Candlemass (band)

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Candlemass
Candlemass, Hard Rock Laager 2015.jpg
Candlemass performing in 2015
Background information
Also known asNemesis (1982–1984)
Origin Stockholm, Sweden
Genres Epic doom metal [1]
Years active
  • 1984–1994
  • 1997–2002
  • 2004–present
Labels
Members Leif Edling
Mats Björkman
Johan Längqvist
Jan Lindh
Lars Johansson
Past membersKlas Bergwall
Matz Ekström
Messiah Marcolin
Thomas Vikström
Björn Flodkvist
Jejo Perkovic
Michael Amott
Carl Westholm
Mats Ståhl
Robert Lowe
Mats Levén
Website Candlemass.se

Candlemass is a Swedish epic doom metal band established in Stockholm in 1984 by bassist, songwriter and bandleader Leif Edling and drummer Matz Ekström. The band had a defining influence on doom metal, and the genre itself is named after their debut album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus .[ citation needed ] Along with Pentagram, Saint Vitus and Trouble, Candlemass has been referred to as one of the "big four of doom metal". [2] [3] [4] [5]

Contents

After releasing five full-length albums and touring extensively throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Candlemass disbanded in 1994, but reunited three years later. After breaking up again in 2002, Candlemass reformed in 2004 and have continued to record and perform since then.

History

The band's logo Candlemass (2005, vector).svg
The band's logo

Formation and early career (1984–1990)

After the breakup of his first band Nemesis, bassist Leif Edling started his own band under the name Candlemass with (session) vocalist Johan Längqvist, drummer Matz Ekström, guitarist Mats "Mappe" Bjorkman and Klas Bergwall. [6] Their first release, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986), [6] immediately secured their standing, positioning the band within metal circles, setting a milestone in the doom metal scene. [7] Following the band's debut album Längqvist was replaced by Messiah Marcolin. [6] By the time the band entered the studio to record their second effort, Nightfall , in 1987, Bergwall and Ekström had left the band. Jan Lindh joined the band on drums, and Lars Johansson joined the band on guitars following the completion of the album. [6]

Candlemass's next two albums were Ancient Dreams (1988) and Tales of Creation (1989). [6] In 1990, the band released a live album Live . [6] Shortly afterward, a dispute between the band members resulted in Messiah Marcolin's departure in 1991. [6]

New singer-era, hiatus and first reunion (1991–2003)

After Marcolin left, Candlemass recruited vocalist Thomas Vikström and recorded Chapter VI (1992). [6] The band then toured in support of that album. By 1994, Candlemass had called it quits, partly because Chapter VI was unsuccessful,[ citation needed ] and partially because Edling had formed another project under the name of Abstrakt Algebra. [6] With Abstrakt Algebra not doing well, Leif suddenly recruited a new line-up under the name of Candlemass and recorded the album Dactylis Glomerata , [6] which was a combination of songs for a new Abstrakt Algebra CD and some new material.[ citation needed ] A year later the album From the 13th Sun was released. Both albums featured singer Bjorn Flodqvist.

In 2002, the members of a past Candlemass line-up reunited. They performed some well-received live shows[ citation needed ] and released another live album. Other albums released by the reformed band were remastered versions of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, Nightfall, Ancient Dreams, and Tales of Creation. A DVD called Documents of Doom was released as well. The band was working on a new album and recorded some new songs while searching for a record label when differences arose again, resulting in Candlemass disbanding a second time. In the meantime, Leif Edling started a new project, Krux, with former Abstrakt Algebra singer Mats Levén and two members of Entombed.

Second reunion (2004–2006)

Messiah and Leif at Wacken Open Air 2005 Candlemass - wacken.jpg
Messiah and Leif at Wacken Open Air 2005

In November 2004, the band announced that they had re-united for the second time. They had recorded a new album, named simply Candlemass, with the same line-up. It was released in May 2005. They won a Swedish Grammy for it in 2005.

In 2006 the band announced that a new album was in preparation, to be released sometime in 2007. In October 2006, after much uncertainty regarding Messiah Marcolin's participation, it was settled that Messiah was out for good.

Robert Lowe era (2007–2012)

Candlemass found a new vocalist, Robert Lowe (Solitude Aeturnus), [8] [9] who recorded with the band's ninth album King of the Grey Islands , which was released on 22 June 2007. The album is self-produced except for four songs produced by Andy Sneap. [10]

On 31 March 2007, Candlemass celebrated a slightly delayed twentieth anniversary. To commemorate the celebration, original singer Johan Längqvist appeared live with the band for the first time. The event was recorded and later released as a DVD.

