Candlemass played live our country in 2016 and in 2017, with Mats Leven on vocals, without the man who is synonymous to Doom metal, their composer, bassist and creator, Leif Edling. The flame has been alive during the recent years, with Leif facing health problems and dealing with many side projects.

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It is difficult to forget the mini-festival that was set up in October of 2011 (with Ghost also!) at Fuzz when with Robert Lowe on vocals (“Death Magic Doom” is a great album) had presented two sets. One with classic and newer songs, and one in the middle of the concert, for  the whole “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”, with the man who held the microphone in 1986 for these 42 magic minutes. Johan Längqvist, though shocked at first by the applause, was amazing and imposing, despite his absence for many years from the Metal scene. It is characteristic what Robert Lowe had said when he begun to continue after the ending of “A Sorcerer’s Pledge”, “You can’t beat that …” referring to Johan’s performance and the atmosphere he had created. The dream came true, Johan Längqvist is again the lead singer of the band, Leif returned to live concerts, and the good “The door to doom” brought the band back to life.

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The Slayerking where the guests for this concert, a band I would love to see again. In 2016 I was struck when they supported the unique Avatarium at An Clun, a live that marked me. The production of their new album “Tetragrammaton” was done by Swedish guitarist Marcus Jidell, and their gothic / death / doom metal became even darker and louder! In an almost full Fuzz (the balcony filled later, though not packed as the main hall) at 20:45, The Slayerking gave pain! Combined with their imposing presence, costumes, set-up and lighting, it’s like watching an evil / occult show! This performance really took Metal to another level with the spectacular presence of four black-dressed female evil dancers performing the music with their bodies! The Slayerking made a great  appearance showing how a metal show without taboos can be presented. “Black Mother of the Lord of Light”, “Southern Gate of the Sun” (closing), are huge tracks, and the highlight was “Queen of Sheba undresses before pulsating chords”. Efthimis Karadimas, Kostas Kyriakopoulos, and George Karlis left us with the best of impressions once again, delivering us in the hands of the “Holy Monsters of Music” Candlemass. A perfect beginning!

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Candlemass started playing at 10pm and time stood still. A huge banner with the skull of “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” decorated the stage, and from the first seconds of “The Well of Souls” it appeared that the band was in the mood for a great headlining show with a thirsty audience for Doom! The band is no longer weakened, Leif is present and Johan Längqvist is giving the band even more prestige! Tight and forceful, carrying the experience of many years, they continued with “Dark Reflections” and “Mirror, Mirror”. Awesome crowd participation with sing alongs and a big (for a doom metal concert) pit, that never “closed”! Good sound, Johan with a bit of a tired voice was doing great as a frontman as well, and every time Mats “Mappe” Björkman stood in the middle of the stage to start the next song’s riff, the crowd was even more excited! Leif communicated with the audience quite a few times, such as when he told us about their unexpected Grammy nomination for “Astorolus – The great Octopus” which was sung by the audience with the same power as “Bewitched” and “Dark are the veils of death” that followed!

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With a short break, what followed was  what the most of us probably expected, five of the six songs from “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” (missing “Black Stone Wielder”) where the concert peaked! When “OoooOoooo” didn’t stop at all melodies, when we felt lost in the dark (“Where is the morning, where is the sun”), when “Solitude” remains as dark and evil just as 33 years ago!

Candlemass have returned for good, gave a strong appearance in front of a fanatical audience, and I hope this five-piece will continue to offer its magnificent Doom for many more years to come.

Set List: The Well of Souls, Dark Reflections, Mirror, Μirror, Astorolus – The great octopus, Bewitched, Dark are the veils of death, Under the oak, A Sorcerer’s Pledge, Demons Gate, Crystal Ball, Solitude

Kostas Voulgarelis

Photos: Chris Kissadjekian/

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