Candlemass - Candlemass review
|Release date:||May 2005|
01. Black Dwarf
02. Seven Silver Keys
03. Assassin Of The Light
05. The Man Who Fell From The Sky
07. Born In A Tank
09. The Day And The Night
10. Mars And Volcanoes [Digipak bonus]
The return of the legendary Candlemass has been a subject of speculation for years. After releasing the "Doomed For Live" live album back in 2002, I think everyone started to wonder and salivate over the possibility of hearing a new studio record. With Messiah Marcolin by the band again, it's finally happened. I'm not often extremely enthusiastic about these kinds of reunions, but I made an exception for Candlemass, and let me tell you as of now, I was not disappointed.
With all the history this band has, it is inevitable to compare everything they have ever done with their first 4 albums, and righteously, because they are cornerstones in a genre. "Candlemass" bears the weight of all that, and successfully delivers. This is not to say that the band set out to make an 80's sounding work - this return is a fresh approach on their classic package.
You can expect a heavy dose of traditional Doom Metal in this release. The truth though, is that this work is darker and less epic than, say, "Ancient Dreams". Age has brought a new born maturity and you can't avoid noticing it. There are no fantasy related lyrics, the cover is not some heavenly image, there's barely any space for aesthetic exercises like "Marche Funebre". There was a concern to adapt to a more modern reality.
But "Candlemass" is just as oppressing and complex as you can expect. The opener "Black Dwarf" is a blast in your ears. The riffs are powerful and incisive, and everything there is to like. The band's more up tempo and Black Sabbath-influenced songs are here, and with unbelievable catchiness. The precision of the song writing is breathtaking throughout the album. "Assassin Of The Light" for example, gathers so many different sections perfectly.
There's a very "metallic" sense here, but the slow songs weren't forgotten. "Seven Sliver Keys" evokes a slower and more melancholic side, without depending on overly prominent keyboard melodies. "Copernicus" and "The Day And The Night" are interesting; different but crushing atmospheric tracks. They're the longest on the album, but they never lose their charm. To be honest, the only particular track that loses me is "The Man Who Fell From The Sky". This is Doom Metal, you can repeat a riff for as long as you want, but this instrumental is not particularly memorable.
Of course Marcolin's performance is one of the biggest concerns for the fans, and he is in great shape. Like I said, the material is typical Candlemass with a very polished crafting, so he does more straightforward work, but his voice is like it was decades ago: unique. The backbone of the album is the guitars though. Johansson and Björkman execute perfectly every single riff and solo, and that's essential.
Candlemass really managed to create something exciting and original; they will not disappoint their older fans and may even get some new ones. They returned with a renewed energy and finally released another album that can compete with their first four, made too long ago for some to remember the impact they had at the time. Follow up? I can only dream…
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