Sometimes all it takes is a monolithic riff, a rumbling pace, and smoke-damaged vocal to float one's boat. Some might even say an hour's worth of it is even better. Such is the case with RUNEMAGICK's "Voyage to Desolation/Dawn of the End", and in this writer's opinion, that's a good thing. Eighteen years running and RUNEMAGICK have nearly perfected the art known generally as doom/death. The description can be misleading, so consider the approach doom in large part with very early death-ish leanings inspired by the likes of HELLHAMMER and CELTIC FROST.
Simple, yet effective riffs, a generally slow pace (though we're not talking a RIGOR SARDONICUS crawl here), and limited, but attention grabbing changeups define the material on "Voyage to Desolation/Dawn of the End". Guitarist Nicklas Rudolfsson has the kind of voice that commands attention, his rough hewn patterns surprisingly memorable, not to mention gnarly as hell. The songwriting is such that as those long songs pummel and roll you'll find yourself entranced with the basic choruses and want to sing right along. The same goes with memorable lines like "silver dragon…with eyes of fire" from "Chthonic Temple Smoke" (you'll know what I mean when you hear it) on which Rudolfsson puts a little Tom G. Warrior into his delivery. In addition to the generally dismal atmosphere and soot covered sounds the band injects a little spacey fare in places, as well as offering up hypnotizing chant-like vocals on "Magus of Fire". Juxtaposing the light and the heavy is something the guys have clearly perfected over the years. Furthermore, the organic recording fits perfectly with the musical style.
It's always a pleasure to find bands like RUNEMAGICK continuing to stick to their guns and play a style of music that appeals to a limited, but enthusiastically dedicated, fan base. "Voyage to Desolation/Dawn of the End" adds little in the way of originality and who would expect otherwise? This is just solid as a rock doom/death.