Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast
This is one reunion album which has been a long time in the making, and is well worth the wait! The sound of this self titled album is that of a band which hasn’t missed a beat, which is especially impressive given the fact that there hasn’t been a “classic line-up” Candlemass record since 1989’s TALES OF CREATION.
This being said, CANDLEMASS is everything you expect it to be and more. Opening track “Black Dwarf” is a memorable tune with a monster guitar riff and the inimitable vocals of frontman/mountain Messiah Marcolin. I’ll admit, once the man’s voice erupted through my speakers, I got a little choked up, as I never thought I would hear these guys together ever again, never mind sounding this good!
Speaking of “choked up”, there is also an emotional, epic track in the form of “Seven Silver Keys”, a song which is very much in the vein of “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” or “Under the Oak”, and brings back fond memories of how I felt being able to catch these legends live at the inaugural Six Pack Festival in Cleveland three years ago.
Of course, what Candlemass review would be complete without a mention of the band’s mastermind, one Leif Edling? More than just a strong bass player (which he is, and one of my personal influences), the man is a stunning songwriter, and CANDLEMASS definitely shows this, being an album which flows smoothly from first note to last.
Sounding fresh and vital, Candlemass seem to have taken their time with this record, and it shows. While there are subtle links to the past, the album is a confident step forward into the metal world, showing the there is much more to Candlemass than mere nostalgia. While I’ll be the first to sing to praises of the underrated and uniquely experimental post-Messiah Candlemass albums (DACTYLIS GLOMERATA, CHAPTER VI, and the monolithic FROM THE 13TH SUN), to hear this classic lineup performing this classic sound in 2005 is just the shot in the arm the metal world needs right now.
All must genuflect to the majesty that is Candlemass. Hail.