Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Leif begins to metamorphose
e5150 | United States | 10/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This could be considered the last "true" Candlemass album, in that it retains the Cmass trademark compositional style much more than the two heavily experimental albums which followed some years later (Dactylis... & ...13th Sun).
After hitting his stride with "Nightfall" and pretty much keeping that same, honed-to-perfection doom style with it's sequels "Ancient Dreams" and "Tales of Creation", CHAPTER VI presented a Leif Edling not unwilling to begin his experimentation with the doom sound. Gone was Messiah Marcolin, the hefty opera-man at the mike, and I can't say that I was too distraught over this loss. While a decent singer, his operatic bellowing never impressed me to the point of convincing me that he was the ultimate vocalist for the band. No, that title goes to Johan Lanquist on Epicus, forever and ever.
His replacement Thomas Vikstrom certainly fits in comfortably, and I personally have no complaints about his performance. He's belting out the words without the overwrought vibrato and can at least manage to hide his accent, which was a strike against his predecessor in my book.
Most of the songs are all taken directly from the Leif Edling book of doom: "Where The Runes Still Speak" being another Epic Doom Metal classic, though possibly a little overlong; "Julie Laughs No More" uses the Little Red Riding Hood story as a metaphor for a good girl whose life goes astray into desperate situations; "Aftermath" is probably the best song of the bunch, perfect in length and possessing one of the coolest dark and doomy outros of Leif's career.
There are, for the first time, some songs which really don't meet the standards we've become used to, but every tune has at least one riff that'll make your blood chill.
The biggest alterations to the usual routine are the adding of keyboards as a *primary* instrument (they even get a solo in "Runes") and the stunningly sub-par production. I've never been too fond of keyboards as a main instrument in Metal, but they are used effectively here, and most of the music is so good that they could've used an accordion on it and it wouldn't have damaged the album..
What IS damaging is the production. All of the guitars are in the center of the mix, similar to Sabbath's "Live Evil". Not good. You don't notice it much unless you've got headphones on, then it's absolutely claustrophobic. The vocals and most of the instruments are all bunched up in the middle. One can only imagine how the music would have benefited from separating them as usual. And the drums seem much lower in the mix, as well. Even the cover suffers from the boring scrawling artwork--if artwork it can be called: it looks like a hyperactive child was let loose on a chalkboard. The artwork inside the booklet isn't too bad. Maybe all of this was part of Leif's experimentation.
CHAPTER VI is still capable of yielding some classic DOOM in the Edling style, but be prepared for the occasional tangent. Put simply, this is his launching pad for Abstrakt Algebra."
Really good, really surprising
M. Garland | AL, USA | 05/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So many people said this just wasn't their best stuff, including some of the bandmembers told me they were disappointed in it and were embarassed that they had even released it.NO, it's a completely different albums from the others, but it is very much WORTH the purchase. It's great, lots of memorable tracks like Julie, Dying Illusion, Where the Runes Still Speak and a few others. It's definitely Candlemass words, although Messiah's not singing, it's still an amazing addition to my Candlemass collection that gets just as much play as the others."
Not Messiah on vocals, but still a masterpiece!
Fredrik Nilsson | Umeň, Sweden | 12/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Released in 1992 this is my favorite album by the band, extremely underrated much to the fact that the much beloved Messiah Marcolin isn't handling the vocals. But replacement Tomas Vikström does a great job, he's got a more traditional metal way of singing than the operatic Messiah. The whole album is more traditional metal than the bands previous releases, it's not as slow and doomy as usual. But it's still the Candlemass trademark sound and the songwriting on this disc is exceptional. IMO this is the most consistent Candlemass disc ever. I ain't even gonna mention any songs because they're all top notch and if you like Candlemass or HEAVY metal this album won't disappoint!"