Krux is a Swedish doom-metal project headed up by Candlemass bassist Leif Edling, and also features singer Mats Levén (Yngwie Malmsteen), guitarist Jörgen Sandström, and drummer Peter Stjärnvind, both from Entombed. The CD features long epic tracks filled with slow, doom-laden guitar riffs, a pounding rhythm section, Leven's histrionic vocals, and the ominous organ, Mellotron, & Moog of guest keyboard player Carl Westholm. There is a decidedly 70's Black Sabbath meets 80's Candlemass feel throughout, resulting in one of the strongest doom releases in many years.
Tunes like "Nimis" (with its downer lyrics "...If you die by your own hand, I will be a happy man") and "Krux" contain slow, sledgehammer guitar riffs that perfectly allow Leven to convey the bleak lyrical content. The singer gets in some evil chanting on the creepy "Omfalos", complete with layers of Moog and Mellotron, while Sandström lays down some monstrous guitar dirges. "Enigma EZB" shows the band speeding things up just a tad, a la Trouble, while "Popocatepetl" has a certain symphonic metal feel, much like early Rainbow. The album's longest tune, the seven part "Lunochoid" is a true metal epic with lots of progressive moments, featuring huge and brutal guitar riffs from Sandström and lots of eerie keyboards. Again I was reminded of early Rainbow mixed with Sabbath, as the band goes for a doomy symphonic sound that really works.
I really hope that Krux decides to make this more than just a one-off project, as these guys have the ability to inject some much-needed fire into the stagnant doom-metal genre. This is dark, sinister, and highly delicious stuff. All hail the "riff"!