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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Candlemass

Ancient Dreams

Review by Gary Hill

Not extremely progish, this one does have a few moments of prog leanings. I considered those leanings enough to include the band in the prog metal category. Generally this is solid metal music in the vein of Black Sabbath. The vocals can be a bit much at times, but they do grow on the listener. Candlemass is Ian Lindh, Leif Edling, Messiah Marcolm, Mats Björkman and Lars Johansson.

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Track by Track Review
Mirror, Mirror
A hard, atmospheric and gothic intro leads to a very Sabbathesque verse section, feeling a bit like a slower Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. The guitar solo break has a hint of a groove feel to it. Spooky sound effects and voices serve as a postscript to this one.
A Cry From the Crypt
Crunchy, somewhat plodding metal in quite a dark vein sets the powerful tone to this cut. The latter moments are very much in the mode of the slower moments of early Metallica.
Darkness in Paradise
After a decidedly metallic intro, this tune takes on a format that is almost accapella. The chosen arrangement is vocals with just some slight bass and a drum track. It then takes on more traditional metal modes, but continues to return to that near accapella pattern for the verses.
Incarnation of Evil
Beginning with spooky effects and vocals, ala King Diamond, the number then becomes more traditional metal. The central leanings on this cut are Black Sabbath and early Judas Priest.
Bearer of Pain
More traditional metal with a nice mood, Bearer includes a very dramatic segment rather in the mode of early Blackmore`s Rainbow. There is a very moving and progish guitar riff based break and a balladic segment as well.
Ancient Dreams
A regal and powerfully plodding metal cut with a strong and passionate metallic guitar solo section; this one gets quite dramatic and forceful at times.
The Bells Of Acheron
This song seems to combine old Sab with non-Ozzy Sab sounds, while still moving in some intriguing directions. Some of those directions are rather progish, and several moments call to mind Iron Maiden.
Epistle Number 81
Epistle Number 81 is slow, grinding metal.
Black Sabbath Medley
This is a competent showing, but not exceptional. Among the Sabsongs touched on are Symptom of the Universe, Electric Funeral and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
 
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