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Candlemass - "Death Thy Lover" (CD/EP)

Candlemass - "Death Thy Lover" CD/EP cover image

"Death Thy Lover" track listing:

1. Death Thy Lover
2. Sleeping Giant
3. Sinister And Sweet
4. The Goose

Reviewed by on September 30, 2016

"'Death Thy Lover' encapsulates everything that makes Candlemass great..."

Candlemass are truly one of the greats in their field. As pioneers and originals in doom metal, they've become legends of the genre and one of the first names curious listeners flock to when they want to check out the style. A few years back, it looked like they were coming to an end after releasing the album, "Psalms for the Dead," but instead they've marked the thirtieth anniversary of their classic debut, "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" with an EP of new material entitled, "Death Thy Lover."

The record opens with the title track, which may well be up there with the best songs the band has ever written. Like the EP as a whole, "Death Thy Lover," encapsulates everything that makes Candlemass great. From it's stomping beats to the melodic bridge to the Dead Kennedys-esque opening riff, there's so much going on for the listener to enjoy. The song pulls off the near impossible by being both epic and streetwise in the same vein as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Ferocious but fearsome, this is Candlemass at their very best.

From then on, there's a varied display of everything Candlemass, and indeed doom metal as a whole is all about. "Sleeping Giant" is stomping yet rampaging dinosaur of a track with a sweeping chourus that conjures up images of those described in the lyrics perfectly, resulting in a grand example of musical terror. This is followed by "Sinister and Sweet," the closest thing to a ballad on the release, which contains haunting verses married to a much heavier chourus, with some excellent riffs on the side, before the EP finishes with the instrumental track, "The Goose." It's a solid piece of doom metal, but it really didn't need to be voiceless, as there were plenty of places in the song where vocals would have worked perfectly.

Whatever this EP was intended to be, whether it was merely to commemorate "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus," to preview an upcoming album or even to say goodbye, it's a wonderful combination of everything Candlemass has utilized throughout their long and storied history. It's sure to delight fans, intrigue newcomers and please any metal fan who gives it a listen.

Highs: The flawless title track and the combination of all the band has done throughout the years

Lows: "The Goose" stands out as the weak point, being needlessly instrumental and not quite up to par with the other songs

Bottom line: An excellent if tantalizing release from one of the true masters of doom metal.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)