MCM Music
Release date: April 11, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Doom Metal is a genre that features Candlemass at the top and everyone else trying to equal their accomplishments. With its mostly-slow, dirge-like tempos and airs of melancholy and despair, Doom Metal isn’t for everyone (especially depressed people).

Veni Domine is a Swedish band that has released a few albums since the late 1990s. 23:59 is their latest, offering up eleven tracks of gloom and Doom. The lineup for this album is Fredrik Sjoholm, vocals; Thomas Weinesjo, drums; Gabriel Ingemarson, bass; Mats Lidbrandt, keyboards; and Torbjorn Weinesjo, guitars.

23:59 is a fine example of Doom Metal done right: it’s slow-paced (but not too slow), darkly atmospheric, heavy, downbeat, and epic in all the right places. Veni Domine isn’t out to cheer people up with this release. 23:59 isn’t a depressing album to listen to, although the subject matter can be oppressively grim and heavy.

Fredrik Sjoholm has an expressive, pain-filled, yet melodious voice that is very well-suited to this style of music. He has good range, singing in a fairly deep tone much of the time, but he can climb the scales with ease, throwing in some very effective King Diamond-style wails on songs like “Shine.” Sjoholm might remind some listeners of vintage Geoff Tate, back before the Queensrÿche belter started sounding like he’d rather be doing something else besides singing for a living.

23:59 has a big feel to it; epic, but not overblown, and subtly catchy at the same time. There are lots of big riffs from Torbjorn Weinesjo throughout the album, and he contributes some good solos as well. Keyboards don’t dominate the album, but they are well-used, adding a lot of atmosphere to tracks like “I’m Crucified” and album-closer “The Frozen.” “Valley Of The Visions” has a really huge feel to it, making it one of the album’s better songs, along with “Shine.”

23:59 has no weak tracks, ensuring a solid listen from the first song to the last. The only real drawback to the album is the slower pace of it, but that’s more of a limitation of the Doom Metal genre, not anything that Veni Domine is doing wrong. They don’t alter the Doom blueprint too much here.

Doom Metal fans will find Veni Domine’s latest release something they can really get into, and 23:59 may win the band some new fans who are getting their feet wet with this whole Doom thing. Recommended.


  • Gary McLean

    Gary was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the small Ontario, Canada town of Sault Ste. Marie, right on the border of Michigan, USA. When it comes to Metal and Hard Rock, Gary likes quite a few different bands, from stalwarts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, to newer, hard-hitting groups such as Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Paragon. Other favorites include the likes of Nightwish, Running Wild, Therion, Accept, Stratovarius, Dream Evil, Helloween, Rammstein, Dirty Looks, Crimson Glory, Tristania, and Gamma Ray. He thinks AC/DC deserves a paragraph all their own though.

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