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Candlemass - The Door To Doom

The Door To Doom
by Dave Nowels at 15 March 2019, 12:35 AM

CANDLEMASS are a living breathing embodiment of Doom. No, not just a Doom band, they are one of the pioneers of what we fans now call modern Doom music. The band hails from Sweden, and has been named the greatest Swiss Hard Rock/Metal band of all time. Though the band was initially believed to have been disbanding following 2012’s, “Psalms for the Dead”, they’ve instead returned to their origins. Stating that they wanted to “find their way back to the roots of CANDLEMASS”, and the “soul and essence of the band”, these forefathers have returned with a new energy determined to “kickstart the heart of doom”. They’ve done so, and done so well. “The Door To Doom” is the band’s twelfth studio release and the first album in 32 years to feature vocalist Johan Längquist.

CANDLEMASS is at its best when it relies on its symphonic almost orchestral foundations. They’ve laid that foundation here and Längquist’s vocals accentuate it beautifully. With the opening track “Splendor Majesty Demon” and the complex combination of the music and vocals, one is immediately reminded of the bands stunning 1986 debut, “Epicus Doomicus Metalicus” that featured Längquist as a ‘guest vocalist’ at the time. “Under the Ocean” does a really good job of displaying the symphonic influence in the band’s music. It really manages to capture a ‘theatric’ quality overall.

The standout track, the elephant in the room is without question, “Astorolus – The Great Octopus”. Featuring his Doom Lordness Tony Iommi, this song shines brightly. The solo trade-off/duel between Lars Johansson and Iommi is the stuff of legends. Listening to it, one can almost visualize these two in the studio having real fun recording this. Both this and “Under the Ocean” were favorite tracks to my ears.The remainder of the album just didn’t seem to capture the magic as completely as the first few tracks. “Omega Circle” came the closest for me, with the riffs into and out of the song’s main body being memorable.

The version I received for review was the Japanese edition and thus contained some extras. The extra tracks are an alternate version of “House of Doom” ( I actually preferred this version over the album version) and three additional tracks.  “The Door To Doom” is what I would consider a fine return to the roots of CANDLEMASS. No, they don’t completely recapture the spark that powered their debut, and that’s fine. How could they? Instead, they’ve tapped into its essence and showed they’re still a band capable of doing so, and worthy of their stature.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Splendor Demon Majesty
2. Under the Ocean
3. Astorolus - The Great Octopus (Featuring Tony Iommi)
4. Bridge of the Blind
5. Death's Wheel
6. Black Trinity
7. House of Doom
8. The Omega Circle
9. House of Doom (Original Version)
10. Flowers of Deception
11. Fortune Teller
12. Dolls On the Wall 
Johan Längquist – Voice of Doom
Mats “Mappe” Björkman – Guitar of Doom
Lars “Lasse” Johansson – Lead Guitar of Doom
Leif Edling – Bass of Doom
Jan Lindh – Drums of Doom
Record Label: Napalm Records


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Edited 07 December 2022

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