrow conspicuously from long-established heavy metal arrangements, like "House of 1000 Voices". Keen to avoid any lag, Candlemass carefully and regularly readjust their tempo, as with the crushing main riff on "Dead Angel". "My Funeral Dreams" follows through as an aureate conclusion to this impeccably executed and produced record. And, anyways, why shouldn't it be? Johansson, Björkman, Edling and Lindh have all put in approximately a decade of dues and Lowe plainly just slays.

_Death Magic Doom_ evinces a thunderous alchemy in its spellbinding powers; a monumental realization to stand at the fore of traditional doom today. It is difficult to nitpick over minor details in the search for any weak element that is somehow detracting from _Death Magic Doom_, apart from it ebbing slightly as it proceeds, nor is there another band that can offer anything comparable. The tenth album earns very nearly a ten and unless you have a Messiah Complex, you're likely to agree.


(article published 24/12/2009)

5/3/2005 J Smit Candlemass: Chants in Declaration
4/19/2005 J Smit 8.5 Candlemass - Candlemass
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