A New Leif (Edling Solo CD)

Halos and horns.When it comes to doom riffs, speaking mathematically, the scale goes like this: Tony Iommi > Leif Edling > Everyone Else All The Time Ever. As bassist and main songwriter for Swedish lords Candlemass (not to mention being known as having one the world’s most extensive collections of Black Sabbath records and memorabilia), Edling has been responsible for some of the greatest underground doom anthems of all time. Songs like “Under the Oak,” “Solitude,” “Demon’s Gate,” “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” — and that’s just on 1986’s Epicus Doomicus Metallicus! The guy’s got a whole catalog like that (soon to include Death Magic Doom, highly anticipated in the valley and due later this year), not to mention the work he’s done with Krux alongside singer Mats Lev?n (ex-Therion), who nearly took Messiah Marcolin‘s place in Candlemass following that singer’s alleged trip off the deep end.

Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy (Candlelight/GMR) is Leif Edling‘s first true solo offering following the collection of Candlemass demos released under his name in 2002, The Black Heart of Candlemass. And that is precisely what Edling has always been; the life force pumping the blood below the surface of that band, while others reap the notoriety and bask in the limelight.

That is perhaps all the more confirmed by the fact that, though it wouldn’t necessarily be surprising if for his solo album Edling chose to go in a completely different musical direction (? la Abstrakt Algebra, the power metal band he took on following Candlemass‘ original breakup after 1999’s From the 13th Sun), he decided to make an effort of pure doom and release it in his name. This is Leif Edling. He is doom.

He plays some guitar here and expectedly handles bass duties (highlighted on the minute-long solo/interlude “Butterfly”), but it’s somewhat surprising to see Edling tackle the vocals as well; he hasn’t done so on an official release since the pre-Candlemass days of Nemesis. He’s not trying any Marcolin operatics or to attain the same Dio-esque power as current Candlemass vocalist Robert Lowe (Solitude Aeturnus), opting instead for a gruff, throaty delivery that plays well over the lumbering guitars. As ever, his riffs stand up to any point of comparison you want to make.

Some of these songs could have been used for his main outfit — nine-minute closer “Nautilus” in particular would be suited for the task were it not instrumental — but for whatever reason, the collection of tracks on Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy is in and out quick at 43 minutes. A track like the heavily-keyboarded (by Carl Westholm of Candlemass, no less) “It is Not There” is also strikingly short, but like the whole album itself, the song accomplishes its anguished mission with ease.

That mission? To be doom — which of course Edling was before he even walked into the room.

Somebody get this man a bass!Leif Edling on MySpace

Candlelight Records

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One Response to “A New Leif (Edling Solo CD)”

  1. […] already been a review (and not a short one), so without further ado on my part, after the jump we join the Leif Edling […]

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