Candlemass
The Door To Doom


3.5
great

Review

by PsychicChris USER (278 Reviews)
February 22nd, 2019 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You ever enjoy an album that also kinda pisses you off?

As much as I love Candlemass and its affiliated projects, I must admit that my feelings toward the band have somewhat soured in recent years. Leif Edling deserves props for his prolific yet quality releases spanning numerous names, but his ‘epic doom with operatic vocals formula’ has yielded some frankly interchangeable results in the last decade or so. Being a songwriter myself, I can understand (and am very guilty of) recurring tropes, but it honestly feels like the only difference between Krux, Candlemass, or The Doomsday Kingdom is whoever was available to sing at the time. And even that metric is pretty suspect with guys like Mats Leven showing up as repeat conspirators.

These feelings only intensified when the details surrounding Candlemass’ twelfth full-length The Door to Doom came to light. Casual and hardcore fans alike rejoiced as renowned vocalist Johan Langquist joined the band full time over thirty years after his sessional debut, and that Tony “***in” Iommi himself contributed a guitar solo to a song. The doom world seemed to hope for the second coming of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, while I expected yet another variation of the Leif Edling formula with somebody else singing.

I was right.

If you’ve heard anything that Candlemass released in the 2000s, then you already know what The Door to Doom sounds like. Any assumptions of Epicus-style labyrinths or Messiah-era grandeur can be left behind in favor of Edling’s now-signature blend of doom, power metal, and psychedelic rock. The structures are elaborate but ultimately straightforward, the riffs are workmanlike yet impactful, and the production paints it all in a heavy, full polish.

For what it’s worth, the musicianship hasn’t had this much vigor since 2009’s Death Magic Doom. Langquist is nigh unrecognizable with thirty-three years of time and infinitely less reverb on his voice, but his performance is solid with a good mix of melody and grit. It must also be said the drums are lively and the guitars continue to reign supreme. As blasphemous as it sounds, I think Lars Johansson’s solo on “Bridge of the Blind” may be more stirring than the Riff Lord’s cameo on “Astorolus.”

Speaking of which, I won’t deny that there’s some great material on here. “Astoroulus – The Great Octopus” is easily the album’s best song; even without Iommi’s electrifying solo, its climactic hook and atmospheric menace puts it up with the strongest of the Robert Lowe era. Nothing else quite reaches those mind-blowing levels, but “Bridge of the Blind” makes for a poignant ballad, and I can get into the grooves on songs like “Death’s Wheel” and “Black Trinity.”

When it comes down to it, The Door to Doom is a good album that nobody would’ve cared about if Candlemass had released it without Langquist’s involvement. Such a sentiment speaks more to fair-weather listeners than the album’s actual quality, but it would’ve been great to see a widened scope for such a glorious return. The musicianship is energized and the writing is focused, so I can imagine this being a warmup for something even stronger to come. I definitely said that when the EPs came, out but you’re just gonna have to let me believe it. Doom Dance if you believe!

Highlights:
“Astorolus – The Great Octopus”
“Bridge of the Blind”
“Death’s Wheel”
“Black Trinity”

Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com



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user ratings (68)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
CaptainDooRight
February 22nd 2019


2701 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

😶 zzz

Digging: Thou - Magus

StrikeOfTheBeast
February 22nd 2019


5496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I gather this is pretty good then?

Digging: Behemoth - Demigod

PsychicChris
February 22nd 2019


317 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's good enough.

rockandmetaljunkie
February 22nd 2019


7755 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

you see a 3.5 by PsychicChris and you know the album is pretty bad

StrikeOfTheBeast
February 22nd 2019


5496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listened to this in full. Very solid album, and Johan's return is welcomed (he sounds great here).

Allergist
February 22nd 2019


534 Comments


I very much enjoyed their last two EP's, even though most thought they were average. I fuckin love Candlemass and will check this out regardless. Good review!

TheNotrap
February 22nd 2019


9828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Jamming now. Johan's vocals changed, I would never guess he’s the singer

Digging: Venom Prison - Samsara

StrikeOfTheBeast
February 22nd 2019


5496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah he sounds a lot different here. Of course he's 32 years older, but his style is...better actually. He was probably my least favorite part of their debut although that's not a slam on his vocals. Here, however, he sounds really good and may be the best part of the album.

bahlof
February 22nd 2019


53 Comments


This was a little disappointing. Overall it was solid but definitely nothing special. The usual Candlemass formula as has been stated. The only standout songs to me are "Black Trinity" and maybe "The Omega Circle". Even though Johan isn't as good as he was, I think he's still the best singer Candlemass has had even now. I wish they would be more creative lyrically, I feel like I've heard "Demon's Gate" told 50 different ways..

TheNotrap
February 23rd 2019


9828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Agreed Strike, He sounds good here

rockandmetaljunkie
February 23rd 2019


7755 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Johan's vocals changed, I would never guess he’s the singer"



His vocals have become raspier but his vibrato hasn't changed that much imo

StrikeOfTheBeast
February 23rd 2019


5496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very solid album honestly. Probably their best since s/t

rockandmetaljunkie
February 23rd 2019


7755 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

All of the Rob Lowe albums are easily better than this one imo.

TheNotrap
February 23rd 2019


9828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I didn’t immediately recognize his voice. If this album were from another band, I would never say he was the singer, but yeah if it’s the same throat, of course the voice keeps similarities

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2019


4743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

The album is good, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Digging: My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult - In the House of Strange Affairs

P0laris
February 24th 2019


369 Comments


I feel that review summary haha. That's what kind of makes me wanna do a review of it myself. Best track is easily under the ocean tho

Digging: Various Artists - Kanky? Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & N

sonictheplumber
February 24th 2019


10369 Comments


kinda interested in this but i know exactly what it'll sound like. that being said if they ever came to atlanta (wouldnt happen) id buy a ticket in a heartbeat

kzy
February 24th 2019


34 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

when i hear Iommi contributing in this band, this is going to be a good thing! and Langqvist return is going to be interesting. gonna check this one after King Apathy's latest record!

Digging: Porcupine Tree - Rockpalast

sonictheplumber
February 24th 2019


10369 Comments


What I'm really waiting for is a new reagers-fronted vitus

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2019


14973 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lower 3.5 but yeah, this was ok, better than the EP for sure.

Digging: Elizabeth Colour Wheel - Nocebo



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