The Doomsday Kingdom – “Never Machine” EP (Nuclear Blast)
Metal from the Catacombs! A veritable icon befitting his moniker of ‘The Doomfather’ in the Swedish Doom Metal scene, Leif Edling, famed through legendary Candlemass, brings forth his latest side project – The Doomsday Kingdom! In anticipation of a full blown album promised for next year comes this (re)issue of the very limited first edition demo EP – “Never Machine” – made up of 4 tracks each clocking in around the 6 minute+ mark. Although renowned for his composing, anyone who never appreciated the multi instrumental talents of Edling can stand challenged by what he’s achieved here – all the more so given his well publicized burn out and what became his personal catacomb – and joining him on this journey into darkness are guitarist Marcus Jidell (Avatarium, Evergrey, Royal Hunt), drummer Andreas (Habo) Johansson (Narnia, Royal Hunt) and the guest vocals of Wolf’s Niklas ‘Viper’ Stålvind! Opening with the title track, it’s classic old school Candlemass, although the tone is somewhat lighter (if no less evil) as are Edling’s higher but non operatic vocals which are almost 70s in their feel, as are the haunting harmonies. ‘The Sceptre’ is more up tempo, with some very cool raw slide riffing and NWOBHM warbling contrasted by some epic vocals and topped off by some pomp organs – once again top quality stuff. ‘Zodiac City’ is a haunting ballad about the namesake serial killer who plagued California and as captivating in its dark atmosphere, evilly brooding before building through insane vocals to unleash a maelstrom of screaming insanity – wow! Closing with the serenity of ‘The Whispering’ through its gentle folk acoustic guitar and woodwind instruments you have to wonder what went on in Edling’s mind through all the personal darkness, but whatever the case, his genius has once again managed to turn it all around into yet another blinding light of talent and hope.