Album Thoughts | Devil Master: Satan Spits on Children of Light

When I first heard Devil Master, via the Manifestations compilation (or album, depending on who you ask), I wasn’t really into it. As much of a fiend as I’ve become lately for Punk-infused Black Metal, compared to all of the other, more raw and violent acts that I heard, who put out new releases just last year alone, like Slavehouse, Akitsa, Nyredolk, Cruel Master, Dry Insides, City Hunter and so on, it just seemed weak to me and paled in comparison. After a bit, I gave it another listen and finally, it started growing on me, then I began to understand it better. This is a different form of Blackened Punk, with a different idea to it. It took me a bit to get it with Manifestations, and this album takes said idea and smashes it through the roof and makes it even better. Satan Spits on Children of Light is the debut album by these fiends and it brings together the darkness and filth of Black Metal, the ghoulish catchiness of Horror Punk and the atmosphere and vibe of Goth Rock and Post-Punk, puts it all in a blender with some sacrificial blood and sloshes it together into a fine, refreshing shake of psychedelic, melodic darkness, that finds a solid middle-ground between aggression and catchiness and plants it’s feet deep into said ground and doesn’t leave that spot, keeping the balance between those two elements all throughout these 13 tracks and never relies on one or the other. It’s a pretty unique take on an already budding wave of nasty, nihilistic Punk-infused Black Metal, that gives the style a shot in the arm, before it becomes stale and overdone, which it inevitably will, if it keeps growing and more and more bands adhere to it.

Where the other bands mentioned are more about violence and dissonance and use a minimalistic formula to convey it, Devil Master takes that concept and gives it an extra splash of color, with a trippy, psychedelic kick, which immediately becomes apparent as the flowing, dreary melodies of Nightmares in a Human Collapse come flooding in, like the start of an aggressively catchy painting, throwing the rule book of Metal Punk aesthetics out the window and adding a moody, Gothic flair to it; brief (as most of these songs are), but strong opener. Black Flame Candle brings more aggression to the fold, with a Thrashy opening riff and a more hard-edged delivery, as more of those flowing melodies flood over it. Reminds me of a more Gothic version of Nyredolk. You don’t really realize how aggressive these guys can be, until after a few listens, but once it catches on, you’re hooked, at least that’s how it worked for me. Devil is Your Master has a very ghoulish Heavy/Speed Metal feel to it and sounds like a more Gothy and trippy Venom. Pretty interesting mix. There are all kinds of layers to this sound that I didn’t catch at first, like the aggression that lies underneath all of the ghoulish Post-Punk & Gothic Rock nuance that haunts it. This style has become somewhat of a trend lately, with bands like Tribulation and Black Magick SS bringing it to the forefront, but while still similar in style, it wouldn’t really be fair to lump these guys in with that group. It’s in a league of it’s own and it brings something different to a totally different style, whereas Tribulation is more Heavy Metal-oriented and Black Magick SS experiments with psychedelic Rock (far better than a certain other band who does that).

Back to the tracks, Skeleton Hand is another gnarly ripper, that’s as catchy as it is harsh, with some sharp riffs and more watery melodic wailing, that gets pretty Thrashy halfway though. Then we get an interesting, hauntingly catchy instrumental with Nuit. Standouts that follow, are Gaunt Immortality, which is just straight up, Crusty fury throughout, Desperate Shadow, which sounds as if Grave Pleasures conjured up a demon that wound up possessing them, and Dance of Fullmoon Specter, which opens with probably my favorite riff on the entire album; so intense. That creepy little outro is a nice touch as well. When it was over, I understood even more what the band is aiming for and looking to create, by amalgamating all these different elements and sounds from all these different genres like Punk, Black Metal, Post-Punk, Gothic Rock, Crust and even Heavy Metal and Psychedelic Rock. By doing so, they crafted something fierce and nasty, yet catchy and spellbinding all at once and while I wasn’t a fan at first, I clearly just needed to let it sink in for a bit, and give it a moment to take effect. It certainly did take said effect and honestly, this is better than anything on Manifestations, so they are clearly growing as a band and still honing their craft, and doing so pretty damn well. Don’t let the coating of ghoulish, gothy, spookiness fool you, if you’re looking for good Blackened Punk, this isn’t a bad place to come, it may be one of the bigger names right now, especially considering that it’s under the Relapse banner, but it’s still some nasty, aggressive stuff and it’s not to be slept on.

