THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM - The Doomsday Kingdom
June 8, 2017, a year ago
While Candlemass founder/bassist Leif Edling might not be in the best of health lately, precluding him from playing live with either C-mass or recent darlings Avatarium, he's buried himself in the studio, turning out The Doomsday Kingdom, which enlists Wolf frontman (sans guitar) Niklas Stålvind on vocals. Three years in the making, the results aren't too far afield of Candlemass, a little more trippy (rather than bludgeoning) and with a higher pitched voice. In that regard, some of the material could actually be on a Wolf record, but not most.
The chugging “Hand Of Hell”, while possessing Edling megaton trademark, is one such offering. “Silent Kingdom” is the jumping off point, rather uptempo by Leif's standards, and recalls the Robert Lowe era, circa King of The Grey Islands. As does stormier “The Sceptre”, until it takes a sudden lilting keyboard departure, midway through. A stomping “The Never Machine” sees Stålvind provide his most forceful vocal as the pace slowly dissipates throughout its course. Love the line “In the evening I spit the poison in your soup” in the chorus of “A Spoonful Of Darkness” Mary Poppins this is not! After acoustic intro, “See You Tomorrow” becomes a brooding, depressive, piano piece. Kid you not, the doomy feel is created without conventional tuned guitars, nor bass/drums. They're there, just not the dominate instrumentation. Fascinating! Apart from an upbeat mid-section, a spiraling, effects laden “The Silence” sounds like Candlemass plays the Beatles. The closing, 9:17 “God Particle” brings everything full circle, showcasing all the diverse elements (including a spoken word delivery) found amongst the other seven tunes. If Candlemass are truly to never be a recording act anymore, this is more than a passable substitute.