The Epic Doom Metal Thread

First Post July 17, 2022 08:59 PM

Candlemass - "Tales Of Creation" (1989)

It felt like the right time to revisit this very solid example of the epic doom metal sound this weekend after several years away & it certainly hasn't disappointed. "Tales Of Creation" is essentially Candlemass doing what Candlemass does but that's not such a bad thing because they'd clearly developed a sound that wasn't being touched by the rest of the market much at the time. The guitar-heavy production does a splendid job of highlighting the stupidly heavy riffs & Lars Johansson's lead work is quite superb. I've always heard a strong Mercyful Fate influence in his style actually which can't be a bad thing. As usual I tend to gravitate to the doomier tracks with the more heavy/power metal inspired material being less effective. The inclusion of neoclassical power metal instrumental guitar shred piece "Into the Unfathomed Tower" was clearly a mistake as it does nothing but break up the flow of the album following the amazing album highlight "Tears". Overall though this is a very solid & ridiculously epic doom metal release that brings me a lot of pleasure & is thoroughly deserving of it's position in third place just behind "Nightfall" & "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" for Candlemass' overall discography.

For fans of Solitude Aeturnus, Solstice & Crypt Sermon.

4/5

September 04, 2022 06:08 PM

I don't know how many Academy members are big Candlemass fans, but I've been giving their discography a bit of a hammering over the last couple of weeks and although Candlemass have a distinctive style, I think each of the band's five different vocals have bought something unique to the table. So my question is how do you rate their vocalists in respect of how they define and refine the Candlemass sound?

Just to refresh memories the five vocalists and their albums are:

Johan Längquist - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus; The Door to Doom

Messiah Marcolin - Nightfall; Ancient Dreams; Tales of Creation; Candlemass

Thomas Vikström - Chapter VI

Björn Flodkvist – Dactylis Glomerata; From the 13th Sun

Rob Lowe – King of the Grey Islands; Death Magic Doom; Psalms for the Dead

For myself, I would go from best down:

Messiah >> Rob Lowe >> Johan Längquist >> Björn Flodkvist >> Thomas Vikström

So what's anyone else's take on the Candlemass singers?

Ben
Ben
The Fallen The Horde The North The Pit
September 04, 2022 08:41 PM

I don't think I've even heard the Candlemass albums with Thomas Vikström and Björn Flodkvist, so can't play along. I will say that I think all three vocalists making up your top 3 are outstanding, and I'd have to listen to all their albums back to back to make a decision. For one band to have all three of those doom legends involved is amazing!

September 04, 2022 09:07 PM


I don't think I've even heard the Candlemass albums with Thomas Vikström and Björn Flodkvist, so can't play along. I will say that I think all three vocalists making up your top 3 are outstanding, and I'd have to listen to all their albums back to back to make a decision. For one band to have all three of those doom legends involved is amazing!

Quoted Ben

Although inferior to the others, both Vikström and Flodkvist are still very good vocalists, Ben. Chapter VI is one of the weakest of the Candlemass dicography, although my recent relistens have left me far more open to it than I was previously. It is less doomy and more heavy metal leaning as it's overall pace is quicker and Vikström's vocals do suit it quite well. The two Flodkvist albums aren't bad, in fact From the 13th Sun is very good and is possibly more doomy. In addition there is the Abstrakt Algebra project that Edling wanted to replace Candlemass with, but which ultimately only ran from '94-'97 due to label (and fan) indifference. That band had Mats Levén on vocal duties, but in all honesty I'm not a fan, at least not until he teamed up again with Edling in Krux in the 2000s.

September 04, 2022 09:41 PM

I'm afraid I'm in the same camp as Ben here. I'm really only familiar with Candlemass' 1980's classics & definitely prefer Messiah Marcolin over Johan Lanquist. In saying that though, I've been utterly worshipping at the altar of Robert Lowe over the last 24 hours due to my indulging in this month's The Fallen feature release & I suspect that he'd likely top them both if I was to venture further forwards in the Candlemass discography.

Ben
Ben
The Fallen The Horde The North The Pit
September 05, 2022 01:25 AM

I honestly think Robert Lowe might top Messiah for me. His work for Solitude Aeturnus is second to none. I really should check out his Candlemass work!

