Candlemass – “Death Thy Lover” EP (Napalm Records)
Coinciding with the 30th anniversary release of “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”, Swedish doom legends Candlemass have issued this stunning 4 track EP, which kind’ve confirms statements made earlier by band leader / bassist Leif Edling that 2012’s “Psalms For The Dead” would not be the end of Candlemass, and furthermore, announcing formally that their vocalist since then, Mats Levén, is now a permanent member of the band. Well, if this EP is anything to go by, then doom fans certainly have plenty to be excited by! The title track takes us right back to the raw guitar sound of that very first album, centered around a chugging class A doom riff brought to life by stunning melodies and a beautifully melancholic interlude, until Lars Johansson’s amazing guitar takes over with its dark licks and virtuosic neo classical soloing. Levén, while not as operatic as his predecessors, certainly is still able to hit the highs but more importantly has the tones to bring the material to life while not being the center piece. ‘Sleeping Giants’ is more grimmer, back to classic Candlemass as Mats ‘Mappe’ Björkman adds in his power rhythm to a slower pace befitting the song’s title amid Levén’s climatic wailing. ‘Sinister N Sweet‘ is exactly that, a heavy track with dark doom melodies twisting along to some exquisite funeral doom melodies once again really showing the class of Candlemass’s composing talent. Closing with ‘The Goose’, an epic instrumental piece that magnetically draws you into a spellbounding quest, the music speaks for itself powerfully through varying tempos, moods and different styles of doom. With all the tracks clocking in around the 6 minute mark, Candlemass prove though this EP why they are still the legendary band that they are.