Death Thy Lover EP
The new Candlemass is a promising offering from the crypts of antediluvian Swedish doom metal. While doom metal has certainly changed throughout the years, and seen many trends and trendies crowding in its shadow, one band remains an unchanged monolithic apex for the genre. Candlemass are the forebearers, and this heavy metal stallion still rides through the cryptic nights.
While I’m loath to consider that Death Thy Lover is anything in the ballpark of my good friends Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and Ancient Dreams (and they truly are good friends who have spent many nights in my company), their newly released EP is still something to be immensely grateful for. In fact it’s a step up from Psalms For The Dead. Production wise there is a lot more strength in this EP compared to Psalms. The music sounds eerier, and the guitar solos are quite haunting. Also the songwriting is a lot better. It feels like some vitality has been kicked into the band.
From the first track “Death Thy Lover,” the heart pounding intro will hook you in, and then the power of the riff takes hold. Lars Johansson and Mats Bjorkman are exceptional hard rock machines. As lead and rhythm guitar players respectively, they weave in and out of each other throughout Mats Leven’s captivating lyrical spell song, evoking crushing fantasies and fears. Such is the craft of ancient Candlemass, mighty and immortal are they in the halls of doom. At points the songs feel like a melodic rock album, but I don’t think these strange sections which repeat through the EP should steal from the brilliance of this doom metal offering.