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My world of music - est. 2013

leif edling

CD review AVATARIUM "Hurricanes and Halos"

Veröffentlicht am 25. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Avatrium, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Classic Rock, News, CD Review, Nuclear Blast, Leif Edling, Candlemass

(9/10) One of last years newcomers is definitely Swedish rock/metal outfit Avatarium. I can remember the moment when "Moonhorse", the first song I heard from them, just blew me away. The combination of atmospheric moments in a context of doom metal and female vocals was something that worked more than well. Slowly the star of Avatarium was rising with a jaw-dropping good debut, a first show outside Sweden, which was a concert that took place in Tilburg, The Netherlands and a great sophomore release "The Girl With the Raven Mask". The band continuously increased their fan base and belongs in the meantime to the really hot bands in rock and metal.

2017 is the year of Avatarium's third strike. The album is slightly different - and not. What changed is that the band announced a while ago a new bass player, Mats Rydström. This role belonged so far to doom metal dinosaur and band founder Leif Edling, who decided to take a step back, but he will not let loose completely. Edling is still working with the band but more in the background and as a mentor, which also means that the role of guitarist Marcus Jidell and singer Jennie-Ann Smith gained in importance.

All the mentioned fortunately didn't have a bigger impact on Avatarium's sound. "Hurricanes and Halos" feel more like an organic development of the bands sound. The tendencies towards classic rock, which have been already very present on the last album, gained even more momentum. The opener "Into the Fire - Into the Storm" underlines this already from minute one onwards. The tune is an up-tempo classic rocker with a mystical expression. The organ does together with guitar and vocals a great job, making this song to a clear statement in rock. Another track that's build on a similar pattern is "The Sky at the Bottom of the Sea". It almost feels like the old Rainbow days are back. Both tracks belong to my personal faves on the album.

A song that's a bit different is "Road to Jerusalem". It's a slower paced semi acoustic song that comes with a high level of intensity, followed by a vigorous drumbeat that introduces "Medusa Child". With nine minutes playtime the track is the longest one on the album. It's an epic masterpiece that includes almost everything Avatarium stands for - heavy riffs, a precise working rhythm section, awesome vocals and some more unexpected moments like a children's choir half way down the road. "Medusa Child" is an epos that belongs to the most mature songs the band ever released.

"Hurricanes and Halos" stands for another big step forward. Over the last years, Avatarium developed towards a powerful player in the fields of classic rock and metal, a journey that has a lot of potential to go ahead for many more years.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Into the Fire - Into the Storm
  2. The Starless Sleep
  3. Road to Jerusalem
  4. Medusa Child
  5. The Sky at the Bottom of the Sea
  6. When Breath Turn to Air
  7. A Kiss (From the End of the World
  8. Hurricanes and Halos

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Classic Rock/Metal

Release Date EU: May 26th, 2017

 

CD review AVATARIUM "Hurricanes and Halos"
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CD review THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM "The Doomsday Kingdom"

Veröffentlicht am 4. April 2017 von Markus W. in The Doomsday Kingdom, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, NWoBHM, CD Review, Candlemass, Leif Edling, Avatarium, News

(9/10) It's hard to keep track of all the bands and releases being the brainchild of Swedish master of doom Leif Edling. The iconic bass player became famous with Candlemass, a band that heavily influenced doom bands all over the world. Next to this metal dinosaur, Edling started also bands like Krux and Abstract Algebra that stayed on more insider-based level while still being excellent discs many other bands could only dream of.

Since 2013 the bassist added a new member to this portfolio of bands. Avatarium appeared on the scene, celebrating huge successes from the very beginning. And now, while being in the last steps of preparing a ne Avatarium longplayer, it's another band that unveils eight songs of mighty Swedish doom metal - The Doomsday Kingdom. As with Avatarium, it's guitarist Marcus Jidell who plays, next to Edling himself, an important role when it comes to this new metal outfit. Having these two guys on board means of course some similarities with Avatarium - how could it be different. But The Doomsday Kingdom is far more to offer than just doing the same thing only different.

While Avatarium is including more and more classic rock/metal elements into their songs, it's the traditional metal and doom hymns that can be explored on this debut of The Doomsday Kingdom. Even some NWoBHM comes back on the album, reflected in songs like "A Spponful of Darkness". The song revives the early days of metal and it's Wolf singer Niklas Stålvind, whose voice feels like the pepperoni on the pizza. 

