CANDLEMASS
"The Door To Doom"

(Napalm)

01. Splendor Demon Majesty
02. Under the Ocean
03. Astorolus - The Great Octopus (featuring Tony Iommi)
04. Bridge of the Blind
05. Death's Wheel
06. Black Trinity
07. House of Doom
08. The Omega Circle

RATING: 8/10

CANDLEMASS is one of the most important bands in the history of doom metal. The Swedish group is indisputably a torchbearer, even more particularly with regard to its role in establishing the "epic doom" styling. Spurring excitement amongst the fanbase of a band that's been running strong three decades is quite the challenge, to say the least. However, a couple of points prove to be salient, newsworthy and intriguing from the onset and ahead of the promotional cycle of the group's twelfth studio album: "The Door to Doom".

First and foremost, what's past is prologue as the man responsible for the iconic vocal performance on CANDLEMASS's monstrous 1986 debut, "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus", has returned to the fold. Johan Längqvist was technically a "guest vocalist" during that era, but as of last year, and now with "The Door to Doom", Längqvist has officially become CANDLEMASS's singer, suggesting that the relationship will be ongoing. His voice is just as powerful as it was on the band's debut, though more mature and appropriately employed towards the needs of each song.

Secondly, fans have reason to rejoice about the new album simply for the fact that the godfather of heavy metal, Tony Iommi himself, contributed a solo to the track "Astorolus - The Great Octopus". In stark contrast to the manner in which some "stars" are enlisted exclusively for marketing purposes, Iommi's involvement makes sense. He agreed to contribute because he respected that CANDLEMASS has always acknowledged and appreciated BLACK SABBATH's influence upon its work. And, most importantly, he simply liked the song.

For Leif EdlingCANDLEMASS's driving force, primary songwriter, founding member and bassist—Iommi's involvement is incredibly meaningful. "For me personally this is a dream come true. Tony Iommi has always been my hero and guiding light when it comes to heavy music, so to hear that he likes the song and also would like to play on it, gave me chills down the spine," Edling said via a press release. "Tony Iommi is and will always be God!"

Iommi's solo, not surprisingly, hits the mark and makes quite an impact. It initially exudes an overt blues rock quality, obviously a root element of his sound, before morphing into his more characteristic twisted heavy metal approach. However, while it's more than simply anecdotal, Iommi's solo is a brief contribution that can't carry the weight of the album. Längqvist's aforementioned, soaring pipes work in tandem with the gargantuan, evil riffs, but they essentially steal the show, in terms of individual performance.

The more over-the-top aspects of epic doom are dialed back on "The Door to Doom". Instead, the sparser presence of this quality proves to be more significant when it comes to the forefront as it does, for instance, when things come to a head during the chorus of "Death's Wheel". The album's only weak link is the acoustic element that is perfunctory at best but essentially lackluster. "Under the Ocean" begins with this kind of subdued approach before bursting with the kind of energy that so clearly represents CANDLEMASS's beauty and essence. There is something instantly gripping and captivating about the songs throughout. "The Door to Doom" finds the Swedish band in fine form, and with the reintroduction of Längqvist, it sounds as though the legendary band has at least another decade in it if it so chooses.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).