Review Summary: Nosferatu wants your blood!!
Candle Serenade formed out of Portugal in 1993. They released one demo and this full length in their time together. Candle Serenade definitely has a distinct sound. They blend black and doom metal in a way that isn't heard too often. With the majority of the tracks featured spanning over six minutes the band manages to grab your attention from the beginning and never loosens its grip.
The band features a female vocalist. Her style is the perfect example of the beauty and the beast technique. She proves that she can belt out sickening screams along with some elegant operatic vocals. This style meshes wonderfully with the approach the band takes. The operatic vocals add so much to the album in terms of diversity and are executed flawlessly.
The production on Nosferatu's Passion allows every instrument to be clearly heard throughout. The bass thickens up the sound where it is necessary and serves its purpose. Aside from the vocals, the two elements that make this album what it is are the keys and the guitar. The keys set the atmosphere for the majority of the album and create such a wide variety of sounds that gives the record the diversity it needs. The guitarists and the keyboard player might as well be twins considering how spot on their thoughts are with one another. The two instruments work so well with each other that at times they seem to fuse together and work as one.
The music gets the listener so involved that it almost feels as though it is taking you on a journey. Odd interludes like the one on "Celtic Lir's Son (Sab Erin's Legend)" only add to this already overwhelming feeling. Somehow even with the obscure interludes like the one previously mentioned, the band manages to make it fit like another piece of the puzzle that is Nosferatu's Passion. It is moments like this that make the keys so important to the overall sound. Not only do they create melody but they also create a backbone for Candle Serenade's sound and without them the album simply wouldn't have the charm it does.
The drums are steady like the drops of blood falling from Nosferatu's latest victim's neck. Vrolok pounds away at his kit when needed but also shows a very subtle performance when it is called for. Just like the rest of the members he seems to have a good grasp on what he is doing rather than just blasting away like many musicians do. Even with the beautiful operatic vocals that vacate this album the atmosphere that is made is still very gloomy for the most part and also at times menacing. All the lyrics featured on the album are vampire related, as if the album and song titles weren't a big enough indicator. Taking into account the lyrical content the atmosphere brought forth seems more than fitting.
Overall Nosferatu's Passion brings a diverse and entertaining sound to the table. This album is extremely memorable and has a replay value that never dulls. With every listen there is something new to be found and admired. With only five actual songs and a playtime over 40 minutes it is surprising that the album doesn't have a dull moment but somehow when it all ends you are left wanting more. I'd highly recommend Nosferatu's Passion to fans of metal in general but if you're a fan of either black or doom metal this release is nothing short of essential.