Being in complete awe of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond is an understandable curse, as we’ve all been more than little obsessed with the likes of Don’t Break The Oath and Abigail over the years! As you’ve probably guessed (just by glancing at the artwork alone we would wager), Sweden’s Candle emulate their Danish heroes on The Keeper’s Curse….but stay just on the right side of plagiarism.
Propelled by the vocals of Erik Nordkvist (Blazon Stone, Assaultery), whose theatrical power metal-styled delivery recalls King Diamond (obviously) and Hell’s Kevin Bower, The Keeper’s Curse gets by on its sheer energy and absurd sense of exhibitionism.
After all, there’s nowhere to hide when you’re caterwauling about ghosts and graveyards and whatnot!
Fortunately, the complexity of the compositions on The Keeper’s Curse also ups the ante considerably and the likes of the doomy, Candlemass-esque “Frozen with Fear” and the head-banging bounce of “Betrayal” linger long in the memory.
Ridiculously overblown and hovering on the periphery of full-on cheese, The Keeper’s Curse obviously isn’t in the same league as the aforementioned Fate and Diamond albums – a fact that applies to most albums! – but Candle have delivered a deliciously diabolical take on 80’s metal that sets them up as trad metal heroes to be reckoned with! 7/10