Candlemass: King Of The Grey Islands

There’s a commercial with a corresponding jingle from Peter Paul candy for Almond Joy and Mounds bars. I’ve already tortured you enough by referencing it, so I won’t bother to type it out, but the general idea is to go with what you feel like at the time. Sometimes you want to be shuffled around in a wide spectrum of open-minded play, like setting your music collection on random or listening to the radio (did I say open-minded?). Other times, you want to keep the same damn sound going forever.

King Of The Grey Islands is certainly not the former. Candlemass have long ago perfected their dreary, Grey sound, and it’s all over this, their umpteenth album. One continuous mood—epic, but foggy and lost to a forgotten time. Kind of like the audio equivalent of the Myst game series, but way more awesome, ’cause Myst is kind of meh.

It’s only really comparable to older Candlemass, and depending on preference, King Of The Grey Islands can strangely alienate or entice, as this record features Robert Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus on vocals. The difference is certainly present, but there’s not too much to make of it, as Candlemass’ style hasn’t changed to suit Lowe, rather the other way around, as bassist Leif Edling is still essentially the band’s songwriter. Lowe’s epic style is basically inherited from the group, so it’s no stretch.

King Of The Grey Islands is certainly a grower, as the riffs get better with repeated listens, despite being tangibly ass-kicking from first spin. Perfect for casting a shadow on your summer.

In A Color: Black, If It Wasn’t So Grey