Rating:
8.9
Candlemass - Death Magic Doom
3 April 2009


Disc I [CD]
01. If I Ever Die
02. Hammer Of Doom
03. The Bleeding Baroness
04. Demon Of The Deep
05. House Of 1000 Voices
06. Dead Angel
07. Clouds Of Dementia
08. My Funeral Dreams
09. Lucifer Rising [US/Limited Edition bonus]
10. White God [bonus]

Disc II [DVD] [Limited Edition bonus]
+ Studio & Tour Report


Throughout their lengthy career, Candlemass has shown various faces. Well, what do you expect when your sound is very vocal-driven and you change vocalist on numerous occasions in your career? When Messiah left/got kicked out of the band in '06, they quickly introduced the -other- guy with the dazzling voice - Robert Lowe. Known for his works with the long-running Solitude Aeturnus, there were no doubts concerning his skills, but still their first album together felt a little uncomfortable and lacking in chemistry.

That, my doomed companions, is now no longer an issue. With their second album together "Death Magic Doom", and the tenth full-length album in Candlemass' life, both parties have found each other in a magnificent album. What Candlemass is today is a groovy, doomy and relentless killing machine. The characteristic despairing wails of Messiah have been replaced with Lowe's angry, bellowing lines. Still, the biggest change that this band went through in recent times has to do with the riffs. Where they used to be lead-heavy and pummelling, they are now fast(er) and full of catchy firework (especially the solos). This band has matured a lot, despite how superfluous and meaningless such a term actually is.

As opposed to the previous vocalists of Candlemass, who peaked early in their Candlemass-career, Lowe seems to work the other way around. "Death Magic Doom" is a definite step-up from their previous album and a very accessible, but nonetheless very enjoyable album. At times, they even sound more like a US Power metal act than a Traditional Doom metal one, with "If I Ever Die" as best example. Don't fear though, only on a few occasions and well, the band has always possessed a fair amount of cheese, right? Besides, the opener is compensated by the jaw dropping "Hammer Of Doom", with its stunning vocal performance and ditto main riff. And when the riffs are subtly accentuated by the keyboard in the background, things get even better (House Of Thousand Voices). Not every song is worth its weight in gold, but there are certainly no below-average tracks on this. Hell, "My Funeral Dreams" and "Clouds Of Dementia" are my least favourite songs on this album but they still kick the ass of a ton of Doom bands out there.

Lowe brought a significant amount of change and keeps the band fresh and vibrant, however paradoxical that may sound. "Death Magic Doom" is another great release from this highly prolific and important band. I personally think it is amazing how this band manages to maintain an interesting sound, even if the changes were forced upon them and Lowe is certainly not my favourite of the Candlemass vocalists. And truth be told: no Doom metal lover will be able to resist this baby. Swinging The Hammer Of Doooooooooooom!

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Candlemass
Album: Death Magic Doom


 



Written on 15.04.2009 by
Lucas
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
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Marcel Hubregtse - 21.03.2011 at 20:53  
As for Candlemass being hit or miss nowadays... Ffs they have been hit or or miss on ALL their albums since Ancient Dreams (and even there there are some near misses) imo Messiah is the most overrated part of their history. Plus the only thing he ever contributed was his voice. Didn't write a single note or even lyrics the lazy ****
!J.O.O.E.! - 21.03.2011 at 20:59  
Doesn't really matter, he was an integral part of their sound. It's not uncommon for vocalists to just do the vocals so i don't see what the issue with that is. They have been hit and miss since Tales Of Creation but even the self titled, which exhibited the same average level of songwriting as the recent records, was made far better by Messiah. Lowe is half the vocalist he used to be as far as I'm concerned, his modern vocal style just isn't that great.
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.03.2011 at 21:08  
I wholeheartedly disagree with you on the Messiah part imo Lowe's vocals add way more to Candlemass than Messiah's on the self-titled. And tbh Rob only gets better with the passing of years. On the first two SA albums he tried to sound like Messiah and at times also as a progressive power metal vocalist. Nowon the last SA album and two Candlemass ones (not talking about the ep with the Dylan and Blue Oyster Cult cover of course) he has finally found a voice of his own.
!J.O.O.E.! - 21.03.2011 at 21:15  
To me he sounds nothing like Messiah on the first two SA records, they're far too light and undramatic for that. These days he sounds raspy and annoying, I don't get why people fawn over him. I can tolerate him in SA, not that they've done much recently, but that's only because I've adjusted to their sound and the music is excellent, but modern Candlemass is just plain music with throaty, unappealing singing.
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.03.2011 at 22:28  
Clearly you are totally deaf my good sir. That's what too much black does to you
!J.O.O.E.! - 21.03.2011 at 22:40  
You'd be amazed at how little black metal I've listened to recently actually so my deafness must be down to something else =P
Troy Killjoy - 21.03.2011 at 23:26  
I'm with Joe on this one. Messiah helped define the sound; Lowe is too...detached as a power in my opinion. I focus more on the atmosphere the instruments create to escape the vocals, whereas Messiah was a part of that atmosphere I longed for. It's all a matter of opinion though, much like Metallica vs. Megadeth arguments. The fact both vocalists have a strong argument for each of them is a testament to the rest of the band.
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.03.2011 at 23:57  
Why the hell are WE talking about Messiah vs. Rob when in fact the best vocalist was Johan on Epicus. That album is the true definition of Candlemass' sound.
!J.O.O.E.! - 22.03.2011 at 01:35  
Yeah I totally agree there, no competition. He conveyed pure emotion in a way the other two couldn't.

