Release House: Napalm Records
Genre: Doom Metal
One Sentence Synopsis: Candlemass reunites with Johan Langquist (Epicus Doomicus Metallicus) for more epic doom metal!
Release Date: 2-22-19
Running Time: 48 Min
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Reviewed by: Reverend Leviathan
Final Score: 4.5 Moons (Out of 5.0)
Six years after the release of Psalms for the Dead, doom metal pioneers Candlemass announced the return of Johan Langquist, who appeared only on their debut album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus back in 1986. Three months later they announced The Door to Doom, their first LP since 2012.
With Johan Langquist returning as vocalist, the band stated that they were trying to get back to the roots of Candlemass, and as a diehard fan of both the band and the doom metal genre, I must say The Door to Doom definitely takes me back! Starting hard with “Splendor Demon Majesty,” you can hear that classic Candlemass sound from their earlier albums. “Astorolus – The Great Octopus” reminded me a bit of “Copernicus” on their self-titled, and there is an awesome guitar solo done by Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath.
Hearing Johan after all these years is pretty awesome. His vocals are a bit more aggressive on this album than his more operatic style on Epicus. While I am a bigger fan of the operatic, Johan is also my second favorite vocalist of Candlemass (first being Messiah Marcolin) so I love this stuff more than the other vocalists who came after Messiah’s first departure. His softer vocals really come out in the slower, acoustic “Bridge of the Blind.”
“House of Doom” is by far my favorite song. It has a very classic doom metal vibe (close to seven minutes long, slow guitar riffs, and feelings of despair running through the lyrics), and I feel that Johan’s vocals really come out in this song. I have listened to this song on repeat more than any other on the album. “The Omega Circle” is my second favorite, reminding me a bit of “A Sorcerer’s Pledge.”
The production on this album is amazing. Doom metal is my favorite subgenre of metal, and this reminded me why I loved it. The guitar riffs done by Mats and Lars just enable me to get lost in the music. Leif Edling wrote some really good music and lyrics filled with the doom imagery that the genre has been known for, particularly in “Black Trinity,” “Astorolus – The Great Octopus,” and “House of Doom.”
Candlemass fans and doom metal fans in general will NOT be disappointed in The Door to Doom. And if there are fans out there who only prefer classic Candlemass or the Messiah-era stuff, I would strongly encourage checking it out, as it might surprise you how far back they’ve gone in rediscovering their roots.
Candlemass are known as pioneers of doom metal for a reason, and The Door to Doom is a testament to that. I hope they continue on with Johan for years to come!
Theme: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Presentation: 4.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Gothic Fit: 4.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Final Score (not an average): 4.5 Moons (out of 5.0)