This is a style that’ll either take a bit to catch on and need a chance to grow on you, pull you in right away, or that you won’t like at all, some bands adhering to this formula have had varied success in grabbing my attention and did so at different paces, but trust me, this ain’t no Ghost or Zeal & Ardor or any of that other hipstery millenial crap that floods the streets nowadays, this is Metal Punk at its meanest, just with some black magic and sacrificial blood added to it. The Devil is indeed your master and this is his new favorite album to collect souls to. Trippy, dreary and full of attitude. Excellent stuff.

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Druglust

A dampered spirit, destitute and forgotten
Drained of all dignity and cleanliness
You lay there writhing and unwanted
All traces of your character murdered

No form of joy to turn to but that of substances

Giving in to your desire to destroy yourself
Poisoned smoke permeating around you
Spending your conscious hours in squalor
Dreaming of a void that is fast approaching

One push of a needle fulfills your lust
Better than sex or any form of intimacy
All sense of reality now a mere void
Replaced with paralyzing hallucinations

You will soon be dead and truly at peace
Never to be remembered or grieved

Allow yourself to be devoured and end this dismal dream, shuddering with the need for more, but stiff with the rigor mortis of will

A once promising life up in flames, scorched with the marks of abuse, your flesh riddled in marks and sores, cold to the touch and as pale as the corpse beside you, a toxic love story shared by weakness and cold, piercing steel, forever eloped in the void

You will soon be dead and truly at peace
A life of filth and trauma nearing it’s rightful end

Druglust – fucking you mind for the sake of silence, your pain will follow you to the grave

I Am Scum

Awakening from a restless slumber
To the smell of cold, rotten city air
A soul tainted by filth and vitriol
A body of decaying roots and poisoned blood

Sickened by the stench of propaganda
Wretched scum infecting the streets
Feeding their distorted egos
Consumed by their chamber of echoes

I am no different, I am no better
I am just another dog of meaningless obedience, trapped in a prison of unfulfillment and self-disgust

I Am Scum

The taste of smoke and iron contaminate my lips, an urban nightmare with no end in sight, my flesh pale and raw, my body lethargic and breaking

No place exists for a breed like mine, thrown to the wayside and forsaken
Unwillfully enslaved by failure, no longer willing to crawl away

Fingers cracking with every desperate clench of the hand, no longer able to fall into oblivion, hoping for an end that never comes, a vampire withdrawn from the blinding dissonance of reality, no vice can save me now

I Am Scum

I am no different, I am no better

Musings of Scvm (Quick Update)

So, lately I’ve been having an itch to be creative again. Not sure where it’s coming from, but I’ve suddenly been flowing with inspiration and I feel like I should take advantage of it. So, what I’ve decided to do, is go back to my roots and start writing lyrics again. It’s been a long time, but I really feel like being creative again in some form or fashion and right now, this is the way to do it.

I’m not sure if or when I’ll set them to music, equipment upgrades will have to be made first (again, it’s been a long time since I’ve even picked up an instrument), but I need to get these juices flowing while the wheels are turning. So, for now, I’m going to be posting lyrics right here on the blog! Just something for you to read and interpret for yourselves. They’re pretty self-explanitory, but some will be a bit more in depth. So take them how you will. And yes, they will be very Black Metal oriented.

I’ll be posting them soon, so keep an eye out! Just wanted to announce this real quick, because I’ll (hopefully) be doing this regularly, as well as my usual reviews.

The musings of Scvm are coming, stay tuned.