September 05, 2022 08:38 AM


I honestly think Robert Lowe might top Messiah for me. His work for Solitude Aeturnus is second to none. I really should check out his Candlemass work!

Quoted Ben

Both Messiah and Rob Lowe are exceptional vocalists with little to choose between them, but I think it is actually Messiah who defined the Candlemass sound vocally, with the help of their best material admittedly, so would place him above Rob within the context of this thread.

Incidentally, have you heard any of Messiah's albums outside of Candlemass? Both Mercy and Memento Mori have some great albums that should appeal to any Candlemass fan.


Ben
Ben
The Fallen The Horde The North The Pit
September 05, 2022 08:32 PM

Both Messiah and Rob Lowe are exceptional vocalists with little to choose between them, but I think it is actually Messiah who defined the Candlemass sound vocally, with the help of their best material admittedly, so would place him above Rob within the context of this thread.

Incidentally, have you heard any of Messiah's albums outside of Candlemass? Both Mercy and Memento Mori have some great albums that should appeal to any Candlemass fan.


Quoted Sonny

I haven't. Sadly, the list of things I really should check out has grown to preposterous levels lately. I think I need to retire and take up listening to metal full time.

September 05, 2022 09:09 PM


Both Messiah and Rob Lowe are exceptional vocalists with little to choose between them, but I think it is actually Messiah who defined the Candlemass sound vocally, with the help of their best material admittedly, so would place him above Rob within the context of this thread.

Incidentally, have you heard any of Messiah's albums outside of Candlemass? Both Mercy and Memento Mori have some great albums that should appeal to any Candlemass fan.


Quoted Sonny

I haven't. Sadly, the list of things I really should check out has grown to preposterous levels lately. I think I need to retire and take up listening to metal full time.

Quoted Ben

Well Ben, it's what I did!!


September 10, 2022 08:49 AM

Candlemass - Nightfall (1987)

Candlemass shook the metal world's foundations with their debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, an album so fundamental to epic doom metal that the genre was named after it. It's massive riffs and larger-than-life theatricalities laid down the fundamentals of the genre for the succeeding generations to follow. So, having perfectly defined an entire genre at the first attempt, where do you go from there? Well for Lief Edling he decided to do it again, only more so! To this end Candlemass recruited the immense talent and larger-than-life personality of Messiah Marcolin from little-known act Mercy (where he was drummer in addition to singing) to take over vocal duties from Johan Längquist who was only credited on the debut as a guest performer due to his unwillingness to commit to Candlemass. There is no doubt that Messiah grabs hold of Nightfall and takes full advantage of the opportunity presented to him by turning in an amazing and, yes, epic vocal performance where he draws a line in the sand for the gold standard of epic doom singers. Yet despite Messiah's excellent vocals, this is no one-man show as the rest of the band are in career-defining mode. The guitarists sound great with the riffs having as much depth as any you will hear on a doom metal album and Lars Johansson's solos are exhilharatingly performed.

The real stars of the Nightfall show though are surely the songs which are incredible and, as a collection for me, top the debut and are surely the crown jewels of Leif Edling's songwriting career. If you kick off an album with as devastating a one-two combination as Well of Souls and At the Gallows End (my absolute favourite Candlemass track) then you know you are in for one hell of a ride. Candlemass take massive Sabbathian riffs and draw them to their logical conclusion, the quickening riff of At the Gallows End and the main riff of Dark Are the Veils of Death would leave even Tony Iommi gasping for breath and the way the egyptian-sounding melody is interwoven into the main riff and given extra prominence following the chorus of Well of Souls is masterful. Drums are seldom discussed much in relation to doom metal, but the echoing thuds and percussive interjections, such as the tubular bell during Mourner's Lament, all add to the pomp and circumstance of the album's imperious atmosphere and Jan Lindh should be commended for his controlled and vital contribution.

I have really been caning Nightfall over the last few weeks and during that time it has worked it's way up and up in my affections, now lodged firmly as one of my all-time favourites, deposing the debut as my favourite Candlemass album and even knocking A New Dark Age off it's perch as my favourite epic doom album. This is the very definition of epic doom to my mind and should be required listening for any doom metal fanatic.

5/5

September 10, 2022 09:05 AM

"Nightfall" was actually my favourite epic doom metal record until last week when the Solitude Aeturnus feature record overtook it. It's certainly my favourite Candlemass release though.

