Candlemass – “House Of Doom” EP (Napalm Records)
Well if I produced an online game called “House Of Doom” then legendary band Candlemass would probably be one of the top contenders to do the soundtrack! Famed throughout doom history, these Swedes whose current line up includes most of the classic members are still very much active under the helm of founder bassist Leif Edling, who incidentally penned the material on this 4 track EP. Opening with the 6 minute title track, there’s a slightly more commercial feel complete with soothing keyboards and vocalist Mats Leven taking a more laid back approach, but it still rocks actually on a more epic level and as the game’s soundtrack certainly works a treat thanks to the pure doom ending complete with church bell grimly tolling! ‘Flowers Of Deception’ ups the tempo with the dirty guitars chundering away as Leven adds more soul to his highs but slows for a ghostly melancholic mid section before closing off to an ultra dark ending – brilliant! In complete contrast is ‘Fortuneteller’ which is an acoustic piece mixing delicately plucked spanish guitar, background flute and Leven’s emotively moving vocals while final track ‘Dolls On A Wall’ is Candlemass at their best with classic, plodding doominicus syrup thick evil riffing, bone crunching bass and closes exquisitely with a long neo classical guitar piece taking this superb instrumental to a final fade out. Thoroughly enjoyable, this EP is an excellent offering before the full blooded affair that we can look forward to later on this year!