Quick Album Thoughts | Jan, Feb & March 2019

Well, it’s been a while, but here it is, the first QAT of 2019! I was going to do this sooner, but it took me a bit to get around to listening to all eight of these albums. Aside from what I’ve reviewed already, I just haven’t felt like listening to too many new albums. My mood for it just hasn’t been there and it took me a while to get it back. Well, I finally got through hearing all of these and it’s time to give my opinion on them that no one asked for, but are getting anyway. This is basically a catch-up of some other stuff that I’ve missed in the last few months that I enjoyed, so let’s just get right into it so I can get back to being the depressed blob that I am.

Top picks for January, February and March:

Ossuarium: Living Tomb

Probably the first hugely hyped album of 2019. I couldn’t go a day without hearing about this one on social media, all throughout January and February. So, I finally caved (as I do with everything else) and gave it a listen and while I did like what I heard, I really didn’t see where all the hype was coming from. My stance still stands; this is just very decent old school Death Metal, with an uber-filthy atmosphere to it and with thick, skull-smashing riffs out the ass, one after the other, with periodic breaks of weird, underwater-ish melodic passages, with a very Lovecraftian vibe to it. I think the reason I didn’t enjoy this one as much as everyone else seems to have, is because I’ve already heard what seems like a million other OSDM albums just last year alone, a lot of which I found much more enjoyable than this one (ie: Outer Heaven, Spectral Voice, Assimilation, etc). Again, this isn’t bad, it is Death Metal at it’s filthiest and true to the bone, but it didn’t really stand out to me as much as many of the albums I’ve heard recently. Maybe I’m coming down from the high from all the good OSDM that’s been coming out and staring to get tired of it, who knows, but I just don’t get all the excessive hype for this one. Not bad though!

Altarage: The Approaching Roar

I was on the fence about giving this one a full review or not, because I’ve talked about so many other cavernous Death Metal albums recently and I don’t know what I could say about this one, that I haven’t already said about the rest of them. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I do enjoy these guys and enjoyed this album just as much, but how many times can I reiterate the same thing over and over again? Anyway, this is indeed cavernism at it’s finest; murky guitars, muddy drums and echoy growls, surrounded by a suffocating atmosphere that compliments the music well. It has moments that are crushing and filled with hammering riffs and chords, and it can get chilling and uneasy at some points. Very harsh and unrelenting stuff, right up there with the likes of Triumvir Fowl and Hissing. Great stuff overall. Altarage have yet to disappoint and are becoming a go-to for me when I’m in a mood for some cave-dwelling madness!

Vile Apparition: Depravity Ordained

Next, we have some Death Metal from Melbourne, Australia, that sure as fuck lives up to it’s name, VILE. Vile Apparition channels the ways of Deeds of Flesh, Devourment and other bands that brought Brutal Death Metal to the forefront, with it’s original style and sound, while sprinkling in some early Cannibal Corpse-like filth for extra flavor. This is pretty nasty shit, with some visceral riffs, nasty grooves, a super thick bassline that sounds like it’s being recorded in a field of mud, trash and corpses and sickening guttural growls. Pretty damn good stuff, especially if you’re looking for some old school Brutal Death from it’s glory days, before it became Slam; it’ll scratch that itch for sure, right down to the cartilage. Sickeningly good stuff!

Barshasketh: S/T

I heard quite a bit about this one going into 2019 and I have to say, I can see why. New Zealand’s Barshasketh plays fast and furious Black Metal, riddled in a tornado-like atmosphere and sort of scarce, but noticeable melody, that reminds me of the later works of Emperor (only better). The opening riff of Vacillation pulls you in right off the bat and introduces you to the whirlwind of blasting drums and sharp, shooting tremolo riffs that saw through these tracks like a mechanized blade through a piece of wood, with wailing melodies peppered throughout them. It’s basically the more modern style of Black Metal, in the vein of Dissection and later Emperor, which ions of bands through the years have tried to copy, but this is done quite well and it’s pretty damn enjoyable. Not exactly reinventing the wheel, but it does have an interesting enough sound to it, to keep me invested for the duration of the album and that’s what matters. Definitely one of the more interesting modern Black Metal acts around right now and I surely want to hear more from them. They do have 3 other albums that I’ll definitely delve into.

