Krux is the successful realization of what Leif Edling was trying to do with Candlemass's 'From The 13th Sun,' an epic, aggressive doom record with some Sabbath groove and more than a touch of 70s psychedelica. If that sounds like an unlikely mix, it is, and its all the more remarkable for the fact that it works so easily here. Gone is the epic plod of Candlemass, though the tempos are largely the same. For this record, Edling enlisted Entombed's rhythm section (shuttling their bassist to guitar), and the result is Edling riffs delivered with death n' roll attack and swagger.
The album opens with "Black Room," which has one of the most singularly monstrous riffs I've ever heard, and that's saying something. Vocalist Mats Leven delivers the vocals with a misanthropic sneer that ol' Messiah never could've nailed. Title track "Krux" picks things up considerably, showcasing Peter Stjarvind's frenetic Lombardo-meets-Ward drumming and really establishing that no, this is not Candlemass by a different name. Next is "Nimis," a leftover from the 13th Sun sessions re-recorded. While the arrangement and structure are the same, the feel couldn't be more different.
Other highlights include "Omfalos," an epic, mellotron, pseudo-choir-drenched piece that could have been at home in Candlemass but is given a welcome raw edge here. The following tracks, "Enigma EZB" and "Popcatepetl" have the same contrast of doom and attack, the former opening with a driving punk feel that brings to mind Entombed's "Out Of Hand." The album closes with a 7-part doomed-out space rock piece called "Lunochod." Lyrically it seems to be about Sputnik, but that's sort of secondary to the song's lurching shifts from brutal to baked and back again.
On the whole, this seemed the next logical step for Edling, until Candlemass reformed around the brief, underwhelming Messiah-lineup reunion, and then moved on to its 3-album (supposed) swansong with Robert Lowe. Two more Krux albums would follow, 'II' and 'He Who Sleeps Amongst The Stars,' and while very good, neither would recapture the spontaneous energy and raw chemistry of this first one. This is an absolute must for fans of the doom genre; track it down by any means necessary. And hey Amazon, I know its out of print at the moment, but howzabout at least making this sucker available on Mp3?