Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. 28 years ago today, Candlemass debuted and made slow metal cool again.
This is one of three albums I consider perfect. Candlemass as a band, and Leif Edling in particular brought this album at a time when nearly everyone in metal was trying to get faster. Not only that, but they sounded completely different from all of the other doom bands, which either had a stoner feel, or were even more Sabbathy than Candlemass was. Original vocalist Johan Langquist was perfect. He sounded so depressed and miserable, but still had a good range too. He’s not as showy as Messiah would be, but his mood was always better to me. I wish he had stayed to do more. In the acoustic part of “Under the Oak, he especially sounds miserable and empty. Leif Edling’s riff and songwriting, the former showcased on “Crystal Ball,” the later showcased on “Black Stone Wielder” is still some of the best doom had to offer. “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” is a journey of a track with awesome parts all throughout. I especially love the female singer that takes the song out. “Solitude” is still a classic track that DEFINES doom metal with lyrics about loneliness and depression. The album is only six tracks long, but it’s filled with long tracks that make it last about 45 minutes still. I can seriously talk about this album all day.
I honesty have nothing I see negative about this album. Perhaps the negatives with this album could be negatives of doom in general. The riffs are focused on mood, and so they’re not the most technical ones in metal. The genre is about feel and mood far more than it is about technical playing.
Favorite Tracks: “A Sorcerer’s Pledge,” “Crystal Ball,” “Black Stone Wielder,” “Demons Gate,” “Under the Oak,” “Solitude.”
While this may not have been the first doom metal record, it was certainly one of the first that gave it a varied sound, and helped branch it out with more potential. It’s probably my second favorite album of all time, and I can put it on at any point. If you’re at all interested in doom, or the history behind one of metal’s oldest subgenres, be sure not to pass up on this one.