Already for the fifth time Mister Nicklas Rudolfsson presents us with an album as incarnation of mastermind of RUNEMAGICK and again I can attest that they absolutely have found their own style. Not as positive comrades might complain that he more or less does the same album over and over, but here we have the old conflict between staying true to oneself and stagnation. So what is it in case of RUNEMAGICK?
Well, "Darkness Death Doom" nicely bears its style description in its title already, as it contains a very dark version of Doom/Death Metal, which despite the mostly slow tempo bears an incredible heaviness and brutality in itself. Basically you could very well compare RUNEMAGICK to a volcano, because the music often resembles lava, viscous and heavy, while here and there a faster eruption breaks through. Volcano Metal, see there, a new category has been born!
The intro "CDXLIV" starts out with Gregorian monks' chants, followed by a spoken sample underlaid with haunting guitars before "Ancient Incantations" lets doom break in on us in an ultraheavy and slow fashion, together with Rudolfsson's menacing, deep vocals. Still RUNEMAGICK always vary intensity and heaviness, thus giving their ton heavy sound additional dynamics, which (too) many bands unfortunately lack. The guitar leads and melodies with their light oriental/Indian touch are a theme that is picked up a few times throughout the album and bring in an interesting note.
The following "Eyes Of Kali" starts out as heavy, intense instrumental, creating a very dark atmosphere (hey, Kali is the Indian goddess of death), then picks up in speed and crashes through quite mightily with the vocals, while the overall tempo rather tastes like lava again. "Darken Thy Flesh" again is very heavy, intense and powerful, so that you can almost feel this song. And the organ riff of "Doomed" would fit every old horror flick.
"DDD", so to say the title track, again lets loose with an Indian melody, very calm and instrumental before "Winter" (for now disregarding the outro) finishes things up "Darkness Death Doom" in typical RUNEMAGICK fashion. The intro itself, titled "444" is purest lava sound, which gets more and more viscous until it finally comes to a halt.
Without a doubt the intensity, heaviness and force of the fifth RUNEMAGICK longplayer is furthered by the excellent and powerful production, every drumbeat exactly hits your stomach, the guitars effectively sever your neck, while Rudolfsson's vocals go straight for the throat, for speed fanatics "Darkness Death Doom" surely is a nightmare, but who wants to indulge in heaviness will get exactly what he's searching for from the Swedes. (Online December 11, 2002)