With a band name and album title like The Doomsday Kingdom, you can pretty much guess what you’re going to get. It’s a definitive statement of doom-filled intent. Add in the fact that this band is another project lead by the almighty “Doomfather” (i.e. Candlemass leader Leif Edling) and you damn well KNOW that you are in for a slab of doom par excellence. While Candlemass sort of drifts with compilations and EPs, The Doomsday Kingdom affords Edling the chance to retake the doom metal throne with some of his friends from the Swedish metal scene, most notably Wolf leader/vocalist Niklas Stalvind.
Those who follow Edling’s career will feel right at home with THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM. Lovingly wrapped in an appropriately evil-looking cover, the album is 8 tracks of pure doom metal majesty, featuring Edling’s sublime song writing and Stalvind’s pure metal vocals. The record kicks off with semi-title track “Silent Kingdom”, immediately into a mid-paced groove that will have your head banging within the first 20 seconds. From there, the album doesn’t relent until the 4th cut, the haunting instrumental “See You Tomorrow”. By this point, an atmosphere of musical malevolence is firmly established.
As awesome as the first half is, it’s arguably the second half of the album that is the most impressive. “Hand of Hell” brings furious speed before the album collapses into not one, but two mournful epics to close what I am confident in saying will be the best 52 minutes of doom metal in 2017.
I honestly can’t think of anything significantly negative to say. Maybe – MAYBE – “A Spoonful of Darkness” and “The Sceptre” aren’t quite as enthralling as the other songs, but that’s like saying an “A” isn’t as good as an “A+”.
If you lament the fact that Candlemass hasn’t released a full album since 2012, haven’t heard Avatarium, or simply love doom metal, you need this. All hail The Doomsday Kingdom.
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