Mats "Mappe" Bjorkman was sentenced to serve two years behind bars for grand theft in March 2008. He has been convicted of stealing over 35,000 CDs and DVDs priced at around 3 million Sek (Around $500,000). [11] [12]

Candlemass worked on a tenth studio album in 2008. It was intended to be titled Hammer of Doom, but they renamed it to Death Magic Doom because the name coincided with a German festival. [13] The album was scheduled to be released on 27 March 2009, but it was delayed until 3 April 2009. [14]

In 2009, bassist Leif Edling told Soundshock that work on the next Candlemass album would likely begin before 2011. [15] However, this plan fell through, and Leif had stated that the album's release date was pushed back to 2012, in order for the band to concentrate on the 25th anniversary of their 1986 debut Epicus Doomicus Metallicus . [16]

On 14 October 2011, it was announced that Candlemass were signed to the Austrian label Napalm Records, who released their eleventh studio album Psalms for the Dead in June 2012. [17] [18] Despite this, bassist Leif Edling stated that the band would not split up, but wanted to stop before they "get too old and start putting out half-lame albums." [19]

Mats Levén as new singer (2012–2018)

Candlemass at Party.San 2017 Candlemass Party.San Metal Open Air 2017 13.jpg
Candlemass at Party.San 2017

On 2 June 2012, Candlemass announced via their website that Robert Lowe had left the band as vocalist, mainly due to the quality of the live performances and explained to be "a very difficult decision for the band", and was replaced for the band's upcoming shows by longtime friend and collaborator of Candlemass, Mats Levén (of Yngwie Malmsteen, Therion, Treat, and At Vance fame, among others). Levén had earlier worked with Leif Edling in Abstrakt Algebra and Krux and sang on demos from the Candlemass and King of the Grey Islands sessions, found on the box set Doomology . In addition, keyboardist Per Wiberg (ex-Opeth, Spiritual Beggars) also joined the band on stage for these live shows. [20]

In January 2013, Candlemass was voted the greatest Swedish hard rock/metal band of all time by the writers of Sweden Rock Magazine, Scandinavia's biggest hard rock magazine as well as Sweden's biggest music magazine by circulation. They were featured in a list of the 100 greatest Swedish hard rock/metal bands of all time in a special jubilee edition, to celebrate the magazine's 100th issue. In connection with this, it was also revealed that Candlemass, along with death metal band Entombed (No. 2 on the list), were to perform jointly at a special jubilee concert in Stockholm arranged by the magazine. [21] [22] In July 2014, Candlemass headlined the Väsby Rock Festival in their hometown Upplands Väsby.

Despite earlier claims that Psalms for the Dead would be their final album, bassist Leif Edling had stated that he was open to recording new music with Candlemass again. [23] To coincide with the 30th anniversary of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus , Candlemass released the EP Death Thy Lover on 3 June 2016. [24] Additionally, on 29 April 2016, the band released a career-spanning coffee-table book. [25] The book also featured two CDs containing the top picks by Leif Edling and Messiah Marcolin respectively, a CD with rare tracks from their early career (including the Witchcraft demo), and two DVDs with three live performances. [26]

Return of Johan Langquist (2018–present)

On 3 September 2018, Candlemass announced the return of Johan Langquist to the band after a 32-year hiatus. The band stated, "We wanted to find our way back to the roots of Candlemass, back to the soul and essence of the band. Johan Langquist is back and we hope this will give us some new energy and kickstart the heart of doom again. We don't know if it will last 10 more years or even 5, but if it will give us just another year of having fun and playing the music that we love so much, it will be a blast! The circle is closed, Johan is back!" The band also announced that they were recording a new album for a 2019 release, making it not only the first Candlemass studio album since 2012's Psalms for the Dead , but their first with Langquist since 1986's Epicus Doomicus Metallicus . [27] [28]

On 6 December 2018, Candlemass announced that their twelfth album was titled The Door to Doom and would be released on 22 February 2019. It was also revealed that the album would include a guest appearance by Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, who contributes to a guitar solo to one of the album's tracks "Astorolus – The Great Octopus". [29] The band released an EP The Pendulum on 27 March 2020. [30] According to bassist Leif Edling, Candlemass will likely not release their new studio album until 2022 or 2023. [31]

On 18 August 2022, the band announced their thirteenth studio album, Sweet Evil Sun, will be released on 18 November. [32]

Influences

Candlemass' musical style is markedly influenced by early Black Sabbath. Edling, the band's main songwriter and sole constant member, has been influenced by Black Sabbath, as well as bands like Blue Öyster Cult, Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, Bachman–Turner Overdrive, Rush, Nazareth, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Judas Priest, Motörhead and Venom. [33]

