They say that the candle burns most bright before it goes out. Well, Candlemass is a pure example of it.
With over 30 years over their belts, ups and downs; successful late 80s and early 90s with the classic line up with Messiah Marcolin behind the mic to the end of the road in 1994 all burned out of ideas and lack of motivation by their mastermind Leif Edling. Then to the more obscure period from 1997 to 2002 which only you big fans know about.
The full swing of the return was marked in in 2004 with the classic line up which conjured up masterpieces like Nightfall, Tales of Creation and Ancient Dreams.
But again, troubles arrived with vocalist Messiah who was soon replaced after their comeback album of the bands same name with Robert Lowe who sang for the band till the last album Psalm for the Dead in 2012. Around that time band has announced that the end game for Candlemass had begun.
Nevertheless the end is not imminent, but to go into the sunset with elegance.
After that the band has giving us compilations, EPs, singles and other releases like never before; just hitting with everything they got. Despite that, not everyone had come for that final ride; Lowe was forced out of the band soon after the release of Psalm for the Dead and replaced by Mats Levén from bands like Therion, Abstrakt Algebra (Leifs old band), Yngwie J. Malmsteen and many others. The guy has an impressive resume and fitted Candlemass quite well and this comes from a guy who really liked Lowes performance in the band.
And so we have here House of Doom, another 4-track EP reminder on who are the masters of epic doom metal before they leave the stage lights for good. Unlike their last EP Death thy Lover, House of Doom is far rockier, tougher, in your face endeavor. So much that reminds me of the more obscure albums Dactylis Glomerata and From the 13th Sun.
You almost forget that this comes from a band of guys where most of them are over 50 years old.
Mats vocals sound better on this one and definitely feel surer of himself. The title track is an instant attention catcher with its assault soon followed by Mats vocals with its doomy vibe which spans over six minutes, filled with impressive solos and eerie keyboards. Like it was taken from an old black and white horror movie.
Other tracks like “Flowers of Deception” and “Dolls on the Wall” don’t fall back behind, but the ballad “Fortuneteller” sounds awesome and could be mine favorite. Such tunes from Candlemass are not that often. This might be Mats best vocal delivery for this band so far. Captures his warm rich baritone which fits the song perfectly.
It’s going to be a big hole in the metal scene after these guys leave but until then, Candlemass burns more brightly than ever.