September 10, 2022 02:35 PM

Whilst Alone is also an awesome record for sure, I don't think it has anything as iconic as Well of Souls or At the Gallows End on it , so is downslope from Nightfall for me. But this is nitpicking as they are both records I would unhesitatingly recommend to any trad/epic doom fan.

September 10, 2022 02:45 PM

It's been a while since I did a Top Ten, so here's my current top ten epic doom albums (using RYM genre tagging for want of a better solution).

1. Candlemass - "Nightfall" (1987)

2. Solstice - "New Dark Age" (1988)

3. Candlemass - "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" (1986)

4. Scald - "Will of the Gods Is Great Power" (1996)

5. Solitude Aeturnus - "Alone" (2006)

6. Candlemass - "Candlemass" (2005)

7. Candlemass - "Tales of Creation" (1989)

8. Isole - "Silent Ruins" (2009)

9. Age of Taurus - "Desperate Souls of Tortured Times" (2013)

10. Procession - "Destroyers of the Faith" (2010)

September 10, 2022 08:52 PM


Whilst Alone is also an awesome record for sure, I don't think it has anything as iconic as Well of Souls or At the Gallows End on it , so is downslope from Nightfall for me. But this is nitpicking as they are both records I would unhesitatingly recommend to any trad/epic doom fan.

Quoted Sonny

Contrary to popular opinion, I've never found "At the Gallows End" to be anything terribly special to tell you the truth. I do quite like it but definitely think of it as one of the least appealing couple of tracks on "Nightfall". "Well of Souls" is certainly an amazing track but my personal favourites are "Bewtiched" & "Black Candles" which I regard as being the equal of anything I've heard from the epic doom metal subgenre. In fairness though, I'd place Solitude Aeturnus' "Scent of Death" right alongside them in that respect.

September 11, 2022 08:53 AM



Whilst Alone is also an awesome record for sure, I don't think it has anything as iconic as Well of Souls or At the Gallows End on it , so is downslope from Nightfall for me. But this is nitpicking as they are both records I would unhesitatingly recommend to any trad/epic doom fan.

Quoted Sonny

Contrary to popular opinion, I've never found "At the Gallows End" to be anything terribly special to tell you the truth. I do quite like it but definitely think of it as one of the least appealing couple of tracks on "Nightfall". "Well of Souls" is certainly an amazing track but my personal favourites are "Bewtiched" & "Black Candles" which I regard as being the equal of anything I've heard from the epic doom metal subgenre. In fairness though, I'd place Solitude Aeturnus' "Scent of Death" right alongside them in that respect.

Quoted Daniel

It's weird (or maybe it's me who is) but despite it possibly being Candlemass' most well-known track, Bewitched is my least favoured "proper" track on Nightfall. Go figure!


August 21, 2023 02:14 PM

Smoulder - Violent Creed of Vengeance (2023)

I really enjoyed Smoulder's 2019 debut, Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring, their female-fronted epic doom metal was quite a revelation at the time, so much so that I bought myself a vinyl copy from their Bandcamp page. They followed the debut, scarcely a year later, with a six-track EP featuring three new numbers and the three tracks that constituted their 2018 demo EP, two of which, The Sword Woman and Voyage of the Sunchaser, ended up on that debut. Coming hot on the heels of Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring, the EP solidified their position as a purveyor of epic doom to be taken seriously.

So now, after a gap of three, plague-ridden years they return with their sophomore, Violent Creed of Vengeance. Vocalist Sarah Ann and husband, guitarist Shon Vincent, have since moved from their native Canada to Finland and have put together a live band featuring Finnish musicians, but still record remotely with the original band, drummer Kevin Hester, bassist Adam Blake and guitarist Collin Wolf completing the lineup.

The first difference from the earlier recordings is that the production sounds much denser and has a noticeable "Scandinavian" feel to it. The second major departure is that this focusses less on the doom aspects, generally being of a higher tempo and feels like it references US power metal much more than epic doom metal acts like Candlemass or Solstice. They haven't abandoned the epic doom of their earlier material completely, tracks like Midnight in the Mirror World and the nine-minute closer Dragonslayer's Doom still bring the doom sufficiently to feed my doom addiction. That said though, tracks like The Talisman and the Blade and Spellforger fair hurtle by and are definitely more USPM than doom metal. Either way they cut it, the riffs are massive and the sound is huge, Adam Blake's bass sitting fairly prominently and driving things along superbly, although Kevin Hester's drums sound a bit subdued and could do with a bit more crispness to be honest. Sarah Ann's vocals are terrific, really powerful and clear and soar over the thunderous riffs to wondrous effect. The soloing is perfectly fine, even though it isn't especially exhilharating, but I don't really think that is what Smoulder want to emphasise here, the riffs and vocals being the main event.

