When a band is still putting out material after 30 years, that’s some serious staying power! That being said, that doesn’t mean everything they release is going to be great and, unfortunately, that is the case with Candlemass’ newest EP, Death Thy Lover. Trust me, it pained me to write that. I love Candlemass, but this EP is a buzzkill.

Right off the bat, the first thing I noticed was that the songs are missing “that riff”. You know, the riff that make Candlemass a favorite among purveyors of Doom Metal? The riff that once you hear it, your neck takes over your body and starts snapping back and forth… THAT RIFF! I kept listening, thinking I missed it but no, it’s just not there… Well, at least the guitar solos still rule.

Now that Mats Levén has been announced as a permanent member I was hoping that the stability would show in the vocal department, that’s not the case. I like his voice when he sings classic Candlemass, but any new material on which he sings, well, it’s boring to me. On Death Thy Lover he is just very average; the vocals are an afterthought and if you’re any sort of a Candlemass fan, this can’t be the case. The vocals ARE the show for Candlemass.

With this latest offering, I feel that Candlemass has noticeably regressed since 2005’s self-titled LP. This review won’t be popular among Candlemass diehards but, with me being one of them, I’m just calling it how I hear it. Since they’ll be celebrating their 30th anniversary, Candlemass will be playing several festivals throughout the summer… hopefully the majority of their setlists will consist of material from the first 25 years.

Death Thy Lover Track Listing:

01. Death Thy Lover
02. Sleeping Giant
03. Sinister N Sweet
04. The Goose

Run Time: 26:13
Release Date: June 3, 2016

Check out the song “Death Thy Lover”