Candlemass - Chapter VI & Live Uddevalla 2-CD
"Chapter VI" was the first and simultaneously last regular album of Candlemass with Tomas Vikström on vocals. The successor of the figurehead Messiah Marcolin delivered a good performance while offering a wide spectrum. His clear voice and his classic style give the album its own character. But it is not only the charismatic, accurate voice of Vikström. The elegant, not very heavy yet somehow fitting sound also lends the album a special colouring. It's a pretty unusual sound, not sticky, although the keyboards play a remarkable role, but very atmospheric. Stylish pictures in the booklet to each and every song complement the production in a suitable manner. No doubt, "Chapter VI" profits from a holistic approach.
The entire output uncovers the melodic side of the Swedish kings of doom. Well, doom? I do not think that real maniacs of this sub genre would call this album a typical doom metal output. Bone-dry riffs and a constantly slow pace do not play a role here. Candlemass prefer a mid-tempo approach and the songs have a smooth flow. No doubt, usually I like to listen to more extreme music, but the relative harmonic presentation is perfectly tailor-made for Vikström's style of singing. But do not confuse "harmonic" with "commercial". The fifth studio work with the slightly irritating title (live albums don't count!) is free from mainstream influences.