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We're living in an ever-changing world where at least one thing seems to stay same year after year; Swedish Runemagick delivers a new death/doom metal album once in a while. After the excellent album Darkness Death Doom this album feels a bit of a disappointment; it sounds nearly identical to DDD after the first listen. Couple listens more and I was hooked by the atmosphere and guitarist/vocalist Nicklas Rudolfsson's recognizable riffs that really made me feel I was riding on funeral wings.
I find it amazing how Runemagick's sound evolves on every album and becomes all the time better. The music is most of the time really slow, atmospheric and quite catchy but sometimes the tempo is increased even though you don't hear blastbeats on this album. One of the best tracks on this album is 'In a Darkened Tomb' that really blew me away.
Rudolfsson, the female bassist Emma Karlsson (nowadays Rudolfsson, Nicklases wife) and drummer Daniel Moilanen can really make surprisingly organic sound at least compared today’s metal bands. Rudolfsson also uses classic metal sounds from the early 70s that also make really unique atmosphere on this album. The production fits quite well on the album even though drums could sound more powerful. Also Rudolfsson's vocals are quite weak and they sometimes drown under the other instruments. Those are just minor flaws and don't really hurt the album.
The album luckily doesn't repeat itself too much and the second last track 'Black Star Abyss' is really atmospheric instrumental that is spiced with piano and flutes. The song has Middle-Eastern feel and it reminds me of Nile's similar sounding massive instrumentals where the brutality is replaced with beasts that lurk in the darkness.
As a conclusion I must say that Runemagick really surpassed all the expectations. If you are into death/doom metal fan and don't like this album, then there's something wrong in YOU not on this album.