Personnel

Members

Line-ups

1984–1987198719871987–1991
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Klas Bergwall – lead guitars
  • Matz Ekström – drums, percussion
  • Johan Längqvist – lead vocals
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Klas Bergwall – lead guitars
  • Matz Ekström – drums, percussion
  • Messiah Marcolin – lead vocals
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Jan Lindh – drums, percussion
  • Messiah Marcolin – lead vocals
  • Mike Wead – lead guitars
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Lars Johansson – lead guitars
  • Jan Lindh – drums, percussion
  • Messiah Marcolin – lead vocals
1991–19941994–19971997–19981998–1999
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Lars Johansson – lead guitars
  • Jan Lindh – drums, percussion
  • Thomas Vikström – lead vocals

Disbanded

  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Michael Amott – rhythm & lead guitars
  • Jejo Perkovic – drums, percussion
  • Björn Flodkvist – lead vocals
  • Carl Westholm – keyboards
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Michael Amott – rhythm & lead guitars
  • Jejo Perkovic – drums, percussion
  • Björn Flodkvist – lead vocals
1999–200220022002–20042004–2006
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats Ståhl – rhythm & lead guitars
  • Jejo Perkovic – drums, percussion
  • Björn Flodkvist – lead vocals
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Lars Johansson – lead guitars
  • Jan Lindh – drums, percussion
  • Messiah Marcolin – lead vocals

Disbanded

  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Lars Johansson – lead guitars
  • Jan Lindh – drums, percussion
  • Messiah Marcolin – lead vocals
2006–20122010, 2011 (Reunion shows with Johan Längqvist)2012–20182018–present
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Lars Johansson – lead guitars
  • Jan Lindh – drums, percussion
  • Robert Lowe – lead vocals
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Lars Johansson – lead guitars
  • Jan Lindh – drums, percussion
  • Johan Längqvist – lead vocals
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Lars Johansson – lead guitars
  • Jan Lindh – drums, percussion
  • Mats Levén – lead vocals
  • Leif Edling – bass
  • Mats "Mappe" Björkman – rhythm guitars
  • Lars Johansson – lead guitars
  • Jan Lindh – drums, percussion
  • Johan Längqvist – lead vocals

Timeline

Candlemass (band)

Recording timeline

RoleAlbum
Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
(1986)
Nightfall
(1987)
Ancient Dreams
(1988)
Tales of Creation
(1989)
Chapter VI
(1992)
Dactylis Glomerata
(1998)
From the 13th Sun
(1999)
Candlemass
(2005)
King of the Grey Islands
(2007)
Death Magic Doom
(2009)
Psalms for the Dead
(2012)
The Door to Doom
(2019)
VocalsJohan Längqvist Messiah Marcolin Thomas Vikström Björn Flodkvist Messiah Marcolin Robert Lowe Johan Längqvist
Lead guitarKlas BergwallLars JohanssonMichael AmottMats StåhlLars Johansson
Rhythm guitarMats BjörkmanMats Björkman
Keyboards Mike Wead Carl Westholm
Bass Leif Edling
DrumsMatz EkströmJan LindhJejo PerkovicJan Lindh

Discography

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Leif Edling</span> Swedish bassist

Leif Edling is a Swedish musician, best known as the bassist, main songwriter and one of the founding members of the epic doom metal band Candlemass. He is the only constant member of the band since its inception to the present day. Nevertheless, since the band's second reunion in 2002 Edling has been backed up again by founding rhythm guitarist Mats Björkman, who had been absent from 1997 to 2002 and was replaced by Michael Amott.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Messiah Marcolin</span> Swedish heavy metal singer

Messiah Marcolin, also known as Eddie Marcolin, is a Swedish singer best known for his work in the epic doom metal band Candlemass. He is well known for his operatic voice and for his signature "Doom Dance".

Abstrakt Algebra was a Swedish experimental metal band with influences from power metal and doom metal. It was founded by bassist Leif Edling in 1994, shortly after his main project Candlemass split up.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mats Levén</span> Swedish singer

Mats Leven is a Swedish singer. Some of his most notable collaborations have been with guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, symphonic metallers Therion and doom metallers Candlemass. In 2011, due to family issues on the part of Firewind's lead singer Apollo, Levén was called in to substitute for the rest of their European tour. He also started touring with Trans-Siberian Orchestra in 2016. In 2019, he released his first solo album under the name Skyblood. In 2021, he became a member of the band around Dutch guitarist Ad van den Berg. The band Vandenberg dates from the 80s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mike Wead</span> Musical artist

Mike Wead, is a Swedish guitarist who lives in Stockholm. Wead contributed to heavy metal bands such as Hexenhaus, Memento Mori, Abstrakt Algebra, The Haunted, Edge of Sanity, Candlemass, The Project Hate. Currently Wead is the guitarist of Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, and bibleblack.

