Whilst Messiah Marcolin has transformed himself into an overheated metal diva, Leif Edling and the rest of the doom metal flagship Candlemass hold the torch high with the new offering, ‘King of the Grey Islands’.
‘But does it work without Messiah?’ some will want to know, and for good reason, because he has undoubtedly been a defining element of the band and a (good) Candlemass album would indeed seem like an unlikely phenomenon. My answer to that question has to be a mildly surprised yet convincing: ‘Yes, it does work!’
Robert Lowe, whom some might recognise as the fronter of Solitude Aeturnus, fits like hand in glove with the Candlemass sound. He has taken his voice down a couple of notches deeper than he’s usually known for – something I appreciate immensely, since it was in fact his voice that always kept me off Solitude Aeturnus.
Edling’s compositions are, as always, Black Sabbath times ten plus minimal doses of Metallica and Slayeresque riffing, so there’s nothing shockingly new there, but the novelty of Lowe’s voice with Candlemass heaviness makes this a refreshing album, more so than its otherwise fine predecessor, the eponymously entitled ‘Candlemass’ from 2005.
Buy by the thousands!
Recommended: Of the Stars and Smoke – if there ever was a song to walk in the footsteps of the mighty tune Samarithan (from ‘Nightfall’), then this is the one. Beautiful, astonishing.