"The album is a concept story about depression and suicide in the modern society." That’s what the latest CANDLEMASS opus is about. But seriously, who had not been skeptical when the publicized that fronter Marcolin is a damn diva and quit the band during the recordings for this album? Skeptical in the sense that his voice always had been an incredibly important factor, of course the super heavy riffs and the style overall were important, but who could fill the footprints of this charismatic man? Robert Lowe of SOLITUDE AETURNUS? Might be a logical thought, but come on, he sings completely differently! If his vocals work with the opulent style of the Swedes? To say it right away – yes, they do! And how they work!
Here he definitely sings darker, dirtier and rawer than with SOLITUDE AETURNUS. Opener and basically title track “Emperor Of The Void” it still sounds a lot like Lowe’s original band, but from “Devil Seed” on a new era of CANDLEMASS begins. The Robert Lowe era. This song is Doom divinity turned sound. Slow, hypnotic and definitely on par with the old CANDLEMASS classics. You don’t believe me? It gets better, “Of Stars And Smoke” is at least as great and has the flair of a “Samarithan”. Now you might think that Ralf is exaggerating? Well, what if? This is my opinion and I stand behind it! Because there are even more Doom grenades such as “Man Of Shadows“, “Destroyer“ and the straight steam roller “Clearsight“, which are almost perfectly arranged genre classics, which are only a fart weaker than the already mentioned two highlights.
Only “Demonia 6“ balks when trying to get into my ears, I have not really digested this one, even though it is not that complex, reminds me a bit of KRUX, Edling’s other band, but with Lowe’s vocals this is a completely different league. A brilliant album of a former legend that is on the best way to take back its place on the Olympus of Doom.
(Online December 24, 2007)