This longplayer includes all shades of metal. Melancholy is the main expression in the acoustic instrument "See You Tomorrow", which is a real beauty, while tracks like the hypnotic "The Never Machine" and the filigree "The Sceptre" stand for real doom metal with mighty riffs; the latter also with an exquisite guitar solo. The longplayer is full of highlight and each song is a shiny pearl covered by grey shades of sadness and balefulness. 

Song by song the debut is slowly building up to its climax that comes at the end. A incredible riff signals the beginning of the end; at least when it comes to this record. "The God Particle" is, with its almost ten minutes, a masterpiece of metal. Expressive and varying vocals by Stålvind are one of the main pillars of this metal temple of doom. Slow riffs and a rock solid rhythm section create an atmosphere that feels like a cold shiver in a foggy autumn night. 

A very critical person could say that this all reminds of Candlemass and probably it's even right. However, The Doomsday Kingdom allows Edling to add another twist to his music and sound. It's another outlet for the seemingly endless creativity of the iconic musician from Stockholm. To stick to the metaphor of a building; this record isn't a new building, but it's a beautiful extension of this everlasting Swedish fortess of doom. 

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Silent Kingdom
  2. The Never Machine
  3. A Spoonful of Darkness
  4. See You Tomorrow
  5. The Sceptre
  6. Hand of Hell
  7. The Silence
  8. The God Particle

 

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: April 7th, 2017

CD review THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM "The Doomsday Kingdom"
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CD THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM "Never Machine"

Veröffentlicht am 6. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in The Doomsday Kingdom, Candlemass, Leif Edling, Avatarium, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, NWoBHM, News, CD Review

(8/10) Leif Edling is a phenomenon. Not only that the bass player of Candlemass belongs to the group of highly influential musicians in metal, he’s also a good example when it’s about not giving up and do what you burn for. In his case things went even that far that his fascination for music helped him to get out of one of the biggest crisis situation – a burnout. In such a serious moment in time it was his acoustic guitar that helped the iconic bass player to recover. Playing on the six string was one of the things he could find some energy for, and if it was only for some minutes each day.

Step by step some new songs came out of this ‘therapy’ and four of them ended up on the first release of The Doomsday Kingdom. The band is Edlings next outfit, running in parallel to his engagement in Candlemass and the shooting stars of Avantarium. Edling describes the purpose of The Doomsday Kingdom as an outlet for his passion for NWoBHM and Black Sabbath, as being the godfathers of doom metal.

The Doomsday Kingdom is a quartet that, next to Edling on bass, also includes Marcus Jidell on guitar, Andreas Johansson on drums and Wolf-singer Niklas Stålvind doing the vocals. It’s this four-piece that recorded “Never Machine”, an EP that hit the shelves a few days ago. In total there are four tracks on this first output and each of the tracks confirms the passion for some early 80’s metal.

The title track “Never Machine” marks a grim and cold beginning of a four-track journey that fits very well into the European winter darkness. The song is a slowly rolling track with a well-placed acoustic part in the middle. “The Sceptre” is number two on the batting order and it’s another slow-paced doom song. Stålvind enriches this track with his vocals that are intense and powerful.

“Zodiac City” is the song on the album that is the most complex, at least for my ears. It took me a while to get into this doom monster that unveils its beauty after a few rounds in the player. The beginning still sounds a bit bumpy to me but the track itself is another great musical achievement of Edling. However, I constantly have to think about how this tune would sound like with Avatarium performing it.

The end is near, at least when it comes to this EP. “The Whispering” is what’s expressed in the naming of the tune. It’s a silent acoustic number. It’s the melancholic counterpart to the first three tracks and a well-done break on this EP. “The Whispering” is built on a sphereful foundation and feels like the calm after a gloomy and stormy night.

“Never Machine” is another project/band initiated by Leif Edling. This means that the general patterns of music created that's created by the bass player are present and you could question why another outfit is needed. However, I think that this question is irrelevant since the four tracks are all great. This EP is a real appetizer for the upcoming full-length studio album.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Never Machine
  2. The Sceptre
  3. Zodiac City
  4. The Whispering

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: November 25th, 2016

 

CD THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM "Never Machine"
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