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Review: Candlemass - Candlemass

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 58:33
Tracks: 10
Genre: Doom Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: May 22, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.12/5 (82.42%) (66 Votes)

I never thought we would live to see this. Candlemass have been on again, off again for several years now. Playing some live dates, but never committing to recording any new material. Late last year they officially announced they were splitting up for good, and that there would be no new album. Well, here we are, six months later, with a whole new album of original Candlemass music in hand. With some bands, you can never fucking tell. This might be a whole new beginning for the band, or we might never see them together again, and I'm sure we will hear both stories about fifty times.

So, drama aside, what everyone wants to know is: did they manage to pull it off? The answer is a qualified 'yes'. No, they did not manage to quite recapture the old magic, but yes, they did manage to produce a damned fine album anyway. After a waste of 12 seconds in the form of yet another 'intro' track, things kick off in high form with "Black Dwarf" – a rocking, heavy-as-fuck tune that lays down exactly what you can expect from this album. "Candlemass", the album, is an workout in pounding, heavy riffs that bow down low before the altar of Black Sabbath. People used to accuse Candlemass of just copying old Sabbath, and the resemblance is much more pronounced here than it ever was in the old days. But that's OK, as this is just some really good shit. Doom epics like "Seven Silver Keys", "Assassin Of The Light", and the killer "Copernicus", (which sounds the most like an old Candlemass song) are too good to nitpick. The production is thick and heavy as a fucking meteor. Messiah sounds awesome, just as good as he ever did way back in the day. Candlemass have mostly abandoned the fantasy themes of their old lyrics, and I miss those. The lyrics here are pretty good, but I miss the epic phantasmagoric lyrics of "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" and "Ancient Dreams"

So while it may not sound quite like their old stuff, Candlemass' new album is still really fucking good. If you can't pound your fist to hammering epics like "Witches" or "Born In A Tank", then you, my friend, are not metal. Of all the 'comeback' albums I have heard over the years, this one shows a band that still has it, and still has places to go. This one will end up on quite a few top-ten lists at the end of 2005, and it deserves to.

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