Candle – The Keeper’s Curse (High School Bus Ride Metal)

These guys have been supremely ripped on by some sites out there, or have been bullied, if you will. I can see why, yet I have to disagree with some of the upper classmen varsity banter. Yo, Candle isn’t trying to be the best, they just want to fit in. Almost everything about the presentation says “heavy metal” and you feel like you’re stepping onto the bus with a Walkman again as a spitball strikes you upon the nose. And let me add they hail from Sweden, and we all know what happens to metal over there. It gets weird, or sometimes it just sounds strange, in a bad way. Is it cutting edge? Is it a glimpse into the future? Or is it just that weird guy no one associates with in 10th grade? Candle are none of these, actually, except the 10th grade part. They don’t deserve the critical wedgie on the bus they’ve been receiving, but that might have something to do with the fact that I was a bit of an outcast myself in high school. Actually, I was a lot of an outcast, and this reminds me of far too many days crying on the floor of my room as I clawed at my carpet and swore revenge for the fact that someone hit me in the back of the head with a Cathedral cassette (almost true story). Let’s go back to those days together.


So the artwork by Juanjo Castellano is art award great, and you can tell by it that Candle wants to weave a story for you around the fire at summer camp. Thought the pain of HS life was over once the year was over? Think again. This is heavy metal, the definitive Oxford definition. You can pretty much imagine where they’re going with it. “Once, ye teens, there was a man who loved some woman so greatly, that he would come back from the grave for her, and twas a hooded figure at night who made it so…” See those tears he sheds? That’s to be you, should you let it be known you listen to this at any age below 20, but not as low as 12. You’d be pretty badass then. This is the stuff that ostracizes and places you at the lone spot in the corner of the cafeteria under the “Just Say No” poster, but you know what? Screw it, I’ll be there with you. Candle have an amazing writing style. The drive and mysterious sound to The Keeper’s Curse is its primary selling point. You’ll take that spitball, you’ll take that loneliness, forget the dance formal, you don’t care, entirely, because uh oh there’s those vocals. This is the album’s weakest point. Erik Nodrkvist is putting all he’s got into it, and at times you can stand with pride, raise your arms to the sky, and take all the food that be thrown at you during lunch. But once he hits that weak note, or that terrifyingly undeveloped operatic wail, you sit back down, say “shut up you guys” to yourself and commence the self-loathing again. Simply put, guy needs to get some lessons man. This is far too typical for this kind of a music, a vocalist who wants to pull out some serious lungs but who needs proper training. You just can’t jump into this kind of singing and expect it to work sooner or later. It’s not like growling and shrieking, that can take a day at most to master. If this is what we have after the band being around 5 years already, it’s not looking good. Do your homework, sir.


Candle Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Candle – The Keeper’s Curse
Fighter Records
3.5 / 5