<i>Epicus Doomicus Metallicus</i> 1986 studio album by Candlemass

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is the debut album of the Swedish doom metal band Candlemass. It was released June 10, 1986 on Black Dragon Records. On its release, the album had a significantly different sound than other European heavy metal bands of the time, because of their use of operatic vocals mixed over slow and heavy guitar riffs. The album did not sell well on its initial release, which led to the group being dropped from the label during the same year. Since then, the album has been re-issued in several different formats. The album title Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is a dog latin translation rendering of Epic Doom Metal — the genre which the band helped pioneer and with which it is most commonly identified. Although he was actually a guest musician at the time of its recording, this was the only Candlemass album to feature vocalist Johan Längqvist until he joined the band, officially, in 2018.

<i>Nightfall</i> (Candlemass album) 1987 studio album by Candlemass

Nightfall is the second studio album by the Swedish doom metal band Candlemass, released on 9 November 1987 through Axis Records. After being dropped from the label Black Dragon Records, Candlemass were the first band signed to Axis. The group had a new line-up from their previous album including vocalist Messiah Marcolin, whose decisions became instrumental during the production and release stages of the album.

<i>Ancient Dreams</i> 1988 studio album by Candlemass

Ancient Dreams is the third album of Swedish doom metal band Candlemass, released in 1988 and reissued in 2001 by Powerline Records with a bonus CD. The cover art of the album is a painting made by Thomas Cole, second in his series, "The Voyage of Life", entitled "Youth". Ancient Dreams was the first Candlemass album to chart in the US, debuting at No. 174 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

<i>Tales of Creation</i> 1989 studio album by Candlemass

Tales of Creation is the fourth album by Swedish doom metal band Candlemass released in 1989 and reissued in 2001 with a bonus CD.

<i>Chapter VI</i> (album) 1992 studio album by Candlemass

Chapter VI is the fifth studio album by Swedish doom metal band Candlemass released in 1992. This was the first Candlemass album not to feature Messiah Marcolin on vocals since 1986's Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. On this one, Thomas Vikström took his place. After poor sales of the album, Candlemass subsequently disbanded in early 1994, only to reform three years later.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Lowe (musician)</span> American heavy metal singer

Robert Lowe is an American singer.

<i>Candlemass</i> (album) 2005 studio album by Candlemass

Candlemass is the eighth studio album by Swedish doom metal band Candlemass, released in 2005. This was the band's last album with singer Messiah Marcolin.

<i>Dactylis Glomerata</i> 1998 studio album by Candlemass

Dactylis Glomerata is the sixth studio album by Swedish doom metal band Candlemass, released in 1998. This was their first album released since their split in 1994.

<i>Doomed for Live – Reunion 2002</i> 2003 live album by Candlemass

Doomed for Live – Reunion 2002 is the second live album by Swedish doom metal band Candlemass. It was recorded at Stockholm's Klubben on 31 August 2002.

<i>King of the Grey Islands</i> 2007 studio album by Candlemass

King of the Grey Islands is the ninth studio album by Swedish doom metal band Candlemass, released on 22 June 2007. It is the first album recorded following the departure of vocalist Messiah Marcolin, who left the band during the pre-production phase of the album. He was replaced by Robert Lowe, who would stay with the band until his departure in June 2012.

<i>Doomology</i> 2010 studio album by Candlemass

Doomology is a five-CD boxed set released by Swedish doom metal band Candlemass on 20 December 2010 on Nuclear Blast to celebrate their 25th anniversary. It contains two complete live concerts, including the band's first ever show, and three discs of demo recordings and unreleased tracks.

<i>Psalms for the Dead</i> 2012 studio album by Candlemass

Psalms for the Dead is the eleventh studio album by the Swedish doom metal band Candlemass, released on 8 June 2012. At the time of its release, the band stated that this would be their final album, though bassist and founding member Leif Edling has since retracted this claim. Psalms for the Dead is, however, the last Candlemass album recorded with singer Robert Lowe, who left the band just six days before its release.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Avatarium</span>

Avatarium is a Swedish progressive rock / doom metal band from Stockholm, founded by Candlemass songwriter Leif Edling in 2013.

"Solitude" is a song by the Swedish doom metal band Candlemass. It is the opening track on the band's debut studio album, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, released in June 1986. It is one of the band's signature songs, and has been a feature of all the band's live setlists since the release of the album.

<i>The Door to Doom</i> 2019 studio album by Candlemass

The Door to Doom is the twelfth studio album by Swedish doom metal band Candlemass, released on 22 February 2019 via Napalm. It is the band's first full-length studio album since 2012's Psalms for the Dead, marking their longest gap between studio albums, and the first one to feature vocalist Johan Längqvist since 1986's Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. Loudwire named it one of the 50 best metal albums of 2019.

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