Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Album Review: "Death Thy Lover" by Candlemass

Swedish doom metal masters Candlemass have never been shy about embracing their likeness to the genre’s founders Black Sabbath, having incorporated several Sabbath tunes into their set-list over the years.   They are nowhere near the only band to build castles upon the foundations of early Sabbath, but when it comes to recreating the plodding downtuned crunch of Iommi and the boys, no one has done it better.  In a country which has produced a disproportionate number of the world’s best metal bands , it is extremely significant to have been voted by Scandinavians as the greatest metal band to ever originate in Sweden. 

Their perfectly titled debut album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is considered a classic of the genre, but it has been 30 years and several line-up changes since its release, so one could wonder if they still had a quality product to deliver.  The answer, as evidenced by their soon to be released new EP Death Thy Lover, is a resounding yes.

The most notable addition to the band is the debut of the experienced and prodigious Mats Leven on vocals.  Leven has been hovering on the fringes of Candlemass for years as the vocalist for band leader Leif Edling’s side projects Krux and Abstrackt Algebra, therefore it comes as no surprise to see him brought aboard. Leven’s vocals are not as haunting and operatic as classic Candlemass vocalists Johan Langqvist or Messiah Marcolin, but are powerful in their own right and carry the band into a bold new direction.  

Candlemass returns to the familiar topics of despair, death, monsters and evil with enough melody, thumping rhythms and clever lyrics to convince the listener there are no other topics worthy of their attention.  The fourth track is an instrumental which features riffs of such majesty you will wonder why they had not already been recorded during the first fifty years of metal music.
As ever the tracks are epic, bombastic, and doomy with  production of the highest quality.  The sound dominates a room and commands the listener's attention, whether played through the best speakers in one’s home or the inadequate factory installed speakers of a beat up old car.  Perhaps it is the band’s precision playing and attention to each individual note which makes this so. 

Although the EP is of significant substance to make you feel as though you are getting an album’s worth of content,  I wish there could have been more songs.  The EP serves as an introduction to the new Leven fronted Candlemass, and hopefully there is much more to come.
Release: June 3, 2016
Genre: Doom Metal
Label: Napalm Records
CANDLEMASS Official Website

No comments:

Post a Comment