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Minimalist Organ Modern Doom Metal. - 89%

Vaibhavjain, February 14th, 2009

Leif Edling, a pillar in doom metal for being the bassist and co-founder of one the most influential doom bands ever, Candlemass came up with his sophomore debut album entitled, “Songs of Torment - Songs of Joy” last year and surprisingly did not generate as much attention as one would have suspected it to have. Though after Messiah Marcolin, of Candlemass fame left behind the band he helped make so popular and handed over all the reigns to Leif, and so even though if in a bizarre way, Candlemass became Leif Edling’s project, he decided to create a band by his own name.

Leif’s work in this album is something he is not much used to in his work with Candlemass in the sense that not only does he handle the bass, but also does the vocals, plays the leads and the primary lyricist and songwriter. Being a man of immense talent and performing exceedingly well in bands like Candlemass and another lesser-known band, Krux it is no surprise that his debut effort hold a candle up to these bands.

The music on this album can be described as “Minimalist Organ Modern Doom”. The organ, it must be mentioned is a prop and not a centerpiece around which the band’s music revolves though I must admit that it is certainly an interesting thought. With the help of a church organ in the background, the band achieves what it tries by creating a haunting atmosphere of impending doom.

The vocal duties, taken over by Leif are something new for him and handle them very well. He has an amazing range of voice and there are basically three vocals styles covered by him in the album. They are the spoken vocals, which can be heard on the tracks, “It Is Not Here”, “the Scar” and “Angelic ‘Till I die”. The raspy vocals are the second style of vocals. They are a rarity and heard on “My Black Birthday” and “Space Killer”. The third style is focused on mostly during the entire album. Clean vocals backed a ton of the “epic” feel. It’s the first time I have hear of such vocals on a doom album, and it was a pleasant surprise, which I enjoyed.

The guitars though extremely down tuned sound very crisp, sharp and to the point. The riffs are heavy, extremely heavy in fact and add that extra feeling and creating the atmosphere the band aimed for. There are 8 tracks and the numbers of different riffs are not much more. Even with such a drastically low amount of riffs the band pulls it off in a way that doesn’t make the listening session tedious. The bass is audible and apart from echoing the guitar work during the entirety of the album, it does a lot of work in creating the atmosphere. The drumming is like on all doom albums just adds to the rhythm with simple, well-placed and slow drumming without any frivolities and technicality. So basically, if one adds up the aforesaid is that the combination of an organ, heavy guitars, a complementing bass sound and hypnotic drumming makes for a note worthy debut.

The production is very good and at times it is because of the production that one feels that the music is drifting far away even while he sits still in one place. The only complaint I have from this rather good release is the minimalist use of the organ. Even when it is used one needs to strain his ears to hear it at times getting lost between the crushingly heavy guitars. The organ if used and mixed properly could have propelled this album to greater heights and in my opinion, not mixing it well ENOUGH is a chance lost.

- The last track, an epic, near 10 minute instrumental (minus the spoken part near the end), which for a change has a number of riffs and solos, is my pick off of this release.

Great Album - 85%

paranj, January 18th, 2009

This is Candlemass' bassist, Leif Edling's solo project. Candlemass is regarded a legend in the doom metal scene and this solo project is no different. This a classy doom metal release.

This release is bass heavy with slow composition and nice, structured and rythumic drums as expected from a doom metal release. The vocals are haunting and eerie. Some electric samples are used which fit in well and adds to the depressive ambience this album creates. The guitars are great and sets the flows of the song. There are hardly any solos but thats doom metal style. As said before, the drums flow along rather well. There is no brutal drumming, only slow and atmospheric drumming which creates a haunting feeling. The bass is good though not so audible.

As it was released recently, the production is good and almost every instrument is audible. The vocals have been mixed such as they sound like they are coming from deep inside a cave.

The album creates a magnificently haunting ambience. The slow and doomy instruments make you feel like you are trapped in a closed room and tormented. Classic doom metal style.

The only flaw is the song length. They are shorter than typical doom metal songs which are quite lenghthy. What amount of material exists here, is really good. Lief Edling surely is a great doom metal instrumentalist.