Insanity Alert: 666-Pack

Heard about this one back in January and decided to check it out. It’s exactly what the title suggests; simple, aggressive and snotty Thrash from Austria. Fast, riffy, yelled vocals, cheesy lyrics and song titles, great for a fun listen at beer-fuled parties, the whole nine yards. If you’re into the whole “retro Thrash” thing, this is right up your vomit-riddled, drunken, passed out body-filled ally. Just full-on Thrash from front to back, that you’ll dig if you’re into Iron Reagan, Municipal Waste and the likes. Short, sweet and nasty, nothing more. As one of the tracks suggests, it comes, it fucks shit up, it leaves.

Miscarriage: Imminent Horror

You want to talk about some of the most disgusting, violent and downright disturbing sounds that Death Metal can possibly produce? This is the outing to talk about right here. Miscarriage is an entity making it’s way around the underground, like a disease-carrying parasite that can eat your flesh away and turn your vital organs to mush in an instant, and it brings a sound to the table that’s equally as disgusting as that artwork is. This is Death Metal from the foulest and most abysmal caverns of the genre, that sounds like if Pissgrave got into contact with radiation from a nuclear explosion and mutated into something even more vile than before. I can’t even properly describe how this sounds, without having to use any more filthy adjectives. Just know that this is the most hideous stuff you’ll hear all year and it’ll aurally violate you from start to finish. Truly disturbing stuff. Not for those with weak constitutions.

Musmahhu: Reign of the Odious

One of the more anticipated releases by Iron Bonehead for this portion of the year, following an exceptional EP in 2018, Sweden’s Musmahhu, helmed by the infamous Swartadauþuz, truly makes it’s mark with it’s debut full-length. This is absolutely devastating Death Metal, with a massive sound and a cold, chilling vibe to it. It’s great when the music sounds exactly how the artwork looks and that’s certainly the case here. I can best describe this as a well-blended combination of old school Death, Blackened Death and Death Doom, with massive, ominous riffs, crushing drums and ultra-harsh growls, that has a very cave-like feel to it and the rotten, murky sound and atmosphere makes it sound that much more evil. Absolutely heart-wrenching stuff. I thought about giving this a full review and I still might, time gets in the way sometimes, but good lord in hell, this is some truly relentless stuff from start to finish. Unique but well-rooted Death Metal at it’s absolute finest!

Festerday: Lihtallan

Last, but sure as fuck not least, the debut full-length by Finland’s Festerday, who yes, named themselves after the Carcass song. Plain and simple, this is more well done, intense and riffy as hell Death Metal, with old school tendencies flowing through it’s veins. I was pretty eager to hear this one after hearing a snippet from it a while back. No disappointed was found as I finally sat and gave it a good spin. This is along the lines of bands like Gatecreeper and Tomb Mold, who bring a certain energy to their sound, as well as riffs for days, though the production on this one is a tad cleaner than what you’d hear from those two other names, so you just have to have an open enough mind for that. Otherwise, this is some good shit. Heavy, furious and face-smashing though and through. Old school Death that’s as good as it can get in 2019. Worth the wait for sure!
_________________________________

And that’s all for now. Not too much, but not too many either. This barely scratches the surface of all the new shit that’s come out recently, but again, I’m at the point now where I have to be in a mood to listen to new shit, so it’ll take some time, but I’ll get around to it. It’s been a pretty good few months for music and there’s stuff that I can’t wait to get my hands and ears on, as well as stuff that has yet to come out. So, I’m not going anywhere, just pacing myself a little. More to come very soon! Give these a listen until then, they’re very well worth your time.

