Candlemass, a name that resonates through the ages of heavy metal, unveiled their inaugural opus, “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus,” in 1986. More than a mere album, it stands as a monument to the art of doom metal – a testament to slow, heavy rhythms, and a grandiose, epic atmosphere.
From the haunting strains of “Solitude” to the sprawling finale of “A Sorcerer’s Pledge,” each note on this record is a brushstroke in a chiaroscuro masterpiece. The production, while preserving the raw essence of Candlemass, weaves an atmospheric cocoon, immersing the listener in a sonic chiaroscuro of melancholy and impending darkness.
Johan Längquist’s vocals serve as the ethereal guide through this sonic odyssey. His voice, a potent instrument of lament, resonates with haunting clarity. “Solitude” becomes a poignant soliloquy, a soulful cry reverberating across time. Längquist’s vocals aren’t mere narration; they are an integral part of the sonic tapestry, intensifying the emotional depth of each composition.
The prowess of Leif Edling, the bassist and principal songwriter, is apparent in the album’s orchestration. The gradual, ponderous riffs act as the pulse of doom, and Edling’s compositions read like verses etched into the annals of metal history. Mappe Björkman’s guitar work adds layers of texture, crafting a soundscape both crushing and intricate.
“Under the Oak” and “Crystal Ball” exemplify the band’s skill in infusing urgency without compromising doom’s inherent weight. Tempo shifts and dynamic variations prevent monotony in a genre occasionally criticized for its perceived uniformity.
The magnum opus, “A Sorcerer’s Pledge,” is an epic journey that transcends traditional song structures. Its over 8-minute duration unfolds as a sonic odyssey, traversing realms of despair and majesty. The gradual build-up, mournful guitar solos, and climactic crescendo make it the quintessential doom metal experience.
“Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” is a pilgrimage, a rite of passage for those seeking solace in the somber echoes of metal. Candlemass erected a monument to doom that endures through time – a dark citadel where the weight of heaviness reigns supreme. In the grand tapestry of metal, this album is an indelible thread, forever woven into the fabric of doom’s legacy.
Follow Candlemass on Facebook
Released by Black Dragon Records on June 10th, 1986