REVIEW: THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM – “Never Machine” [EP]
The Doomsday Kingdom is a new side-project idealized by Candlemass founder, lead songwriter and bassist Leif Edling. Leif is well known in the metal community for being a multi-instrumentalist, master songwriter and occasional producer, having appeared and collaborated in acts such as Avatarium, Witchcraft, Krux, Hexenhaus and Nemesis, not to mention his self-named band. In this new output, Leif – using the moniker “The Doomfather” (which is very hard to argue that he isn’t) – does absolutely everything, from vocals to drums, and more importantly: without any sort of help or demand from a label, making this as personal a project as possible.
Entitled ‘Never Machine Demo EP’, this demo was released independently on March 18th, and it features four songs lasting a little less than half an hour. The first song, “Never Machine”, tells you exactly what to expect from the output: classic, slow-to-mid tempo doom metal, with haunting melodies and dark atmosphere. With intelligent lyrics, the song is an epitome of all that is doom metal; it has that late 70’s Black Sabbath vibe so welcomed by the genre, and added to the raw production makes for a really good display. Follow-up “The Sceptre” slows things down a little bit, telling a story about a war between two queens, the red and the black. With a dense start and a prolific fingering solo that makes the song unique and highly enjoyable, it’s constructed between a well-crafted dense, slower passage and a strong and dark chorus.
“Zodiac City” is about the famous story of the zodiac killer, and features guest vocals by Wolf’s frontman Niklas “Viper” Stålvind. With a cool “spoken-like” intro, the song bursts into an evil chorus, remaining until the end with a slower arrangement and a spirited solo, once again reminiscing the late 70’s Sabbath and even early Candlemass. Last, but not least, comes the best song of the album in my opinion, “The Whispering”. In fact, this is one of the best ballads I’ve heard in years; It features a beautiful and haunting string/mellotron arrangement by Carl Westholm (Avatarium), and a soft but memorable acoustic guitar played by Marcus Jidell (Avatarium, ex-Evergrey, Royal Hunt). This is exactly why Leif Edling is a genious: “The Whispering” is a simple song, but the small details and the passion put in the music are what make it a piece of art.
According to Leif, ‘Never Machine Demo EP’ is “metal from the catacombs, the way it’s supposed to be”, and he couldn’t be more right. The EP is a personal journey and a musical gem, and this is only a glimpse of what is to come. If these four songs are samples of what we should expect from Leif when The Doomsday Kingdom releases its first full-length, rest assured that we will see a lesson on making Doom Metal and a highly passionate effort. Leif Edling is, indeed, a Doomfather. Bravo.