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CANDLEMASS ‘Candlemass’ Nuclear Blast(2005)

Candlemass

If you are an existing fan of Candlemass, you will be quite aware of the band’s tendency to keep you on your toes, especially when it comes to the question about the continuing existence of the collective. If you are not yet a fan (and you will be, one you’ve listened to this release), be warned that the stability of the group is not something to be taken for granted. All the more reason to pay attention and savour every single release this phenomenal band has graced and shaped the Doom scene with.

Following some to-ing and fro-ing, Candlemass have re-formed and bestowed another great gift on the Metal scene, entitled, very simply, ‘Candlemass’. This is definitely a statement from the band that they intend to deliver excellence and do not require an outward veneer to convince us of the quality of their product. Those who are aware of the extravagant art used by the band on some of their previous album-covers, especially ‘Nightfall’, ‘Ancient Dreams’, ‘Tales of Creation’, will be surprised by the very simple artwork chosen for this album – a white background with the black lettering of ‘Candlemass’ carved out on the front.

In musical terms, what have the Doom titans offered to us this time? Again, I doubt it is possible for anyone to be disappointed by the way ‘Candlemass’ sounds. The heavy, doom-ridden, but fast riff makes its first assault with ‘Black Dwarf’, which, incidentally, is about the shallowness of the media (for non-believers, we have it from Messiah’s mouth!). In between this first track and ‘Witches’, ‘Born in a Tank’ and ‘Mars and Volcanos’, I doubt you will have much time to recover from the compelling need to bang your head in time to the music. The epic masterpiece on ‘Candlemass’ (and there is always one that stands out on each Candlemass album), is ‘Copernicus’, which has everything from historical subject to characteristic heavy doom tempo and, of course, epic proportions to ensure you are hooked and still wondering how it would be possible to have a meaningful world without Candlemass...

‘The Man Who Fell From The Sky’ is an excellent instrumental track, which provides a break half-way through the album before the assault starts once more with ‘Witches’, which is one of my favourites. One track must be especially mentioned for the fact that it has an Iron Maiden feel to it – ‘Seven Silver Keys’ is a classic epic track. The abovementioned ‘Mars and Volcanos’ is described as a bonus track and it is well worth you splashing out on the limited edition if that is the only way you can get hold of it.

Candlemass have presented us with a new masterpiece that will be remembered as one of their most important releases...along with all their other albums. Left to be mentioned is the production of the album, which is also excellent.

So, now you have bought ‘Candlemass’, are you bewitched? I thought so too...

*****

Review by Emily Dgebuadze

Interview

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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