Swedish doom masters Candlemass have now been around for 30 years, and here they are celebrating that feat as well as their new singer Mats Levén with their new EP Death Thy Lover. In addition, the band now find themselves on Napalm Records, with this little 4 track release a great way to whet the appetite for what surely will be a full-length album in the not too distant future. For longtime fans, this is tried and true epic doom in grand Candlemass tradition, so don't expect anything that will deviate from the formula. The title track throws in some catchy melodies amid the fat riffs, while the more dirty, dirge laden "Sleeping Giant" harkens back to their initial set of albums, Levén fitting in just fine alongside the plodding rhythms and crushing doom riffs, as well as a scorching guitar solo courtesy of Lars Johansson. The band again dip into their dark, menacing sound with "Sinister N Sweet", featuring massive riffs from Johansson & Mats "Mappe" Björkman like it's 1986 all over again. "The Goose" slows things down even further, with Leif Edling and Jan Lindh cementing the monstrous groove under huge riffs and plenty of fiery lead guitar, a rare doom instrumental but one that really works.
As a recording debut for Mats Levén in Candlemass, this one's a winner, and ultimately Death Thy Lover is a strong EP that will leave fans wishing there were a few more tunes here. Though Edling stated a few years back that Candlemass might be have been done, that certainly doesn't seem to be the case here and it appears the band have plenty left in the tank if they choose to continue on. Let's hope so!
1) Death Thy Lover
2) Sleeping Giant
3) Sinister N Sweet
4) The Goose