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Golden maturity - 100%

Pegasus_wings, October 24th, 2006

How often does a band try something really fresh and innovative instead of copying the thrills of the past after a reunion? Some guys prefer not to release anything in the fear of destroying their legend (the original Black Sabbath), or they create something uninspired and unoriginal, with old and repetitive ideas and cliches in order to please their fans (Judas Priest).

That's not the case of Candlemass! Abandoning part of their early epic feeling and the religious, mythological, or fantasy themes they focus, for the first time in their history, on the drama of every-day life and agony. More doom than epic the new Candlemass sound darker than ever before. It seems that the change of Leif Edling's philosophical approach (he does not accept any metaphysical explanation about the human fate) affected the music itself. It is very interesting to hear the lyrics of "Born in a tank" for example, a song talking about a man buried in the fake safety of his home, being in fact imprisoned by the politics. No more devils or angels, no Satan or God, but just human beings...

Don't expect the thunderous enthusiasm of previous albums such as "Nightfall". What someone should expect from some guys around 45 is maturity, not youthfull energy. Candlemass are more sophisticated than ever before, with the intention to speak out the truth. The result of this effort is breathtaking. Although Messiah does not use all his vocal range (like his singing during '80's), he prefers to insist on darker vocals that fit perfectly the mood of this album. The other players have retained their dexterity and good shape and, most of all, they have chemistry. You cannot pay attention to the good work of a single musician, but to the whole music in general. It gives me the impression that not even a single note is unnecessary.

I strongly believe that this album is their best. I didn't realise it at the first time I heard it, but after some more careful listenings I understood why the best albums are the growers, not the instant thrills. When you want to express something deep and original, there is no way to make it easier, in order to be understood by the idiots or the lazy ones.