Candlemass Candlemass

This self-titled effort by the Swedish doom metal masters almost never was. Since originally reuniting some three years ago, this version of the band (which includes vocalist Messiah Marcolin back in the line-up) has had more ups and downs trying to reform than most have in a career — which is what makes this album such a surprise. Finished in late 2004, this nine-song effort finds the band in arguably the best shape they've been in since 1987's Nightfall. Chock full of great Sabbath-like riffs and with that voice at the helm, Candlemass provide some quality doom, even if the tempos don't vary enough from song to song. This album is nowhere near being perfect — it could definitely use one major epic slow-as-molasses dirge somewhere — but it's still a decent effort nonetheless and one that should win them over a few new fans in the process too. Nicely done. (Nuclear Blast)