Album Thoughts | Pissgrave: Posthumous Humiliation

If you want to talk about a band who I have been eagerly waiting to hear new music from, this is the fucking band to talk about. Pissgrave made their filthy, disgusting, rotten mark in 2015, with the unfathomably ruthless Suicide Euphoria, which took the modern Death Metal sound, and gave it a whole new dimension of ferocity and rawness. The great thing about it was, that I couldn’t really distinguish what exactly it was. I couldn’t call it Brutal Death Metal, or even old school Death Metal, it just sounded like if Immolation and Revenge had a baby and left it in a bathtub to die somewhere and this is what it grew up to sound like. Their sound was different and I fucking loved it; just unrelentingly vile, visceral and raw to the fucking bone. 4 years later and here we are, the second serving of the most disgusting, grossest and skull-shattering Death Metal that’s been spawned into existence this decade, both sonically AND visually. Pissgrave are definitely one of the more hyped bands in the underground right now, but with a sound and presence like theirs, it’s kind of surprising. What sets them apart from all the other bands putting out great Death Metal nowadays and pushing it forward into the next decade, is that they play a style of it that you can’t really classify, at least not easily, taking elements from sub-genres a lot of people usually scoff at; you can call it OSDM, Brutal Death Metal, Deathgrind, or even fucking Goregrind or War Metal, and I don’t think anyone would argue with any, there are elements off all those things in their sound that encompass the filthy, rotten casserole of aural terror that they are. Not to mention the horrific artwork that graces their album covers. Just look at that. Delicious! Bottom line, any way you slice it, these fellas are getting people’s attention, even the weaklings who say they rely on “shock value” to get noticed, and they’re backing it up by putting out some of the nastiest, rawest pieces of rotten Death Metal art and Posthumous Humiliation is no exception.

Just like Suicide Euphoria, this album shows no remorse as it aurally skullfucks you with a combination of inhumanly fast, blasting drums, ripping chords, damn near unnatural-sounding vocals, ranging from growls, to gurgles, to I don’t know what else. The only thing even remotely clean or catchy about it, is the riffs that protrude through all the chaos. The riffs are definitely upped on this album and are a tad catchier than they were on SE. There’s even some pacing between tracks. Euthanasia kicks things off and the first thing I noticed was that the overall production is slightly, SLIGHTLY cleaner than before, but it still picks up where the last album left off, as it ruthlessly pummels you with continuous snare-blasting, as some gnarly tremolo riffs protrude over it, which kinda have that watery sound that Cannibal Corpse made famous; they sound like something you’d hear off of Butchered at Birth or Tomb of the Mutilated. Then the vocals kick in, which sound as disgusting and unnatural as ever. They definitely serve as the centerpiece of this puzzle and I can’t see any other vocal style working with this sound; they just go hand in hand and fit together too well. Canticle of Ripping Flesh follows and gives you not a single bit of room to breathe, as it makes you suffer further, with no change in pace or mood. Just another hammering of fast, ripping guitars and blasting drums that make you feel like you’ve been thrown head-first into a wood chipper, and you’re forced to endure the horrific agony of being shredded to bits. Great first two tracks that follow a simple formula, but know how to utilize it well. Things then get really interesting and less simple with Funeral Inversion, as the pace slows down a bit and things become a tad more intricate, opening with a slower, sort of Black Metal-esque tremolo riff, that flows through the track, as the drums rumble underneath it, double bass pounding and all and the vocals slosh through it like rancid juices in a coffin *wink*.

