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Swedish doom metal pioneers Candlemass return with a refined sense of confidence with their latest offering, the eight-track DEATH MAGIC DOOM. Comfortably settling into yet another round of changes (most notably on the vocals), Leif Edling and company showcase that they are still able to conjure feelings of dread and despair straight from the Black Sabbath playbook (“Hammer of Doom”) with grace and respect but not without interspersing their own bells and whistles (as well as some kick ass solos) into the mix. This veteran unit maintains mid-paced mauling tempos for the most part, yet at times opt for the upbeat with success (“Dead Angel”) while the powerful tandem of killer vocals and memorable riffs propel tracks like “House of 1000 Voices” into the upper echelon of the slow, deep, and hard. Candlemass snaps back into fine form on their latest affair, exhibiting an unforeseen energy that boldly pushes their brand of doom metal into exhilarating new worlds.
- Mike SOS