Doom Metal legend Candlemass is back with a new album.
Created in Sweden in 1982 under the name of Nemesis, the band counts on its founder, Leif Edling (bass, The Doomsday Kingdom, ex-Abstrakt Algebra, ex-Avatarium), as well as on Mappe Björkman (guitar, ex-Zoic), Jan Lindh (drums, ex-Zoic), Lars Johansson (guitar, ex-Zoic) and Johan Längquist (vocals) to keep the flame alive, which is illustrated in 2022 with Sweet Evil Sun, their thirteenth album, on Napalm Records.
The album starts with the ominous Wizard Of The Vortex which immediately puts us in a haunting and dark mix accompanied by epic leads and those demonstrative vocals. The heady sound reveals some surprises like the majestic keyboards on the chorus or the sweet final which drives us to Sweet Evil Sun, a more raw composition. The eponymous track keeps the melancholic and catchy influences, but it is slightly more aggressive than the previous track as well as Angel Battle and its martial tones which perfectly fit the slow riffs and the expressive vocals. Piercing leads join the oppressive onslaught, creating a contrast with the heavy rhythmic before Black Butterfly brings majestic tones to life, accompanied by heady sounds. The band also combines some more energetic parts and dissonant melodies to its solid basis, then Jennie-Ann Smith (Avatarium) joins the musicians for an intense vocal duet on When Death Sighs, a softer but also more diversified composition. Some mysterious and occult tones appear before a soothing melody leads us to Scandinavian Gods, a colder track with intriguing drums and soaring choirs. The song stands out from the others with some heavy accents while remaining coherent with the slow dynamics, then Devil Voodoo allows us a moment of respite with an introduction in clean sound. The saturation quickly empowers riffs by revealing an unhealthy energy which will continue with the suffocating rhythmic slowdown which will end up going back to its normal rhythm, followed by Crucified and its motivating riffs. Although quite fast compared to the other tracks, this song stays in a heavy atmosphere which will return to slowness before letting Goddess enchant us while adorning itself with epic and intense tones. We will also note a faster part which makes you want to break your neck before the leads take us to the last chorus, then on A Cup Of Coffin, a short outro that allows the band to let its melancholy fade away under cheers.
The name of Candlemass is known to all for various reasons. It forged the sound of Epic Doom Metal as we enjoy it today, but the band has also shown a strong consistency in the quality of its releases, and Sweet Evil Sun definitely follows in the footsteps of its predecessors.