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Leif Edling
Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy
April 2009
Released: 2008, GMR Music Group
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

As the creative mind behind the entire Candlemass discography, Leif Edling has shown no shortage of musical inspiration. Though Edling has expanded his repertoire with bands like Krux and Abstract Algebra, SONGS OF TORMENT, SONGS OF JOY is his first official “solo” album. Edling handles the vocal, guitar, and bass duties on the disc and as usual has penned each of the 8 songs on the disc himself. Edling has described the album as traditional, organ driven doom – which is a pretty accurate summation. More in line with his work in Krux than ‘Mass, SONGS OF TORMENT is a slow, psychedelic, and fairly bizarre collection.



Traditional church style organs are the main focus instrumentally, accompanied by some simplistic, bare guitar riffs. Vocally, Edling takes a more restrained, narrative position almost acting as a story teller for the songs. Each song is thematically similar, creating a consistency between the 8 songs. But at the same time it makes telling where one track begins and one ends questionable. You may even find yourself asking “didn’t I just hear this?” Lyrically, the songs come across as recited poetry and stray from the traditional verse/chorus/verse song structures. The first three tracks build upon each other, conceptually ascending towards the brief instrumental “Butterfly.” “My Black Birthday” and “Space Killer” are thick and plodding, paving the way for the 9 ½ minute long “Nautilus.” Instrumental up to the last few bars of the song, it closes the disc just as strangely as it began.



If you’re a fan of Candlemass and are expecting this to be an extension of that sound, caveat emptor – this is not it. This is doom infused mood music, requiring the right setting and ambience to appreciate the endeavor. Is it pure self indulgence on Edling’s part? Yeah maybe, but as off the wall as SONGS OF TORMENT, SONGS OF JOY is, it’s an interesting listen at the very least. Doom fans will no doubt flock to this simply due to Edling’s pedigree, but this probably won’t do much for casual fans or newcomers.
Track Listing

1. The Scar
2. It Is Not There
3. Angelic ‘Til I Die
4. On the Edge of Time
5. Butterfly
6. My Black Birthday
7. Space Killer
8. Nautilus

Lineup

Leif Edling - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Björn Eriksson - Guitar
Chris Laney - Guitar
Lars Sköld - Drums
Carl Westholm – Keyboards


Next review: » Leif Edling - Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy
Previous review: » Legions of War - Towards Death

Leif Edling
Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy
June 2009
Released: 2009, Candlelight Records
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Mr. Rock

The solo debut album from Candlemass bassist Leif Edling follows closely the doom-laden path set down by Candlemass and My Dying Bride. It’s no doubt that the music matches that of Candlemass as Edling has written a lot of the band’s material. I, however, do think this sounds more like My Dying Bride. This music is slow, plodding, depressing, and very funeral like. The eerie keyboards add a lot of atmosphere, though the songs never get to the point where the pick up any speed/power. It’s an interesting album title too, as I simply do not hear any of the joy…I do here a lot of torment.



All of the songs here, for me, have a very similar sound. Leif’s voice is sinister, and the music behind the voice is very, almost depressing. From the opening of “The Scar” to “On The Edge Of Time”, the pace never changes. It does change with the instrumental bass track “Butterfly”, which is simply filler. I don’t see the point of this piece as it does nothing to enhance the listening experience. It’s slow plucking bass…I dunno, it just doesn’t work for me. The slow, doomy pace returns for the final three songs.



If you are a fan of slow, doom metal, with funeral-like keyboards, then you will like this disc. As I’m not a fan of the genre, it doesn’t do anything for me – not to say that the musicians aren’t talented, cuz they are. It’s just that I prefer my metal a little more speedy, with a little more bite. That being said, there are a lot of Candlemass fans, or My Dying Bride fans, that are going to really get into this.
Track Listing

1. “The Scar”
2. “It Is Not There”
3. “Angelic Till I Die”
4. “On The Edge Of Time”
5. “Butterfly”
6. “My Black Birthday”
7. “Space Killer”
8. “Nautilus”

Lineup

Leif Edling – vocals / bass
Bjorn Eriksson – guitar
Chris Laney – guitar
Carl Westbolm – keyboards
Lars Skold - drums


Next review: » Lemuria - Chanson De La Croisade
Previous review: » Legions of War - Towards Death





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