Candle “The Keeper’s Curse” (Fighter Records)
When I joined the team here at Antichrist, at the start of last year, one of the very first reviews I did was for Sweden’s Candle. Fighter Records had just signed the band, so they re-issued their self-explanatory, Demo 2016. And what I loved about that release was its rawness, it’s homage to Epic Metal and more than a nod or two towards the likes of King Diamond and Mercyful Fate.
Which brings us nicely onto this album. Because the big difference, is the sound. Gone is the raw edge and it’s been replaced by a very nice sound. So nice, that when I first got this promo, I hated it. But I did the sensible thing and let the album brew for a month or so, before I made my next visit.
And the sound isn’t a problem this time around. I can bask in the glory of the wonderful sound and note the improvements the band have made.
So if you haven’t heard Candle before, then expect theatrical sounding Metal, soaring high pitched vocals and NWOBHM tinged Doom and just a superb old school feel. And if you have heard them before, you’ll know half of this album already, as all four demo tracks are re-recorded and nicely polished.
Some of this may be an acquired taste as Erik Nordkvist does overstretch himself occasionally, and the melodies aren’t always as strong as they could be. But any downside is outweighed by the feel that’s similar to the first couple of King Diamond albums, although without reaching the heights of Fatal Portrait and Abigail. But then again, there aren’t many bands that can.
Some of the material, maybe all of it, is a couple of years old now. So while there are still a few minor faults to iron out, natural progression should sort those out.
So I’ll continue to enjoy this album and I look forward to the next one.