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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Candlemass - 1987 Nightfall
Candlemass - 1987 Nightfall

ARTIST: Candlemass
ALBUM: Nightfall
LABEL: Active Records
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 2007, Peaceville Records, CDVILED202X (with bonus CD)


LINEUP: Leif Edling - bass * Messiah Marcolin - lead vocals * Mats Bjorkman - lead guitar * Jan Lindh - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Gothic Stone * 02 The Well Of Souls * 03 Codex Gigas * 04 At The Gallows End * 05 Samarithan * 06 Marche Funebre * 07 Dark Are The Veils Of Death * 08 Mourners Lament * 09 Bewitched


Widely regarded as a masterpiece of the doom genre as well as one of the most important metal albums of all time; 'Nightfall' adorned with the exquisite gold-crested Thomas Cole painting 'Old Age' is every bit the work of art it's been lauded to be and more. Candlemass formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1984, releasing their first full-length album 'Epicus Doomicus Metallicus' two years later. Early Black Sabbath was an obvious influence but the record was uneven, a despair ridden riff-fest that too often verged on torturous boredom which needless to say didn't exactly float this reviewer's boat. Ditching perfectly adequate vocalist Johan Lanquist in favor of the operatic gymnastics and cartoon-ish antics of Messiah Marcolin; Candlemass with 'Nightfall' captured the darkened hearts of doom lovers and metal heads the world over and in my ever so humble opinion over the course of nine studio albums in the years since, has yet to repeat its devastatingly beautiful gloom.

The Songs
Resonating percussion and otherworldly voices open the album with the short but effective 'Gothic Stone' seguing into the aggressive mid-tempo 'The Well of Souls' showcasing Messiah Marcolin's high pitched theatrical vocals. With a running theme of Death and the afterlife, his singing style at first sounds a touch over the top but as the album progresses deeper into the hallowed halls of heavy doom, it's less of an issue and suits the overall mood. The production's top notch with monstrous reach for heaven riffs and mountain moving bass of chief songwriter and group founder Leif Edling. Sabbathy to a fault, the slow burn of 'Samarithan' captures Candlemass at their soul-snatching best while their cover of Frederic Chopin's 'Marche Funebre' is splendid. Think 'Procession' from 'Queen II' on steroids although 'Bewitched' is the albums 'catchiest' tune and I use that term with the utmost humor which Candlemass did as well with a clearly tongue-in-check video that looks fairly stupid and embarrassing now.

In Summary
Truthfully doom has never been my favourite metal style but when it's done well as with 'Nightfall', it can be incredibly rewarding. Reissued several times, the 2007 Peaceville version includes a bonus disc of demos, live material and an eye-opening interview and is the one to own filed lovingly between Ozzy-era Black Sabbath and the naughty sleeves of Witchfinder General. Hail!

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#1 | gdazegod on November 25 2012 10:50:27
Doom metal for me is certainly an acquired taste.
#2 | jefflynnefan on December 03 2012 02:11:17
I always thought the name of the band was great.
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