It’s a mid-paced track all throughout, but still as violent and gross as the rest of the batch. Catacombs of Putrid Chambers is also mostly paced, but this time, while switching back and forth from rumbling double bass and patterned snare-beating, with a rather ominous riff repeating through it, to violent outbursts of blast-beats and ripping chords, tearing into you like meat in a grinder. The delivery of everything is just so visceral and barbaric, that I can’t help but describe it in the ways that I am; it’s THAT fucking devastating, the entire package from front to back. If the music were a person, it would be exactly what the title suggests it would be: a cold-blooded, remorseless maniac who just wants to eviscerate you in the most hideous way imaginable and humiliate your corpse afterward. Emaciated will prove that, as it picks the pace right back up and rains down a storm of filth and fury on you, in the form of non-stop snare blasting and vicious, sharp riffs that are rather catchy, but still slice you like the freshly sharpened blade of a hunting knife. There’s even a nice, noisy solo in the middle. The musicianship is really taken up a notch on this one. Celebratory Defilement is another one that rips though you in the same fashion. Honestly, the only real gripe I can say I have with this album, is the production, but that’s only because it wasn’t what I was expecting, but I get it; it’s a bit cleaner than on the last album, bit it gives everything more room to breathe and be heard, instead of suffocating in the putridly cavernous atmosphere that the last album had, especially the riffs. Cleaner production will do that sometimes and this is a great example of it being totally necessary. It’s the same thing that worked for the latest Portal album too.

Some may see this as all hype and if you do, you shouldn’t. It’s not conventional Death Metal (then again, what IS nowadays), but it uses all of the elements it has at it’s disposal to cook up something truly punishing and disgusting, which is one of the reasons why I loved the latest Of Feather and Bone album so much; you can’t quite put your finger on what exactly it classifies as, but you don’t need to, it’s Death Metal that’s only mission, is to fucking destroy you from one eardrum to another. If they continue to grow like this in sound, who knows what the fuck they can come up with next. Pissgrave is undoubtedly on the list of elite Death Metal coming out this decade and right up there with the likes of Spectral Voice, Outer Heaven, Blood Incantation, Ritual Necromancy, most bands on Dark Descent and whoever I’m forgetting right now, keeping the genre alive and well in the current day. Not to mention that they can back up the sick, vile imagery with an equally sick sound. Death Metal, Deathgrind, Goregrind, War Metal, call it whatever the fuck you want, the only thing you can be sure of, is whenever you put this on, you can expect your ear cells to look like that poor dude’s face on the cover. No mercy will be shown.

Album Thoughts | Candlemass: The Door to Doom

Way back in 1986, 4 years before I even entered this black abyss called life, the world was crushed by an album that would define the term Doom Metal, for an entire universe of bands to try to imitate, but many would fail to duplicate. The then-up-and-comers, known as Candlemass, put out one of the most iconic albums the genre of Doom would ever see and put themselves right up there with Bathory, Venom, Celtic Frost, Slayer and so on, as one of Extreme Metal’s frontrunners at the time. Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is considered one of the main landmark albums, that set the standard for what Doom Metal should be: evil, riffy and crushing, nothing more or less. Vocalist, Johan Längquist was one of the main components for the then-revolutionary sound that they brought to the table, with his distinct and powerful pipes, that lent a devilishly powerful voice to lead the music. Why do I bring this up? Because now, 33 years and what feels like a thousand singers later, Candlemass have once again acquired the vocal duties of Johan Längquist, to finally bring things full circle and drop a follow-up to that crushing piece of Doom Metal art, that defined the genre all those years ago. A lot of people cite Candlemass’ work with Messiah Marcolin as their best work and I definitely agree, as Nightfall is one of my favorite albums, but I feel like because of that, they forget the importance of EDM and Längquist’s impact.

