The classic Candlemass lineup holding up a gigantic invisible cat.
|Genres||Epic Doom Metal|
|Years active||1984 - 1994, 1997 - 2002, 2004 - Present|
|Labels||Napalm Records, Capitol Records, Metal Blade Records, Restless Records, Nuclear Blast Records|
|Associated acts||Solitude Aeturnus, Krux, Spiritual Beggars, The Doomsday Kingdom, Avatarium, Abstrakt Algebra, Therion, Momento Mori, Mercyful Fate|
|Current members|| Leif Edling|
|Past members|| Klas Bergwall|
Candlemass are an influential Swedish doom metal band established in 1984 by bassist, songwriter and bandleader Leif Edling alongside drummer Matz Ekström. After releasing five full-length albums and touring extensively throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Candlemass disbanded in 1994, but reunited three years later. After breaking up again in 2002, Candlemass reformed in 2004 and have continued to record and perform since then. Candlemass are considered to be pioneers of the "Epic Doom Metal" variation on doom metal.
Formation and The Messiah Years (1986 - 1991)Edit
After the breakup of his first band Nemesis, bassist Leif Edling started his own band under the name Candlemass with vocalist Johan Längqvist, drummer Matz Ekström, guitarist Mats "Mappe" Bjorkman and Klas Bergwall. Their first release, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986), immediately secured their standing, positioning the band within metal circles, setting a milestone in the doom metal scene. Following the band's debut album Längqvist was replaced by Messiah Marcolin, due to the former's disinterest in touring. By the time the band entered the studio to record their second effort Nightfall in 1987, Bergwall and Ekström had left the band. Jan Lindh joined the band on drums, and Lars Johansson joined the band on guitars following the completion of the album.
Candlemass's next two albums were Ancient Dreams (1988) and Tales of Creation (1989). In 1990, the band released a live album simply titled Live. Shortly afterward, a dispute between the band members resulted in Messiah Marcolin's departure.
Chapter VI and first break-up (1992 - 1994) Edit
After Marcolin left, Candlemass recruited vocalist Thomas Vikström and recorded Chapter VI (1992). The band then toured in support of that album. By 1994, Candlemass had called it quits, partly because Chapter VI was unsuccessful and partially because Edling had formed another project under the name of Abstrakt Algebra.
First reformation, Björn Flodkvist era and reunion with Messiah (1997 - 2002) Edit
With Abstrakt Algebra not doing well, Leif suddenly recruited a new line-up under the name of Candlemass. Edling was the only original member of the band at this time in the lineup, recruiting Björn Flodkvist as the vocalist. The band recorded the album Dactylis Glomerata in 1998, which was a combination of songs for a new Abstrakt Algebra CD and some new material (A re-release would feature unreleased songs from the intended second album by Abstrakt Algebra). A year later the album From the 13th Sun was released before the band would disband again for a time.
In 2002, the classic Candlemass line-up (Edling, Lindh, Johannson, Bjorkman, Marcolin) reunited with a string of well-received live performances, with one of these shows being released as Doomed For Live. Other albums released by the reformed band were remastered versions of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, Nightfall, Ancient Dreams, and Tales of Creation with liner notes and bonus tracks. A DVD called Documents of Doom was released as well. The band was working on a new album and recorded some new songs while searching for a record label when differences arose again, resulting in Candlemass disbanding a second time. In the meantime, Leif Edling started a new project, Krux, with former Abstrakt Algebra singer Mats Levén and two members of Entombed.
Second reformation with Messiah Marcolin and 20th Anniversary (2003 - 2006) Edit
Sometime after the 2002 reunion set with Marcolin, he would join alongside the classic lineup again with a string of festival dates and European shows with some new songs being introduced at shows. Reportedly, the band would disband in May 2004 but by January 2005 the band would announce a record deal with Nuclear Blast Eventually in 2005 the band would release their first (And only) album with the reunited lineup, simply calling the album Candlemass (Sometimes referred to as "The White Album" by band members. This album would go on to win the band a Grammis award the same year.
Plans would follow for a follow-up album slated for 2007 with the same lineup but in 2006 it was announced Marcolin was out of the band for good due to personal differences between Marcolin and Edling.
The band's 20th anniversary set would be delayed until March 31, 2007. Notably, this special set would feature multiple Candlemass singers (Only Marcolin and Björn Flodkvist wasn't able to participate) along with guest singers. It ended up notably being an introduction to new singer Robert Lowe and Johan Längqvist's first live performance with the band. This would be later released on DVD as 20 Year Anniversary Party.
