The Lowdown: As one of the biggest names in doom metal, Candlemass release onto the world their latest LP, The Door to Doom. With their original vocalist Johan Längqvist making a return to the band, the album makes for a stellar work of ominous atmosphere and delicious riffs. Across eight songs, the Swedish doom metallers demonstrate their mastery over the doom genre.
The Good: On the first track, “Splendor Demon Majesty,” the guitar wails before dropping into these sinister sounding strums. After a minute or so, the track welcomes a bombastic drum beat and wild guitar rhythm. The vocals add an epic element to the material, keeping along with the intensity of the tempo. “Under the Ocean” begins with lingering guitar notes exuding a dreamy aura. Shortly thereafter, the song turns into an all-out doomy banger; the clashing drums, pounding bass, and guitar work make for a dark frenzy of instrumentation.
“Astorolus – The Great Octopus” features a prominent guest appearance by none other than legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. Beginning with some isolated drumming to get the blood pumping, the song opens up to guitar riffs that drive the adrenaline forward. In a beautiful transition, these riffs shift back into a slower progression, with the guitar tone maintaining the powerful doom presence throughout the track. “House of Doom” includes sound clips of rain and thunder, with an immense bell ringing in the background. Vicious guitar riffs come bursting in shortly, providing another thrilling experience in instrumental energy.
The Bad: Frankly speaking: this record rocks. As far as quality is concerned, Candlemass do not disappoint throughout The Door to Doom, and there’s no real negatives to point out.
The Verdict: Saying that The Door to Doom is a strong return for Candlemass would be somewhat of an understatement; as the band’s first release in almost seven years, the album is a superb record among their discography. From beginning to end, the band makes sure to offer a variety of exciting compositions, maintaining their iconic doom core, while providing enough dynamic instrumentation to keep their material consistently engaging.
Essential Tracks: “Under the Ocean,” “Astorolus – The Great Octopus,” “House of Doom”