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Songs of Torment - Songs of Joy

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Album Review

With their combination of slow, plodding, Black Sabbath-influenced riffs, pessimistic lyrics, and gloomy melodies, Candlemass had a major impact on what came to be called doom metal, and as a co-founder of Candlemass, bassist Leif Edling became a doom icon. So it is only natural that doom fans will greet Edling's solo album, Songs of Torment - Songs of Joy, with great enthusiasm. This 2008 release doesn't disappoint, although it is far from a carbon copy of Edling's work with Candlemass. For one thing, Edling is the lead singer on Songs of Torment - Songs of Joy — whereas with Candlemass, bass playing has been his primary focus. But the greatest difference between this 43-minute CD and Candlemass' output is stylistic. Songs of Torment - Songs of Joy essentially falls into the doom metal category and shares Candlemass' appreciation of Sabbath, but eerie, creepy, darkly melodic slow burners such as "Angelic 'Til I Die," "It Is Not There," and "The Scar" have much more of an Alice Cooper influence than Candlemass; think of this album as an appealing combination of Cooper, Sabbath, the Stranglers, and the Doors with hints of goth rock and even some of Hawkwind's spaciness on occasion. And the songs are as infectious and groove-minded as they are ominous. In its own disturbing way, Songs of Torment - Songs of Joy has a sense of fun — sort of like one of those goth parties where everyone is dressed in black from head to toe and has a good time grooving to Bauhaus or Sisters of Mercy while a large screen shows Barnabus Collins (the reluctant vampire on the 1960s cult classic/soap opera Dark Shadows) roaming the New England countryside in search of a victim. Edling clearly isn't resting on his laurels; Songs of Torment - Songs of Joy is an excellent solo outing from the Candlemass co-founder.

Songs of Torment - Songs of Joy, Leif Edling
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