Released: 2008, Nuclear Blast Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
In an effort to bridge the gap between studio albums, Swedish doom impresarios Candlemass offer up LUCIFER RISING. An EP consisting of 2 new studio tracks, a re-recorded version of “Demon’s Gate” and 9 live tracks from the 2007 European tour, LUCIFER RISING probably won’t do much to entice new fans into the flock, but it should keep current fans satiated until DEATH MAGIC DOOM drops later this year.
LUCIFER RISING is best examined as two parts of the same equation, the studio tracks and the live tracks. The title track is probably the fastest yet in the Candlemass catalog, and according to mainman Leif Edling, this was intentionally the case. Compared to typical Candlemass fare, the song is pretty bare bones. A simple riff and minimal lyrics drive the tune, with the chorus “Lucifer, Lucifer, Lucifer Rising!” being chanted repetitively. Things get monotonous pretty quickly, but it’s refreshing to hear Candlemass let it rip for a change. The other new song, “White God” is more traditional Candlemass. A slow churner about war and conquest, this could have easily been a leftover from the KING OF THE GREY ISLANDS sessions. The re-recorded version of “Demon’s Gate” is a nice addition, as it gives current singer Robert Lowe the opportunity to put his own twist on another Candlemass classic.
But it’s the live portion of the EP that’s really the treat here. Unless you were fortunate enough to catch the band during the last tour or picked up a bootleg from one of those shows, you probably haven’t heard much of band’s current line-up in the live setting. The recording is pretty raw, with plenty of interaction between the band and the crowd being captured. Lowe sounds great handling older classics like “Under the Oak” and “Mirror Mirror” while newer tunes such as “Black Dwarf” and “Emperor of the Void” are represented as well. It’s not a complete show, but rather select songs from a concert in Athens from the GREY ISLANDS tour. The inclusion of the whole show would have been great, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.
Value wise, 12 songs for the price of an EP is unbeatable, and the fact that it’s Candlemass is even better. LUCIFER RISING isn’t ground breaking, but it’s decent filler as we patiently await the next album. Keep your fingers crossed that DEATH MAGIC DOOM is as good as the band promises it will be.