Robert Lowe era (2006 - 2012) Edit
In 2006, Robert Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus would replace Messiah Marcolin as the lead singer of Candlemass. In 2007, King of the Grey Islands would be released to critical acclaim as tours of the United States and Europe would follow.
In 2009, the band's tenth album Death Magic Doom would be released, eventually earning the band another Grammis award. The album was intended to be named "Hammer of Doom" but was changed due to a festival of the same name.
The next Candlemass album was intended to be released in 2011 but was ultimately delayed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, featuring a live performance of the album with Johan Längqvist at Roadburn Festival. This performance would see an exclusive vinyl release in 2013.
In 2012, Candlemass would release what was billed as their final studio album in Psalms For The Dead with Robert Lowe on vocals. On June 2, Robert Lowe would be fired from the band due to what the band cited as "poor quality from live performances" as Psalms For The Dead was released on June 6, 2012.
Robert Lowe responded to his dismissal from the band with the following:
|“||"Actually, there was not a situation [that caused the breakup]. I mean, the guys decided to drop the best vocalist they ever had. It's not my problem. But you, there wasn't a situation. Everything is good, everything is kosher."||”|
— Robert Lowe, Blabbermouth 
Recent years (2012 - Present) Edit
In June of 2012 Mats Levén would be announced as the new singer of Candlemass, his first live performance with the band on 5 June 2012 in Stockholm. Levén had earlier worked with Leif Edling in Abstrakt Algebra and Krux and sang on demos from the Candlemass and King of the Grey Islands sessions. In addition, keyboardist Per Wiberg (ex-Opeth, Spiritual Beggars) would also join the band for live performances.
In January 2013, Candlemass was voted the greatest Swedish hard rock/metal band of all time by the writers of Sweden Rock Magazine, Scandinavia's biggest hard rock magazine as well as Sweden's biggest music magazine by circulation. They were featured in a list of the 100 greatest Swedish hard rock/metal bands of all time in a special jubilee edition, to celebrate the magazine's 100th issue. In connection with this, it was also revealed that Candlemass, along with death metal band Entombed (#2 on the list), were to perform jointly at a special jubilee concert in Stockholm arranged by the magazine. A split 7" featuring both bands covering each others songs (Entombed doing "Black Dwarf" and Candlemass doing "To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth"), with Mats first appearance on vocals as an official member.
Touring of the band itself would become more sporadic, notably with bandleader Leif Edling taking time off from live performances for chronic fatigue syndrome (With Per Wiberg and Jörgen Sandström taking his place on bass, depending on the shows.) though the band still actively tours and performs at festivals.
Despite earlier claims that Psalms for the Dead would be their final album, bassist Leif Edling has stated that he is open to recording new music with Candlemass again. To coincide with the 30th anniversary of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, Candlemass released an EP called Death Thy Lover in June 2016 with Leven on vocals. The band would also perform a tour of South America, an appearance at Psycho Festival and other festival dates, almost all of which without Edling on bass for the live performances. The band would follow with a short North American tour culminating at Maryland Deathfest, performing all of Nightfall. Lars Johansson has hinted at the possibility and interest of doing a new album but the decision lies solely on Edling and his health.
In regards to Leif Edling's new project The Doomsday Kingdom, Edling opened up about his condition that has affected him in the last couple years in an interview with Blabbermouth:
|“||"THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM was created two years ago. I was in pretty bad shape. I couldn't go out, I couldn't work, I wasn't allowed to read, I couldn't watch telly and I wasn't allowed to work in front of the computer, so all I had was the music. And I created THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM, metal from the catacombs."||”|
— Leif Edling, Blabbermouth 
Candlemass would mostly appear at festivals in 2017 but Leif Edling did perform with the band on bass for their performance of Nightfall at Wacken, his first live appearance with the band since 2014. The band has hinted work on another studio album, despite claims of Psalms For The Dead being the final record. The band would compose music for House of Doom, a Candlemass-themed slot machine in Sweden. A four-track EP of songs based on this slot machine is set for a May release via Napalm Records. Despite stating the they would no longer compose albums, Candlemass have a twelfth studio album recorded (Their first with Mats Leven) and set for a fall release via Napalm Records.