Though I agree with Troy's sentiments too ;]
Apothecary - 22.03.2011 at 01:52  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 21.03.2011 at 13:30

Written by Apothecary on 21.03.2011 at 12:46

It was a pretty good album, but part of me will never be able to get over the fact that Messiah's not their singer anymore
He was definitely my fav Candlemass singer, and I think one of the best vocalists in metal as a whole. He deserves a lot more credit than he gets.

True story. Candlemass hasn't been worth the time without him in my opinion. I'm not usually so concrete about stuff like this but Lowe belongs in Solitude Aeturnus, not Candlemass. Not to mention the fact Candlemass have lost the ability to write good doom songs, their new stuff is rife with hit and miss tracks. I prefer Isole these days.

I know everyone and their dog will disagree about modern Candlemass but it shows how everyone can be wrong all at the same time :}


Well like I said, Death Magic Doom wasn't that bad. Neither was King of the Grey Islands. Matter of fact, I actually think that Of Stars and Smoke was one of their best songs in a while.
But part of me wonders, when I listen to those two albums, what it'd be like if Messiah had sung on them. Idk, I guess I'm just a little obsessed with him.
I'm biased, lol
!J.O.O.E.! - 22.03.2011 at 02:09  
Written by Apothecary on 22.03.2011 at 01:52

Well like I said, Death Magic Doom wasn't that bad. Neither was King of the Grey Islands. Matter of fact, I actually think that Of Stars and Smoke was one of their best songs in a while.
But part of me wonders, when I listen to those two albums, what it'd be like if Messiah had sung on them. Idk, I guess I'm just a little obsessed with him.
I'm biased, lol

Of Stars and Smoke was a very excellent song, no argument there. They just need more of that kind of thing. They aren't bad albums but I just think they're a bit behind on their game these days.
Troy Killjoy - 22.03.2011 at 02:19  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.03.2011 at 23:57

Why the hell are WE talking about Messiah vs. Rob when in fact the best vocalist was Johan on Epicus. That album is the true definition of Candlemass' sound.

Agreed, Langquist > all.
Stigmatized - 22.03.2011 at 15:58  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.03.2011 at 20:53

As for Candlemass being hit or miss nowadays... Ffs they have been hit or or miss on ALL their albums since Ancient Dreams (and even there there are some near misses) imo Messiah is the most overrated part of their history. Plus the only thing he ever contributed was his voice. Didn't write a single note or even lyrics the lazy ****


Do you like Messiah's voice?
Marcel Hubregtse - 22.03.2011 at 16:30  
Written by Stigmatized on 22.03.2011 at 15:58

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.03.2011 at 20:53

As for Candlemass being hit or miss nowadays... Ffs they have been hit or or miss on ALL their albums since Ancient Dreams (and even there there are some near misses) imo Messiah is the most overrated part of their history. Plus the only thing he ever contributed was his voice. Didn't write a single note or even lyrics the lazy ****


Do you like Messiah's voice?


Yes, I do.
Apothecary - 22.03.2011 at 19:48  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 22.03.2011 at 02:09

Written by Apothecary on 22.03.2011 at 01:52

Well like I said, Death Magic Doom wasn't that bad. Neither was King of the Grey Islands. Matter of fact, I actually think that Of Stars and Smoke was one of their best songs in a while.
But part of me wonders, when I listen to those two albums, what it'd be like if Messiah had sung on them. Idk, I guess I'm just a little obsessed with him.
I'm biased, lol

Of Stars and Smoke was a very excellent song, no argument there. They just need more of that kind of thing. They aren't bad albums but I just think they're a bit behind on their game these days.


