Released: 2005, Escapi Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Given the release of their long awaited new album, one can wonder if this DVD featuring such old material was really necessary. This DVD shows a Candlemass that definitely has seen better days, with the exception of lead singer Messiah, who is a great entertainer; the others seemed to have dozed off. Messiah is the only one who seems to work very hard to get the crowd in the right mood, but in their defense, I have to say that even on a bad day, Candlemass is still one of the best live acts that Sweden has to offer.
The set list feels solid with all the classics lined up together, and a few surprises like “Ancient Dreams”, “A Cry From The Crypt” and the instrumental track “In To The Unfathomed Tower,” where guitar player Lars Johansson shows off his amazing guitar skills. They also do a new song, “Witches,” taken from their then-forthcoming album, a song that unfortunately becomes extremely long and boring live.
The camera-work during the show is excellent; all members get their close ups both once and twice, and the only negative thing to say about that is the lack of audience pics...they could have featured more cuts taken both from and on the audience. Compared to the camera guys, it seems like the people responsible for the lighting fell asleep--there isn’t enough light on the stage, and it is a minor disaster, to be honest.
When it comes to the sound, the only thing I have to remark on is the poor audience sound--you can hardly hear the crowd when they sing and clap; the same goes for Messiah Marcolin, sometimes, when he talks with the crowd. You can barely hear what he says. Because they are in Sweden, Messiah speaks Swedish inbetween songs, and on the promocopy I have, there aren't any subtitles...hopefully there are subtitles added for these segments on the finished product.
The second disc is a bonus DVD with a lot of goodies for fans. There is a 1 hour interview with Leif Edling and Mats Björkman, and a separate interview with Messiah Marcolin. They dive deep into the vaults of Candlemass history, from the beginning until today. Here they reveal why the show is so badly lit, and also why they named the DVD THE CURSE OF CANDLEMASS. It’s a very informative interview, and I can imagine that every new fan of the band can learn a lot about the band's history by watching this. Luckily, the interview is subtitled in both English and German.
After that, there is a section with live sequences from the bands on-stage history, beginning in 1987, which stretches to 2003. On the clips from Uddevalla 1992, is Thomas Vikström--the band's old lead singer; it’s fun to see how poorly he fits the band when compared to the brilliant Messiah Marcolin. His contribution to this DVD is an embarrassing playback video taken from a Swedish show, where the stage is so small that they all are pushed up against a concrete wall. The quality of those clips is extremely poor, and taped with a regular VHS camera--which gives it all a heavily bootlegged feeling. The only thing that is properly taped on this bonus area is a show in Albstadt from 2003, wherein both lights and sound are actually in harmony. Last up on the bonus disc is a photo gallery, with photos probably taken from the live show from the first disc. I’m not a fan of galleries on DVD’s, so I leave it up to the watchers to judge if they are any good.
Hopefully, Candlemass back for a long time now, and it’s only to thank for such a brilliant DVD as this. Candlemass are one of the best acts in Sweden ever and I strongly advice you who haven’t seen them live yet to do so, if not you have really missed something. The only thing I wonder is why the DVD have taken so long time to release, it was recorded in 2003 and came out 2005.