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Metal - Released January 1, 2018 | Nuclear Blast

The arduous three-year process of reuniting Candlemass' "classic" lineup had all the makings of a psychodrama: one where an innocent wedding-day jam incredibly led to sporadic live performances; then rather noncommittal songwriting sessions that progressed into the recording of actual demos; and after everything fell apart at the last minute due to the usual "irreconcilable differences," a just as unexpected about-face that allowed the album in question to suddenly emerge in 2005! In other words, unlike so many band reunions, which retrospectively seem to quickly transform from impossible to inevitable, this special occasion should not be taken for granted by any fan of the Swedish doom titans -- it was hardly guaranteed. Having clarified this, possibly the most surprising thing about this long-awaited comeback is that despite its eponymous simplicity and white-cover starkness, Candlemass aspires to far more than the mere rekindling of a very successful formula; it represents the work of a band intent on moving inexorably forward. Such a combustible mixture of nostalgic purity and novel vitality can be immediately felt in the astonishing, irresistible drive of opener "Black Dwarf," the familiarly descending melodic figures of the lumbering "Seven Silver Keys," and the hypnotically circling riffs and grandiose contrasting keyboards of "Assassin of the Light." Varying degrees of the known and unknown follow, and for every new stretch like the space-themed "Copernicus" or the atypically political "Born in a Tank," there are prototypical and fantastical Candlemass doom anthems like "Witches," "Spellbreaker," and the instrumental "The Man Who Fell From the Sky." Thankfully, there is but one of the latter, since, as every old-time Candlemass fan will attest, the sound they most anticipated hearing is of course the still incomparable golden wail of singer Messiah Marcolin. Even better, the portly frontman has lost none of his operatic range, and as shown by the suitably epic finale of "The Day and the Night," its unholy union with bassist Leif Edling's endless stores of Sabbathy riffs, Lars Johansson's inspired solos, and the rhythmic support of second guitarist Mats Bjorkman and drummer Jan Lindh still constitutes a perfect marriage. And so, given both the music herein and the human events that led to its unlikely creation, one's faith is restored: the power of Candlemass compels you! [Certain editions of Candlemass contain a bonus track -- yet another fast-paced, esoteric number entitled "Mars and Volcanoes."] ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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Metal - Released February 22, 2019 | Napalm Records

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Metal - Released May 25, 2018 | Napalm Records

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Rock - Released May 6, 2016 | Napalm Records

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Metal - Released January 1, 2018 | Nuclear Blast

One of the prime architects of doom metal as it currently exists, Candlemass started out as Sabbath disciples, but have been around long enough (and made material strong enough) to garner disciples of their own. LUCIFER RISING, a fine tribute to their continued vitality, is headlined by two new tracks, “Lucifer Rising” and “White God,” but is primarily composed of a series of live tracks recorded in Athens on their 2007 tour. Of the new songs, “White God” is more easily identified as Candlemass, with a creeping cascade of electric guitar oozing over the hammer-strike beat. Robert Lowe’s vocals constantly recall the infamous Ronnie James Dio, with their expressive range and sinister inflections. The title track is faster, closer to Judas Priest or Iron Maiden with its motorized attack. The live tracks also make great use of echo to deepen the sense of doom that is the band’s trademark.
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Metal - Released February 15, 2019 | Napalm Records

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Metal - Released January 1, 2018 | Nuclear Blast

Candlemass founder/bassist Leif Edling has been quoted as boasting that Death Magic Doom is "the best album we have recorded since Nightfall." Edling definitely exaggerates; this 2009 release isn't their best album since that 1987 classic. But Death Magic Doom is excellent nonetheless, and it could easily go down in history as one of the finest metal releases of 2009 -- regardless of the absence of Messiah Marcolin. Some longtime Candlemass fans have a hard time believing that the influential doom metal band can excel without Marcolin on lead vocals, but truth be told, other lead singers have also served Candlemass well along the way (including Johan Längqvist in the beginning, Tomas Vikström in the early '90s, and Björn Flodkvist in the late '90s/early 2000s). And on Death Magic Doom, Robert Lowe (of Solitude Aeternus fame) has no problem rising to the occasion. A powerhouse of a singer, Lowe brings an appealing, somewhat Ronnie James Dio-ish quality to darkly melodic, Black Sabbath-influenced gems such as "Hammer of Doom," "Clouds of Dementia," "The Bleeding Baroness," and "Demon of the Deep." Lowe really goes that extra mile -- and between the impressively consistent songwriting and Lowe's inspired vocals, Death Magic Doom is clearly a winner. Nonetheless, some of Marcolin's admirers will refuse to listen to this 47-minute CD because of his absence and will wish that his reunion with Candlemass had worked out; that is to be expected. But Lowe's performances are nothing to complain about -- and even though Death Magic Doom isn't Candlemass' best album in 22 years as Edling has claimed, it is nonetheless an exciting addition to their catalog. ~ Alex Henderson
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Metal - Released January 1, 2018 | Nuclear Blast

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Metal - Released January 1, 2018 | Nuclear Blast

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Rock - Released June 3, 2016 | Napalm Records

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Metal - Released April 27, 2018 | Napalm Records

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Metal - Released January 11, 2019 | Napalm Records

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Metal - Released December 14, 2018 | Napalm Records

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Metal - Released June 22, 2007 | Nuclear Blast

Here we go again. With Messiah Marcolin's second acrimonious exit from the band that made him famous (and he they, in turn), Candlemass' long-suffering fans must once again contend with conflicting allegiances and emotions regarding the ongoing legitimacy of one of doom metal's charter groups. Of course, most would argue that it has always been bassist and composer Leif Edling -- not Marcolin -- who embodies the essence of Candlemass, but that doesn't make it any easier for the vast majority of their supporters to live without the operatic spark injected by the twice-departed singer's imposing vocal (and physical) presence. But live without it they must, as the hallowed Swedes forge ahead in their career via their ninth studio album, 2007's King of the Grey Islands, by welcoming none other than Solitude Aeturnus frontman Robert Lowe into the fold. This, as any veteran doom enthusiast will know, is an intriguing choice to say the least, since Lowe's former band was frequently described as "America's answer to Candlemass," therefore only heightening curiosity as to how he'll fare -- especially since, for their part, Edling and his instrumental cohorts have delivered a selection of songs that's easily as strong and consistent as that of their most recent, eponymous effort with Messiah at the helm. Even so, it must be said that Lowe's exceptional pipes still come across like José Carreras as compared head-on to Marcolin's booming Pavarotti in terms of sheer, stupefying power, but Lowe's range as a stylist is arguably more versatile, as he is capable of exploring softer cadences on songs like "Of Stars and Smoke" and the curiously Slayer-ish "Embracing the Styx." The band also achieves truly sterling results on epic old-school crawlers like "Devil Seed," "Destroyer," and the more energetic "Clearsight," as well as a few not so good ones like the Cathedral-styled "Emperor of the Void" and "Demonia 6." So even if there's never a satisfying consensus over this whole "Messiah mess" (and there won't be!), doom fans can rest assured that King of the Grey Islands once again proves Candlemass' enduring relevance and near supremacy in the upper echelons of the doom field. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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Metal - Released June 5, 2012 | Napalm Records