Agreed. It would be cool if they got Johan Langqvist (sang on Epicus Doomicus Metallicus) back as their singer, cuz his operatic baritone vocals are out of this world. Go on youtube and search "Candlemass A Sorcerer's Pledge Live." I do believe there's a video from 07 or 08 of them playing in Sweden, and Rob Lowe introduced Johan to the stage to sing it. And he did an AMAZING job, in my opinion anyway.
Stigmatized - 25.03.2011 at 02:14  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 22.03.2011 at 16:30

Written by Stigmatized on 22.03.2011 at 15:58

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.03.2011 at 20:53

As for Candlemass being hit or miss nowadays... Ffs they have been hit or or miss on ALL their albums since Ancient Dreams (and even there there are some near misses) imo Messiah is the most overrated part of their history. Plus the only thing he ever contributed was his voice. Didn't write a single note or even lyrics the lazy ****


Do you like Messiah's voice?


Yes, I do.


I like him and Rob Lowe, but I've always thought Messiah brought a nice "theatrical" touch to their music.
serega25 - 14.10.2011 at 22:33  
Marcel Hubregtse - 14.10.2011 at 22:48  
Written by Apothecary on 22.03.2011 at 19:48

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 22.03.2011 at 02:09

Written by Apothecary on 22.03.2011 at 01:52

Well like I said, Death Magic Doom wasn't that bad. Neither was King of the Grey Islands. Matter of fact, I actually think that Of Stars and Smoke was one of their best songs in a while.
But part of me wonders, when I listen to those two albums, what it'd be like if Messiah had sung on them. Idk, I guess I'm just a little obsessed with him.
I'm biased, lol

Of Stars and Smoke was a very excellent song, no argument there. They just need more of that kind of thing. They aren't bad albums but I just think they're a bit behind on their game these days.


Agreed. It would be cool if they got Johan Langqvist (sang on Epicus Doomicus Metallicus) back as their singer, cuz his operatic baritone vocals are out of this world. Go on youtube and search "Candlemass A Sorcerer's Pledge Live." I do believe there's a video from 07 or 08 of them playing in Sweden, and Rob Lowe introduced Johan to the stage to sing it. And he did an AMAZING job, in my opinion anyway.


Saw Candlemass perfrom Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in its entirety last April at Roadburn with Johan doing the vocals for that album and it left me behind with goosebumps all over. Probably the single most moving performance I have ever seen in my life (remember I have been going to gigs since June 1983 ) There are rumours that that perfromance will eb releasedon cd some time soon.
Johan's vocals now are even better than back in the day. Probably has to do with all the musical singing he does.
Mr. Doctor - 15.10.2011 at 02:53  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 14.10.2011 at 22:48

Saw Candlemass perfrom Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in its entirety last April at Roadburn with Johan doing the vocals for that album and it left me behind with goosebumps all over. Probably the single most moving performance I have ever seen in my life (remember I have been going to gigs since June 1983 ) There are rumours that that perfromance will eb releasedon cd some time soon.
Johan's vocals now are even better than back in the day. Probably has to do with all the musical singing he does.


No kidding man... I still can't believe that performance. My jaw dropped to the center of the earth when he sang "earth to earth... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaashes"... It was just insane. I'll buy the crap out of that live cd if it's true.

It would be awesome if I could hear myself on that cd since I screamed at them in swedish in between songs when it was quite silent....
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.10.2011 at 11:48  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.10.2011 at 02:53



No kidding man... I still can't believe that performance. My jaw dropped to the center of the earth when he sang "earth to earth... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaashes"... It was just insane. I'll buy the crap out of that live cd if it's true.

It would be awesome if I could hear myself on that cd since I screamed at them in swedish in between songs when it was quite silent....

Yeah apparently you were shouting something like:

"God, I wish Ana were here with me!" (Then sobbing sounds could be heard).
Mr. Doctor - 15.10.2011 at 13:01  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.10.2011 at 11:48

Yeah apparently you were shouting something like:
"God, I wish Ana were here with me!" (Then sobbing sounds could be heard).


Well that was the "sane" part of what I told them.


PS: You guys will never drop that joke right? XD
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.10.2011 at 13:08  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 15.10.2011 at 13:01

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.10.2011 at 11:48

Yeah apparently you were shouting something like:
"God, I wish Ana were here with me!" (Then sobbing sounds could be heard).


Well that was the "sane" part of what I told them.


PS: You guys will never drop that joke right? XD

Not until your manboobs sag from old age.
adace1 - 30.12.2011 at 06:59  
Such an epic record. This stands up as one of my favorite doom metal albums of all time along with Dopethrone, Welcome to Sky Valley and Paranoid.
Passenger - 29.04.2012 at 00:09  
Candlemass, I love you!

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