The difficulties in proposing music of a certain type in Arab countries, whose governments are profoundly linked to the Islamic religion, are well known to all, but this does not prevent deserving and capable musicians from coming to the fore, even if it takes longer than usual. This is the case of the Iranians Eternal Candle, whose debut The Carved Karma, even though it was released last spring, dates back to about six years ago, and this makes us even more angry, especially after realizing the intrinsic value of this work. Removing any doubts about it, it must be said that The Carved Karma is an excellent work, mature although the musicians involved are still relatively young, convincing in every part, both when they are woven painful melodies that refer to death doom, both when it is a progressive soul to take over. The band led by Mahdi Vaezpour does not express a brand new sound, but shines in merging in an admirable way all those musical instances that, fortunately, are immune to any kind of physical or mental barrier: all this gives life to a work that, beyond the inevitable reminiscences that can cause in this or that passage, enjoys a strong imprint and the typical freshness of the bands geographically located on the margins of the musical world that counts. If we want to simplify a lot, Eternal Candle offer a sound that is an ideal meeting point between Novembers Doom and Opeth of Deliverance (in my opinion the last work in which Åkerfeldt has been able to balance the conflicting impulses of his musical imagination), but it should be stressed that this is only useful to partially frame the Asian band in a stylistic context because The Carved Karma offers much more than a little task in the name of cut and sew. The melancholic and obscure pace of death doom is constantly pressed by the progressive turbulence that manifests itself now in the form of a nervous riffing now in elegant acoustic arpeggios, the effective harsh tone and growl of Babak Torkzadeh goes well with the interventions with clean voice of Vaezpour himself and all this happens in a very fluid way, as well as strong passages are naturally diluted in elegant melodic solutions. The album is so compact and without weak points that it’s hard to find a song that stands out from the others, even if The Ripped Soul, if you have to choose, is the one you prefer because it embodies Eternal Candle‘s style at its best, with the alternation between the progressive death doom like Novembers Doom in the first part and the dreamy and melodic ending. In The Carved Karma we can sometimes find hints of Dark Suns of the masterpiece Existence as well as, in some instrumental solutions, of the Russian melodic death doom scene (it’s probably not a coincidence that the work was mixed and mastered there before being finally published). All this goes to make up an overall picture that makes it right to give a chance to these talented Iranian guys, with the hope that their inspiration will find new impetus to offer us other unpublished material of more recent coinage.

2018 – Autoprodotto 2020 – Careless Records