Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Initial Impressions: Candlemass: Death Magic Doom

Candlemass has been around for a very long time. In that time, they have had multiple different lead singers. Messiah Marcolin is obviously the most well-known with his thunderous tenor, but the band recorded its best song "Solitude" with Johan Langqvist. Currently, Candlemass is sharing lead singer Robert Lowe with fellow doom giant Solitude Aeturnus. I'm not really sure how that works out exactly. This is the band's second album with Lowe on vocals.

Candlemass plays traditional doom metal in the vein of Pentagram and Black Sabbath and is one of the leading bands in the genre. They have been massively influential on the entire doom metal scene and are still revered as gods of the genre.

The music is fairly typical for Candlemass. Alternating between slow dirges and faster, rollicking tracks, the band has shown that they have not lost a step in the songwriting department. The heaviness and doom and gloom are all still here in spades. Something just sounds a littel different. And it's pretty easy to point out what the difference is. Messiah Marcolin's voice just fit this band. Lowe has a very strong voice, do not get me wrong, but Messiah's voice was THE VOICE for Candlemass.

I actually do enjoy this album quite a bit. It's different from Candlemass's other stuff in the vocal department, but Lowe does do a fine job. Something's just missing. It's like Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio on vocals. The songs were great but Dio was not Ozzy and never would be. Robert Lowe is a great singer and these are great songs, but he's not Messiah Marcolin.


  1. I wasn't too impressed with King of the Grey Islands, so I don't think I'll be getting this one. Their 2005 self-titled is amazing, though.

  2. I have to be honest; I've always kind of struggled with Marcolin's vocals. For some reason I just don't care for his voice, which is unfortunate because I love the music. Thus, for me, having Lowe at the mic is quite acceptable.