Runemagick - Invocation of Magick
Aftermath Music
Funeral Doom
8 songs (69'55")
Release year: 2006
Runemagick, Aftermath Music
Reviewed by Adam
Funeral doom is a tough genre for a band to distinguish themselves from their peers. This is undoubtedly due to the general structure of the music, which renders showing off technical skills a near impossibility. For me, the difference between the average and the great funeral doom bands can be summed up in one word: atmosphere. If a certain mood is created that goes above and beyond the norm of just playing really slow, the album really stands out. I mention this because it has a lot to do with both the brilliance and the pitfalls of Invocation of Magick, the ninth album from Swedish doom veterans Runemagick.

No one would have any warrant to accuse Runemagick of laziness when it comes to musical output. Since signing with Norwegian label Aftermath Music, the band has been busy, releasing an album every year. Recent albums have seen Runemagick moving further and further away from their roots as a death metal act, and Invocation of Magick is certainly no exception. This is a pure doom album, ranging from doomdeath to crushing, slow funeral doom accentuated by its murky production. The atmosphere created in the first two songs is one of despair, aided by the eerie introduction of Preludium Apocalypsis and the fantastic deep riffs of Invocation of Doom Runes. The latter contains what is a rather unique aspect found numerous times on this album, the short burst machine gun likeness of the guitars played by vocalist Nicklas “Terror” Rudolfsson. The verse section around the 5:30 mark is a good example, although far more pronounced instances are scattered throughout the album. Invocation of Doom Runes is Runemagick at their finest, playing varied styles of doom mixed together into one epic opus.

Black Magick Sorceress is a good example of atmosphere gone wrong. It opens in striking fashion, with some of the most memorable musicianship on this album, primarily the machine gun guitars which are most noticeable about three minutes in. However, the mood created in the opening five minutes is a bit tarnished by the abrupt total silence and soft bass line ushered in just before the six-minute mark. See, funeral doom is great because of the trance it can lull its listener into, and I was definitely captivated by this track before I was jolted by the sudden change in mood. Remove that portion, and Black Magick Sorceress might be the best track on this album. Regrettably, this violent shift in mood appears on a few otherwise brilliant tracks such as Fisher of Souls and The Devils. The structure of Conjuration of the Black Shape is much more suited to my taste. Devoid of any vocals other than the strange ghastly hollow sound in the background, this track is one of the more devastatingly beautiful funeral doom tracks you will ever hear. Another key for this song is that, even when the guitars and drums fall silent at points, the strange sound effect is there to keep the atmosphere well in tact.

Terror’s vocals undergo a small, but welcome, change over the course of Invocation of Magick. They are pretty low in the mix for the early going, but appear to be more prominent towards the end. For the first few songs, he opts for a low grunting yell approach that is a bit hard to hear. However, the higher pitched distorted screech found on many of the later tracks such as The Devils are much more audible and suits the band much better.

Invocation of Magick is an album that, while a memorable and valid addition to the funeral doom genre, could have been much better. It is very hard not to nitpick with bands of this genre as the pace of the music brings to light any shortcomings more so than any other type of metal. Runemagick doesn’t have many weaknesses, but the few they do possess are all too apparent at times. Nonetheless, Invocation of Magick is a solid album and absolutely warrants a listen from any doom fan.
Killing Songs :
Preludium Apocalypsis, Invocation of Doom Runes, Conjuration of the Black Shape
Adam quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Runemagick that we have reviewed:
Runemagick - Darkness Death Doom reviewed by Alex and quoted 77 / 100
Runemagick - Resurrection In Blood reviewed by Danny and quoted 50 / 100
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