Wow. Is it really thirty years since Candlemass’ debut Epicus Doomicus Metallicus was released? It surely is, and so now, all those years and a staggering fifteen million album sales later, Leif Edling and company return to celebrate the fact.
Sadly they’re only back with a four-track EP; This will disappoint everyone who counts themselves a ‘mass fan, no doubt, but you have to make the best of these things and I’m pleased to report that the quartet of songs to be found on Death Thy Lover are all excellent.
Opening, suitably, with the excellent, memorable title track, the band spend the next twenty six minutes hammering away with a selection of prime doom riffs and, as ever, no little melody into the bargain. Sleeping Giant is an adamantine track featuring some fine vocals from Mats Leven (now fully co-opted into the band following some time as a sort of sub-member), but perhaps the standout of the four is third track Sinister N’Sweet, which actually sounds quite a bit like Edling’s other outfit Avatarium and features some superb lead guitar work from Lars Johansson.
Final track The Goose, a chugging, atmospheric, epic instrumental, ebbs and flows on a succession of crushing riffs before dropping down to the doom metal equivalent of a whisper before Johansson and six string accomplice Mats “Mappe” Björkman crash back in again to take the song home; As the song fades out on the back of another beautifully crystalline Johansson solo you’re left hoping that Leif Edling makes good on his promise to record another Candlemass album, and that these aren’t the last tracks we hear from one of doom’s most important acts.