The Door to Doom is the 12th full-length album by the Doom pioneers, and while the initial reaction to the news of Längquist’s return brought on some excitement, there was also a good deal of skepticism by some, who’s interest in Candlemass has been dwindling, having already heard the best of them, understandably so. While these fellas are indeed legends, they aren’t exactly the most consistent sound-wise; their discography is a mixed bag, that ranges from epic, massive, ultra-riffy classics, to, well… same old, same old. I myself, have my favorites and snoozers, so I was cautious of this one too, especially considering this is Längquist’s first stint with the band in over 30 years; I knew this wasn’t going to be another EDM. Well, I was right in that regard, this isn’t the same Längquist as the one from ’86 and this is by no means another Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, but in all honesty, it’s still pretty good! While it isn’t their strongest outing, this is still a very enjoyable one; it’s traditional Doom through and through, which can go either way, depending on how jaded you are with the genre, but it’s Candlemass going full force and doing what they do best. Splendor Demon Majesty opens this up and lets you know straight away, that this is classic Candlemass, pulling no punches when it comes to raining down and avalanche of thick, meaty guitars and pounding drums on you, while Längquist’s searing voice echoes over it. Just as I suspected, his pipes aren’t as powerful as they once were, but he still does a fine job and fits the instrumentals nicely. Good, straight-up opener overall, that hammers you down, with massive riffs, catchy choruses, under a Gothic, medieval-type vibe.

Things then REALLY take off with Under the Ocean, which starts off slow and lures you in with a dreary, picking intro, then explodes into a hammering of one of the heaviest, nastiest riffs I’ve heard this year thus far. This is where I got hooked. This is where I feel like Candlemass really thrives, even still to this day, with the right tone and level of aggression behind them, they can belt out some epic, catchy and crushing riffs of hellacious proportions. They’re still very much capable of that and it shines throughout this banger of a track, same can be said for Astorolus – The Great Octopus, which features guest riffs by the one and only, mastermind of Doom riffs himself, Tony Iommi. The highlight of this track, is the main riff, that bridges the verses; you can clearly hear Iommi’s influence in them, they sound like something you’d hear from Heaven & Hell; hooked me in just as easily as the ones in the previous track did. The riffs and solo that fill the middle of the track are well executed and equally fucking epic. I get that people get tired of the same old shit after a while, especially now, when people have such short attention spans, ESPECIALLY when it comes to Doom, but when it comes to bringing the riffs, I can count on one hand the number of times Candlemass have really disappointed me. Maybe I just think differently from most, who I see becoming increasingly jaded towards Doom (just look at all the recent criticism Electric Wizard has been getting for being dull, who people usually love), but Candlemass helped mold the genre into what it is and they still do it better than most of the countless clones they’ve spawned. I can’t hate on them for that.

Anyway, Black Trinity is another standout, that once again hooks you with another hammering of stomping riffs in the beginning, as Längquist’s voice remains at it’s most powerful and ravages your eardrums just as much as the music does, only in the opposite way. The song breaks midway and goes on a sort of tribal tangent, which goes on for about a minute, then when you least expect it, the band throws down again and that main riff returns in full force. House of Doom is one of the more fast-paced tracks and honestly, one of the blandest on the album, but still serves it’s purpose, with a nice, catchy chorus, riddled with an equally catchy riff to it. The Omega Circle closes things out and pretty much follows the same pattern, just slightly less bland. A fair closer nonetheless. By the end, I was pretty damn satisfied and wondered what some people were complaining about. This is indeed an enjoyable Candlemass album, despite a few downsides.

So, is this another Epicus Doomicus Metallicus? No. I wasn’t expecting one either. So much time has passed since that album and people age and bands grow, so, it would be foolish to expect such. The evolution of Candlemass has taken place over the last damn near 30 years and with albums like Nightfall, Ancient Dreams, King of the Grey Islands, Death Magic Doom, Psalms for the Dead and so on (those are at least the ones I enjoy the most), you can’t expect a total return to form. The same goes for people who dislike Electric Wizard’s more recent albums, hoping for another Dopethrone; it’s just not going to happen, so abandon said hope and take it or leave it. This isn’t my favorite Candlemass album, not by a mile, I’m still going to go to Nightfall and EDM first, before anything else, but this isn’t their worst effort either. Whether you’ve become jaded to their sound or not, there’s no denying that when it comes to creating strong riffs and bringing the hammer down on you when needed, and when it comes to traditional Doom Metal altogether, they’re still the real deal. Few have or ever will come close.