Studio Albums Edit
- Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986, Black Dragon Records)
- Nightfall (1987, Active)
- Ancient Dreams (1988, Active)
- Tales of Creation (1989, Music For Nations)
- Chapter VI (1992, Music For Nations)
- Dactylis Glomerata (1998, Music For Nations)
- From The 13th Sun (1999, Music For Nations)
- Candlemass (2005, Nuclear Blast)
- King of The Grey Islands (2007, Nuclear Blast)
- Death Magic Doom (2009, Nuclear Blast)
- Psalms For The Dead (2012, Napalm Records)
- TBA (2018, Napalm Records)
EPs / Splits / SinglesEdit
- Sjunger Sigge Fürst (1993, Megarock)
- Wiz (1998, Froghouse)
- Nimis (2001, Trust No One Recordings)
- Black Dwarf (2007, Nuclear Blast)
- Lucifer Rising (2008, Nuclear Blast)
- Don't Fear The Reaper (2010, High Roller)
- Candlemass Vs. Entombed (With Entombed) (2013, Sweden Rock)
- Death Thy Lover (2016, Napalm Records)
- House of Doom (2018, Napalm Records)
Live Albums Edit
- Candlemass - Live (1990, Music For Nations)
- 3-Way Thrash (With Dark Angel and D.A.M.) (1990, Fotodisk)
- Documents of Doom - Live at Fryshuset 1990 (2002, Escapi)
- Doomed For Live (2003, Powerline)
- The Curse of Candlemass: Live in Stockholm 2003 (2005, Escapi)
- 20 Year Anniversary Party (2007, Peaceville)
- No Sleep Til' Athens (2010, Nuclear Blast)
- Ashes To Ashes (2010, Nuclear Blast)
- Epicus Doomicus Metallicus - Live At Roadburn 2011 (2013, Svart)
- Live At the Marquee - Nov 26 1988 (2016, Self-Released)
- As It Is, As It Was: The Best of Candlemass (1994, Music For Nations)
- The Black Heart of Candlemass / Leif Edling Demos & Outtakes '83-99 (2002, Powerline)
- Diamonds of Doom (2003, GMR)
- Essential Doom (2004, Powerline)
- Doom Songs: The Singles 1986-1989 (2005, GMR)
- Doomology (2010, High Roller)
- Behind The Wall of Doom (2016, Peaceville)
Current Lineup Edit
- Leif Edling - Bass, Songwriting (1984 - Present)
- Mats "Mappe" Björkman - Guitar (1985 - 1994, 2001 - Present)
- Jan Lindh - Drums (1987 - 1984, 2001 - Present)
- Lars "Lasse" Johansson - Guitar (1987 - 1994, 2001 - Present)
- Mats Leven - Vocals (2006, 2012 - Present)
- Per Wiberg - Keyboards, Bass (Live) (2012 - Present)
- Jörgen Sandström - Bass (Live) (2015 - Present)
Past Members Edit
- Johan Längquist - Vocals (1986, 2007, 2011, 2013)
- Mats Ekström - Drums (1984 - 1986)
- Christian Weberyd - Guitars (1984 - 1985)
- Johnny Reinholm - Guitars, Drums (1984 - 1985)
- Messiah Marcolin - Vocals (1986 - 1991, 2002 - 2006)
- Mike Wead - Guitars (1987)
- Thomas Vikström - Vocals (1991 - 1994)
- Jejo Perkovic - Drums (1997 - 1999)
- Michael Amott - Guitars (1997 - 1998)
- Patrik Instedt - Guitars (1997 - 1998)
- Björn Flodkvist - Vocals (1997 - 1999)
- Mats Ståhl - Guitars (1998 - 1999)
- Carl Westholm - Keyboards (1998)
- Tony Martin - Vocals (2004, 2006)
- Mikael Åkerfeldt - Vocals (Live) (2006)
- Janne Christoffersson - Vocals (Live) (2006)
- Robert Lowe - Vocals (2006 - 2012)
- Marcus Jidell - Guitars (Live) (2012)
- Olle Dahlstedt - Drums (Live) (2013, 2014)
- ↑ Stonerrock.com via Wayback MachineAccessed 10 November 2016
- ↑ Stonerrock.com via Wayback MachineAccessed 10 November 2016
- ↑ Apeshit.orgMessiah Marcolin Out of Candlemass For Good, accessed March 16, 2016.
- ↑ Setlist.fmAccessed March 16, 2016.
- ↑ Candlemass Official via Wayback Machine
- ↑ Metal UndergroundAccessed March 17, 2016.
- ↑ Blabbermouth
- ↑ Blabbermouth ROBERT LOWE On Split With CANDLEMASS: "They Decided To Drop The Best Vocalist They Ever Had", accessed 17th March, 2016
- ↑ Blabbermouth
- ↑ SwedenRock.comAccessed March 13, 206.
- ↑ Dead RhetoricAccessed March 13, 2016.
- ↑ BlabbermouthAccessed 22 June 2017
- ↑ Blabbermouth CANDLEMASS Mainman LEIF EDLING's THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM: Debut Album Due In March, accessed 25th December, 2016