Candlemass | The Door to Doom | Album Review

Napalm Records
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Door to Doom, the latest release from doom metal pioneer Candlemass has proven to be well worth the seven-year wait. Not only does this release feature the band’s original vocalist, Johan Längqvist, for the first time in 30 years, but it also features a guest appearance by the godfather of metal himself, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath.

According to Blabbermouth, Iommi remarked: “Candlemass are a major force in Scandinavian heavy rock and have always acknowledged the influence we had on their music. They asked if I’d contribute to a track which sounded pretty good, so I thought, ‘Why not?’”

Immediately, “Splendor Demon Majesty” opens a door to Hell, pulling the listener right into the band’s classic fuzz-laden guitar riffs. The whole record is packed to the brim with sludgy doom metal riffs but keeps from being too repetitive. Amidst the brutality, listeners can catch their breath during the folkish intro on “Under the Ocean,” the gothic organs on “House of Doom,” and the churning verses of “The Omega Circle.”

Doom enthusiasts will find themselves particularly satisfied by the track “Astrolus – The Great Octopus.” After an onslaught of thunderous, Sabbath-flavored riffs, Iommi lets loose in a punishing guitar solo. At 71 years old he’s still got plenty of fire and darkness in him.

True to the band’s three-decade-long tradition, this record explores themes of darkness and the occult. The entire album is carried by Längqvist’s 80s-tinged vocals crying out Satanic passages like: “Agents of abomination / Nails in the spine / Walking the Earth / Dirty divine” on tracks like “Black Trinity.”

This record will surely find its place as a staple of doom metal. Even the most puritanical metalheads will find it difficult to fault. While satisfying an appetite for something dark and sinister, it delivers masterful musicianship and virtuoso performance.

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