Nemesis of Leif Edling led to the creation of Candlemass with fellow musicians Mats “Mappe” Bjorkman (guitars) and Mats Ekstrom (drums). Manilla Road’s huge personality Mark Shelton was the one who persuaded Black Dragon to sign the Swedes after listening to the demo with “Demon’s Gate” and “Black Stone Wielder”. The cover was designed by the father of Mats Ekstrom, the vocals were taken over by guest Johan Langquist and in June 1986, Epic Doom Metal came to life!
“Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” is a colossal creation, which stigmatized the band, remains a classic until our days and for all the days to come.
Doom existed on both sides of the Atlantic, with Black Sabbath forever being its godfathers (as well as for Heavy Metal, Stoner, etc.), and the leading representatives of the genre (with Ozzy, with Dio, and Tony Martin as well).
The Doom Metal of Candlemass took the genre to another level. The slow-drawn riffs, the verses filled with pessimism and despair, were combined with the operatically/baritone and highly emotional vocals of Langquist, creating a unique melancholic/epic atmosphere. Listening to it, you are transferred to castles and rivers in the forest, gazing at the landscapes of your kingdom. This is the power/innovation of “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”. Dark Doom, depressing, heavy, dynamic, soaked to the bone with the magic/epic element.
A Crystal ball, the Gate of the demon, the Sorcerer’s Oath, and the great protagonists are loneliness and death. How can anyone not shudder with the verses of “Solitude” and the riff of this epic?
I’m sitting here alone in darkness
Waiting to be free
Lonely and forlorn I’m crying
I long for my time to come
Death means just life
Please let me die in solitude
Musically the creator/composer Leif is like playing a second guitar with his bass (the instrument of the composer could not be on the side…), the double guitars “give” incredible melodies, the riffs are heavy and strong, the solos excellent. What can I say about the drumming…? The drums are the backbone of the album, indeed properly synchronized and slow-drawn (without “crawling”) and contribute greatly to the dark atmosphere of the album.
I do not know if Candlemass had understood exactly what they were creating at that time, Johan certainly did not. Thanks to his immense voice and breadth (Doom metal vocals with emotion and inspiration from King Diamond!) the album was destined to make history, yet Johan chose to pursue a pop career, simultaneously opening the way to the monk who took his turn and would write his own history in the band’s top period of the 80’s.
A classic album that brought the genre back to the fore, amid thrash and glam metal explosion, and became an inspiration for Solitude Aeturnus, Cathedral, Electric Wizard and so many others.
Those of us who were at Fuzz in 2012 know very well the performance that the band can achieve with Johan in its ranks. At that time “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” was performed in its wholeness! Now Johan has returned to the band, with the very good “Door to Doom” and the night of November the 23rd again at Fuzz Club, with the band in full quorum, Leif having returned to the live performances, and a best of set list, is what we call “not to be missed”. Just be there for one of the best live performances of the season!