Unsurprisingly, I guess, the final, doom-ridden epic Dragonslayer's Doom is my favourite of the seven cuts Smoulder have laid out for us here, although the faster stuff is great too and I think the album displays a nice balance between USPM heavy metal and epic doom that should appeal to devotees of either persuasion. The drum sound and lack of truly inspiring soloing prevent a top-tier score, but this is still a record I enjoyed massively.

4/5

August 27, 2023 11:19 PM

Candlemass - "Ancient Dreams" (1988)

Listening back now, I don't think I'd actually heard the third album from these Swedish doom masters' before to tell you the truth which is a shame because it's another ultra-professionally produced & executed slab of epic doom utopia. Iconic front man Messiah Marcolin's vocals soar & the lead guitar work of Lars Johansson dazzles while the riffs of Mats Björkman are as bone-crushingly heavy as any you'll find. Unlike many fans, I definitely prefer the slower, doomier material over the more heavy metal-influenced numbers & that means that the album starts off a little slower for me over the first couple of tracks but from there on it hits a new level of power & atmosphere with my personal favourite "Incarnation of Evil" being right up there with Candlemass' best work. I even really enjoy the Black Sabbath medley that closes the album. "Ancient Dreams" may not quite equal the first two Candlemass records but it doesn't sit very far behind in my opinion & I slightly favour it over 1989's more highly regarded "Tales of Creation" fourth album if I'm being honest. Fans of bands like Solitude Aeturnus, Crypt Sermon & Solstice should be all over this one.

4/5

November 01, 2023 07:28 PM

Candlemass - "Candlemass Live" (1990)

I hadn't heard this release before but jeez it's a solid live effort which shouldn't come as any surprise given that it came right at the end of their classic run of 1980's albums. The Mercyful Fate-ish lead guitar work & the vocals of Messiah Marcolin are simply superb. I place this one behind only the first two studio albums in terms of Candlemass' discography overall.

4/5

November 01, 2023 09:36 PM

Yeah, I've got to agree Daniel. I only listened to it myself for the first time earlier this year and I think it is a top tier metal live album, perfectly capturing the band's best era.

February 10, 2024 07:40 PM

I've been working up to it for a while now but I'm finally in a position to post my first Top Ten Epic Doom Metal Releases of All Time list. It's clearly dominated by one band in particular which is an indication of my level of experience with the subgenre more than anything else but it's a place to start & I'm sure we'll see it start to become more diverse over time. See what you think & feel free to post your own top tens too.


01. Solitude Aeturnus - "Alone" (2006)

02. Candlemass - "Nightfall" (1987)

03. Solitude Aeturnus - "Into The Depths Of Sorrow" (1991)

04. Candlemass - "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" (1986)

05. Isole - "Bliss of Solitude" (2008)

06. Solstice - "New Dark Age" (1998)

07. Candlemass - "Candlemass Live" (1990)

08. Candlemass - "Ancient Dreams" (1988)

09. Candlemass - "Tales Of Creation" (1989)

10. Lord Vigo - "Danse de noir" (2020)


https://metal.academy/lists/single/186

February 10, 2024 09:43 PM

My top 10 is also dominated by the mighty Candlemass, but that's not really surprising. I have left out Candlemass Live, because great album though it is, it contains tracks that are already on the list on one album or another.


1. Candlemass - "Nightfall"

2. Solstice - "New Dark Age"

3. Candlemass - "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" (1986)

4. Scald - "Will of the Gods Is Great Power" (1996)

5. Isole - "Silent Ruins" (2009)

6. Candlemass - "Tales Of Creation" (1989)

7. Solitude Aeturnus - "Alone" (2006)

8. Isole - "Bliss of Solitude" (2008)

9. Death the Leveller - "I" (2017)

10. Candlemass - "Candlemass" (2005)