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It’s been a turbulent and weird era for Candlemass with all these things around the fact that Messiah Marcolin eventually left the band, after reading many interviews with the bandleader Leif Edling it’s obvious that he and the guys in the band doesn’t like Messiah at all, and have never really done. So Messiah left the building, but who really thought Candlemass would call it quits just because of that? Exactly, nobody! So they tested a whole bunch of vocalist but didn’t find what they looked for, and as a gift from heaven there was one day some news on their homepage saying that Robert Lowe of SOLITUDE AETURNUS was their new vocalist. Some were sceptic, but some felt directly that this is exactly what C-mass need. And yes, this new disc of doom shows: Candlemass are back and they are stronger than ever, and Robert is the best vocalist that has ever sung for this band.
With Candlemass we always know that we get heavy doom music with gloomy and phenomenal lyrics. The band has an excellent songwriter and bassplayer in form of Leif, a superb guitar duo, a solid drummer...and now one of the best vocalists in metal. The performance Robert does on the album can be described with one word: divine, it even outmatches his performance on the latest SA-album “Alone”. On “K.O.T.G.I.” he sings with much rawer and darker vocals to fit in with the aggressive music, but still he manages to sing with so much variation and mixes with some SA-kind of singing here and there, which really makes this to his best performance. The music, compared to 2005’s S/T-album, is much more dynamic and ‘big’-sounding, and as Leif has said; it’s also more metal. After hearing the verses of “Emperor of the Void” the first time I understood directly that this would be the darkest C-mass album so far, and it is. Not only musicwise, but also the lyrical part. Leif says he doesn’t care too much about the lyrics when writing an album, I find this strange, since he always writes so awesome lyrics. Most songs on this albums are about mankind...what can be more gloomy and depressing? Critisiscm is spitted out towards certain people, the society we live in and what we do to our planet and ourselves. And no one do this better than Leif, when it comes for lyrics to songs. Some great songs can be found on here and thing is that there’s not a single weak track, except the maybe too monotonous “Demonia 6”.
The band seems happy with the situation, they’re feeling enthusiastic and want to get on the road with Robert, it’s obvious, Candlemass are hungry...and I can understand it. With such a great album as this, who can be anything else than happy? There’s some songs on here that can be counted as the best C-mass have written (“Clearsight” and “Embracing The Styx”) and i’m happy with Leif’s writing, that he can keep such a high level of greatness on every album in the last years. While it’s not really beating some of their older albums, this one is still very close and is absolutely up there in the top of this band’s albums. This is a must for every Candlemass as well as Solitude Aeturnus fan...or let’s just say: anyone that is into doom!