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Old 07-02-2007, 02:00 AM
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Candlemass - King of The Grey Islands

Reported tension late last year between singer Messiah Marcolin and the rest of the band seemed to put their new album on hold, but fears were allayed with a post on the bands website confirming that Messiah would be singing on the record after all.

The announcement was a strange one. It made it sound like Messiah was being hired to do it, rather than being a part of the band, and no mention was made of touring. Certainly my feeling was that Messiah would sing on the album then leave. Then in October the announcement came that Messiah was out of the band. Speculation mounted on a replacement, and the most popular choice amongst fans seemed to be Robert Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus, although former Candlemass singer Johan Langqvist was also widely requested.

In January this year another announcement named Lowe as the new singer and the band moved fast to record the new album. Lowe’s arrival was welcomed by fans and although he’s not quite got the same operatic range as Marcolin, his slightly grittier style adds a certain ominous overtone to the trademark doom riffs that can often be missing from some older material.

King of The Grey Islands is not as heavy as Candlemass, the reunion album with Marcolin released in 2005. There seems to be a greater emphasis on structure than on straight-ahead, crushing doom. Opening intro Prologue is a beautiful acoustic instrumental which leads nicely into the frantic wah-loaded riffs of Emperor of The Void. Opening shows with this will be immense. It’s one of those mid-paced, doomy-yet-catchy numbers Candlemass pioneered in the first place.

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