Sweden's Krux returns with III, their appropriately titled third album (and subtitled, He Who Sleeps Amongst the Stars). Far be it from me to quibble about their doom metal origins, but this third outing seems to serve up more guitar-oriented classic heavy metal. Certainly, the first and title cut, He Who Sleeps Amongst the Stars, does not move on strict doom metal terms. It's gallops along and offers a strong guitar solo early, a portent of what's within every song here.
Nevertheless, most every song has a 'doomish' quality to it, if by this it means some inherent heaviness and plodding in the arrangement. This is clear in Emily Payne, Prince Azaar, and A Place of Crows. But intermittent tempo changes come in the latter. Then there's those blistering solos, once more. If anything smacks of a pure doom metal flavor, it is the aptly titled The Hades Assembly and The Death Farm. These two, the latter especially, are deep and dark, heavy and plodding pieces sure to satisfy fans of Candlemass and the like. Yet, the aforementioned Prince Azaar and the Invisible Pagoda, the longest song, offer the combination of classic metal with portions both epic and doom. Unfortunately, it's rather mundane early on, but rebounds with tempo changes and several solos. Curious within all of this is the keyboard presence, thanks to Carl Westholm (Carptree, Jupiter Society). It's hard to determine if these wispy synths are for atmosphere or merely an afterthought.
Nevertheless, for hybrid of classic heavy and doom metal in an epic and melodic context, Krux's III is solid and entertaining material. Very recommended.