|The latest chapter in the long and proud history of Candlemass is entitled 'Death Magic Doom' and it is the second album (third if we count the Lucifer Rising EP) that features Robert Lowe in the lead vocals.|
The album begins with 'If I Ever Die', a song in the new trend of the band to open its albums with a fast, rhythmic track. This song will cause a lot of neck pains in their live concerts. The album then takes us to a dive to the past of the band, 'Hammer of Doom' is the new trademark of the band which contains some of the best performances in guitars, rhythm section, and a vocal performance by Robert that is simply his best since he started in the band - rivaling his best performances in Solitude Aeturnus. The same goes for 'The Bleeding Baroness', a song that is about the legend of Elizabeth Bathory. Just as the lady, the track is just as beautiful as it is sinister and threatening.
With the next track 'Demon of the Deep' the band comes closer to the recent sound of 'The King of the Grey Islands', but with a more balanced use of keyboards and psychedelic elements. I know that Leif Edling likes films but he must love the old Italian “gialo” films, which is more than obvious in the 'House of 1000 Voices'. I really like this song and I think it stands as one of the highlights of the album, especially in regard of the solo guitar. The album continues with 'Dead Angel', an up-tempo track with a great chorus and yet another impressive performance on drums and guitar. I think that this track will gain a lot when played live.
The last two songs of the album, 'Clouds of Dementia' and 'My Funeral Dreams', show us the will of the band to balance itself between the old times and the new more diverse sound. I must say that it is also more than obvious in these two songs that the band is in great shape and some of their finest songwriting is included in this album. I can't really find a weak moment with the main album, but because I have the European limited digipack edition I can still fond one such point: the bonus track 'Lucifer Rising', which is a few steps weaker than the rest of the songs. Additionally this limited digipack version includes a DVD with footage from the 2008 US tour and the making of the album, but be warned it doesn't contain live performances. It's more of a day by day video journal.
I'm closing as a fan and not as a reviewer; it took them 22 years to make an album on the exact same level as Nightfall', I only hope that their next step will be their best album ever.
1. If I Ever Die
2. Hammer Of Doom
3. The Bleeding Baroness
4. Demon Of The Deep
5. House Of 1000 Voices
6. Dead Angel
7. Clouds Of Dementia
8. My Funeral Dreams
9. Lucifer Rising [bonus track] *
Video and images [multimedia track] *
* Only released with the limited digipack version.
Duration : Approx. 47 / 76 minutes.
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