Traditional Metalists Candle deliver a collection of complexly arranged songs with their full length debut The Keeper’s Curse. Featuring a loose horror story concept, a format which coupled with the rapid rhythmic changes, twin guitar harmonies, and high octane (and octave) vocal delivery from Erik Nordkvist quickly brings the work of King Diamond to mind. Stylistically, there are echoes of eighties era work from Metal monoliths like Candlemass, Savatage, Fates Warning, Iron Maiden, Cirith Ungol and Mercyful Fate; listeners who enjoy those bands and that time period for Metal will have a great time with The Keeper’s Curse despite the album’s occasional flaws. There are points in The Keeper’s Curse where the guitars too low in the mix, and Nordqvist loses control of a vocal line about once a song, but the weaknesses of the recording are almost to be expected in a new band attacking their material with such energy and enthusiasm. After an obligatory horror-house storm and organ intro, the album kicks off with “The Secret”, a rapid fire assault with whirling guitar figures. Other highlights include “Betrayal” and the penultimate track, the chugging “No Peace For My Soul” where the singing protagonist (murder and betrayal victim, one supposes) realizes that he’ll know no peace until he is able to take vengeance, which he does in the last track, named, appropriately enough, “Vengeance”. As storytellers, Candle don’t hold a candle to the offbeat narrative weirdness of, say, King Diamond, but The Keeper’s Curse is engaging enough musically in a true Classic Metal spirit to be worth a listen.
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