Candlemass – [Live]

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

I had been waiting almost twenty-two years to see Candlemass. After purchasing the Epicus Doomicus Metallicus LP at The Record Vault (a nod to all you old school S.F. metalheads) way back in 1986, I immediately began to worship the band and their heavy-as-fuck Doom Metal. Aside from side two of Sabbath's Paranoid, I had never heard anything so absolutely epic before, and kept waiting and waiting for a chance to see them live. Unfortunately I ended up missing them for one reason or another when they finally came to the shores of the States and played The Stone in 1991, and I remember thinking back then that I had probably just missed the one and only chance I would ever have to ever see them live. Little did I know that they would be returning to San Francisco seventeen years later. Although I was a bit dubious of how they would sound all these years later, there was no way I was going to miss them this time.

About one minute into the opener of "Well Of Souls,” I gotta admit that Candlemass had surprised the hell out of me. They sounded so amazing and so heavy that if I closed my eyes I could have sworn I was actually at that show at The Stone all those years earlier. Guitarists Lars Johansson and Mats "Mappe" Björkman had a guitar tone that was so clean yet so over-the-top heavy that I was totally blown away. Bassist Leif Edling was sounding just as heavy, and together with drummer Jan Lindh the two of them were pounding out some serious doom. What surprised me most however was vocalist Rob Lowe. He has a killer set of pipes, and when he belted out a flawless version of "Solitude,” his voice made the song just as epic as original Candlemass vocalist Johan Längqvist did over twenty years earlier. I was never a huge fan of previous vocalist Messiah Marcolin, and I thought Lowe did an awesome job with the older stuff like "Dark Are The Veils Of Death," "At The Gallows End" and "Samarithan.” He also has an awesome stage presence as well as a bit of showmanship in him, which, in my opinion, made "Crystal Ball" and "A Sorcerer's Pledge" even more epic. Songs from their latest album King Of The Grey Islands, including "Emperor of the Void" and "Of Stars and Smoke," fit in quite nicely with the older material.

By the time the show ended I was pretty damn impressed with Candlemass, and thought that they put on an awesome show. Although it was worth the twenty-something year wait to finally see them live, I hope I won't have to wait that long to see them again!


Candlemass – King of the Grey Islands. Buy it NOW on Amazon!

Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. Buy it NOW on Amazon!

"Born In A Tank" by Candlemass – [mp3]


Comments are closed.