Distributor/label: Nuclear Blast
Distributor/label URL: http://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/shop/index.html
Buy Album [URL]: http://apple.co/2idzSTo
Band Website: http://www.doomsdaykingdom.se
Niklas Stålvind – vocals
Marcus Jidell – guitars
Leif Edling – bass
Andreas (Habo) Johansson – drums
1. Never Machine
2. The Sceptre
3. Zodiac City
4. The Whispering
The Doomsday Kingdom, the newest project of Candlemass virtuoso Leif Edling, promises “the beginning of a new reign of doom metal”. A bold statement right off the bat, and the four track demo EP Never Machine, released on November 25th, offers exactly what one could expect for a doom release at this point in time.
The first track “Never Machine” kicks off with a crunchy stoner rock-esque riff. I’m not quite sure how to feel about the echo effect on the vocals, they seem to sound a little out of place in the delicate mix of instrumentation. The riffs are catchy, yet the grungy guitar tone isn’t doing much good for the overall sound. The breakdown at around the 2:30 mark is satisfyingly soothing and nice to listen to, and the following guitar solo manages to invoke my inner rocker as well. The last minute and a half of the song feels a little dragged out and dull, and I quickly lose my interest towards the end, waiting for the next song to commence.
Doomy drums and electrifying guitars launches track number two, “The Sceptre”, also a seemingly mid-tempo/slow-paced song. The vocals do sound a little better here, and the riffing is top notch. Keyboards are a great addition and sound fantastic here, giving a real Uriah Heep feel. Some shredding guitars half way through adds nice variety to the track, making it arguably the stronger one on the album. The rapid tempo changes and riff progressions are satisfying, despite some repetition.
Continuing in a similar manner, “Zodiac City” opens with an ominous spoken segment before the distorted guitars kick in. There are definitely some Ghost vibes present here, and this track touches on a more atmospheric feel. The almost mesmerizing and melancholic instrumental part with guitars and minimalist drumming half way through is quite enjoyable. Catching speed and getting progressively more intense eventually, the song ends with an impressive feat of shredding.
The song is abruptly interrupted by softening acoustic guitar play and Niklas Stålvinds calming voice soothingly whispering about ghosts, as (fittingly enough) “The Whispering” begins. The synths in the background work well and gives this track a very melancholic feel. A ballad seems a nice way to end the EP, showcasing the band’s capability of varied song writing. The lyrics are easy to follow on this one, and it has overall a good ‘feel’ to it.
All in all, Never Machine offers catchy riffs, doomy melodies and moments of melancholic reflection, and it’s arguably a satisfying piece of music for fans of slow paced, gloomy metal. Personally I don’t find myself amongst those who do, but the EP definitely had its enjoyable moments, and is recommended for fans of the genre.