They ended their spell in 2007 with the appropriately called ‘Dawn of the End’ which heralded a lengthy hiatus until their comeback album ‘Evoked from Abysmal Sleep’ in 2019. This return to form was followed up by ‘Into Desolate Realms’ just a mere year later. Post pandemic, we now get their latest record ‘Beyond the Cenotaph of Mankind’. Stylistically, the couple of Niklas and Emma Rudolfsson are intentionally staying true to their definitive sound from the early noughties wavering between a funereal pace and a Bolt Thrower level kick in the hiney. Opening with ominous synthesized trumpets on ‘Archaic Magick (After the Red Sun)’, a 3 beat waltz like cadence rather unexpectedly recalls the early works of Shape of Despair, which sets a gloomy tone for the rest of the album as this motif is carried over by crushing guitars.
It picks up momentum as Niklas’ trademark growls kick in. Clocking in at almost 12 minutes, this opening doesn’t exactly make it easy listening for the audience. Following close on its heels, ‘Endless Night and Eternal End’ even brings in some blackened elements to the riffing. ‘Revocation of Spectral Paths’ is a relatively short one, that nevertheless hits pretty remorselessly hard with slow, monolithic riffing. Definitely, the most direct track on display here. ‘The Storm rode Beyond the Firmament’ comes rolling in, at a doom worth tempo obviously, but no less unstoppable. It has a psychedelic feel to it that you might even dare to Electric Wizard in their most unhinged moments. Following suit with a hypnotic, irresistible riff comes crawling in ‘Nocturnal Deities of Winter’.
Closing the album with the title track, a lone moody riff intro seeps in that keeps it meandering ominously with nigh any vocals, until halfway in the song when it chuggingly increases the speed just a notch commanded by Niklas‘ growls. We hear some oriental overtones while repeating like a mantra “Not of this world” over and over again. As the last tone gets chiseled on this big slab of colossal riffing that is Runemagick’s latest cenotaph, we can once again rejoice in still solid slab of heavy death doom.
- Music / Songwriting 9/10
- Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
- Mix / Production 9/10
- Artwork & Packaging 9/10
As a solemn monolith, Runemagick still stands majestically firm in its old school doom death aesthetics, untouched by time.