Four years ago in 2018, the realm of the metal world was shaken upon a thunderous announcement. Words revealed that original Candlemass vocalist Johan Langquist was returning after a 32 year hiatus. It was big news indeed to the faithful of the doom metal genre.
Since his return, noble things have occurred with the Candlemass camp. The band released the monstrous and highly respected The Door to Doom album in early 2019. The album did not go unnoticed in the metal world of the music industry. The track “Astorolus – The Great Octopus” earned the band a Grammy nod in the Best Metal Performance category. It’s an album that saw the Swedish metal icons traveling back to the band’s epic doom metal roots.
Langquist’s vocal presence was his first appearance on a Candlemass album since the band’s 1986 debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus.
In 2020, the band released The Pendulum, an EP that features the title track as well as four unreleased demos. These demos are never before heard tracks from The Door to Doom recording session. The EP quenched the thirst and pacified Candlemass fans worldwide for the time being.
Now, in 2022, Napalm Records is set to release Sweet Evil Sun, the band’s 13th studio album in mid November. It’s a record that’s been in the making for 18 months. The lengthy time helps to explain just how majestic of a release Sweet Evil Sun truly is. Ten tracks of pure doom metal bliss.
Sweet Evil Sun sees Candlemass intelligently exploring and touching on themes of ambition, strife, hope, failure, battles and Scandinavian mythology.
The album’s opening track, “Wizard of the Vortex” quickly begins the doom metal journey and listening experience. The heavy riffs allow the song to glide into the soft acoustic ending, thus flowing gracefully into the title track, “Sweet Evil Sun“.
The third offering “Angel Battle” tells a story of just that accompanied by a rhythmic tempo. Horns and trumpets, lasers, shields, doves of grace, bloody swords are all part of the celestial battle that’s underway.
The spoken words of a frail, elderly voice explaining a dream brings the Scandinavian saga to a close.
Avatarium’s Jennie-Ann-Smith makes a vocal appearance on “When Death Sighs” dueting with Langquist. Her inclusion into the track adds a faint dusting to the doom that flows throughout Sweet Evil Sun.
The closer, “A Cup of Coffin” an instrumental is a fitting way to turn the lights out on Sweet Evil Sun.
With the release of Sweet Evil Sun, Candlemass shows no signs of slowing down nearly. It’s hard to realize Candlemass is on the down hill stride towards their 40th year. It’s an impressive feat and yet, Candlemass has once again delivered an amazing album. The release is one that’s not to be denied in the music collection whether CD or vinyl.
Sweet Evil Sun will see the light of day on Friday, November 18, 2022 through Napalm Records.
Video for Scandinavian Gods from Sweet Evil Sun