Late one night I'm searching for new metal bands to get into when I heard "Solitude
" by this band. I was drawn into this from the very first listen: in essence, Candlemass
saved doom metal for me. Now this album is all I listen to aside from Black Sabbath
This has got to be Candlemass
' greatest album ever, including all those by Messiah
Marcolin and Robert Lowe. Johan Langquist, the singer featured on this album, has an amazing voice. All at once, it has the sorrowful depth of Ozzy Osbourne
from Black Sabbath
, while also possessing hair-raising highs reminiscient of King Diamond
: how can you loose with a combination like that?
I guess because of the restrictions of vinyls, there were only six tracks on this album, but what six tracks they were! "Solitude
" is the doom metal anthem, starting out slow and soft with Johan's mournful vocals over the clean guitar before exploding with crushing riffs and a wailing guitar solo.
As this album has 'epic' in its name, expect long tracks and fantasy-inspired lore, a la Heaven
. "Crystal Ball
" is one such track, moving from the slow, impending doom to fast and chaotic. Another great one is "Black Stone
Wielder", melding the Bible and sorcery along with epic riffs and Johan's amazing voice. It's a decent pace, which is a good thing about this album: rather than six sluggishly slow doom songs, some are slow while some are fast-paced and energetic, if such a thing can be accurately said about doom metal.
Perhaps one of the greatest songs on this album, surprisingly enough, doesn't have a guitar solo (except in the Live
performances, see below). "A Sorcerer
's Pledge" combines the slow, crushing riffs of doom with Johan's woe-inspiring voice, going from slow to fast, then back to a gloomy crawl, featuring the story of a blood-drinking sorcerer who's plans to power fall through. Even twenty years after this album was released (see the video), Johan Langquist's voice is capable of inspiring doom and gloom like never before.
Bad points? Well, the name is definitely a poor choice. "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
" is hardly something to take seriously. Fortunately, looks can be deceiving when it comes to this album. Though the name might make you laugh, just listen to the music: it is simply amazing! Pure
, straight Epic Doom Metal