CANDLEMASS are an odd band. Celebrating their thirty year anniversary this year they’ve had a somewhat stop start approach, splitting up several times over their history, only to reform a couple of years later. The band have also gone through no less than five different vocalists, making a consistent sound difficult. However their status as one of doom metals titans shows that despite these setbacks they more than know their stuff.
To celebrate their thirty year anniversary the band have released the Death Thy Lover EP. Opening with the title tracks creeping build up the band begin to make you feel something epic is on the way. Once the riffs kick in it does not disappoint and neither does new vocalist Mats Leven whose tones fit the bands celebration of the melancholy perfectly. As with all recent CANDLEMASS the track has a rock n roll edge to it that only serves to add to the overall experience.
Sleeping Giants is the next track up and rolls in on a massive doomy sounding riff. The vocals again flow with the guitars to great effect. Unfortunately the track goes on to plod through its five and half minutes, with only a slightly too long solo to vary the pace for a somewhat disappointed feeling. Sinister N Sweet also follows the pattern, with what felt like a build-up disappearing off into quieter interludes which then feel interrupted once the main riff reappears. While a good demonstration of the bands versatility the song doesn’t feel particularly coherent. The EP’s closing track The Goose is an instrumental track with a focus on the winding riffs and solo’s of longtime member Lars Johanson.
As an EP teaser for their upcoming releases and a celebration for their long term and dedicated fans this release ticks all of the boxes. The title track will no doubt make it way into the live rotation of the band for years to come. Unfortunately the rest of the EP doesn’t quite stand up to it in terms of quality. Unless you’re a huge CANDLEMASS fan, this one might be worth skipping over while you wait for the new album.
Death Thy Lover is set for release on June 3rd via Napalm Records.
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