Candle – The Keeper’s Curse (2018) REVIEW

Candle is a traditional heavy metal project formed by Swedish death metal band Corrosive Carcass‘ guitarists around 2015 with the intent of creating classic heavy metal. The resulting album is fantastic stuff a la Trial or In Solitude with nods to Mercyful Fate as well as some epic speed metal along the lines of classic Helstar. It wouldn’t be fair to completely pigeonhole their debut album ‘The Keeper’s Curse’ in with King Diamond/Mercyful Fate worship groups, at least not entirely. Candle‘s vocalist Erik Nordkvist, probably best known as the original vocalist for Blazon Stone, surely has a very expressive wail but his voice isn’t an imitation of King Diamond by any stretch though he does pull off some prime vocal theatrics throughout. Where these Swedes really pull it together and begin to kindle the soul of the great Danes on ‘The Keeper’s Curse’ is in their dual guitar attack.

Corrosive Carcass originally had this same guitar duo before Markus Janis took over the drums and it shows that these two guitarists have been in simpatico for nearly fifteen years both in their traditional death metal outfit and even more so now in CandleNordkvist‘s vocals fall somewhere between ‘Resisting Success’-era Hades and James Rivera on Helstar‘s first album ‘Burning Star’. In fact that comparison would fit in pretty well, musically speaking if you tossed Mercy‘s ‘King Doom’ as well. Because Candle a more tradition-leaning heavy metal band, with some 80’s speed metal influences, the vocal performances and their inherent storytelling largely give ‘The Keeper’s Curse’ it’s more distinct personality.

The album’s artwork offers an illustration of the turmoil and ensuing vengeance of a man cursed to haunt his scheming, cheating wife and her lover. I haven’t really been able to spell out every bit of the lyrics here but “Betrayal” offers a clarification of the scene set in the remarkable album artwork. I am not great at following lyrics and couldn’t generally care less, but I get bits and pieces of a story that is remarkably communicated through the music and certainly spins the sort of yarn that I rarely follow outside of King Diamond and Attic records. The theme and it’s performance did great work in establishing Candle‘s debut as something special beyond the excellent heavy metal guitar playing.

This should be an easy buy for folks who like this sort of epic heavy/speed metal guitar work. King Diamond/Mercyful Fate fans and especially fans of Helstar‘s ‘Burning Star’ and Trial‘s earlier stuff should all check it out. Erik Nordkvist‘s vocals are truly class on this recording and the dual guitar performances back up his theatrical style with solid epic heavy/speed metal. If you’re previewing tracks you need to hear “No Rest For My Soul” as well as the combo of “Betrayal” and “Dancing Lights” and you should be well sold on the whole thing at that point.


Artist Candle
Type Album
Released February 21, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Fighter Records’ Bandcamp! Follow Candle on Facebook

Whirling in my mind. 4.0/5.0

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