Fan-filmed video footage of CANDLEMASS' April 11 performance at the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands can be seen below.
CANDLEMASS celebrated the 25th anniversary of its third album, "Ancient Dreams", with special live concert on December 28, 2013 at Debaser Medis in Stockholm, Sweden.
The LP, which was originally issued in 1988, has long been hailed as a classic and was performed in its entirety by CANDLEMASS, which was last year voted Sweden's best rock/metal band of all time in Sweden Rock Magazine.
CANDLEMASS also performed all of "Ancient Dreams" at last night's Roadburn concert.
CANDLEMASS' current touring lineup includes four members of its classic formation: Leif Edling on bass, Mats "Mappe" Björkman on rhythm guitar, Lars Johansson on lead guitar and Janne Lindh on drums.
CANDLEMASS played its first show with singer Mats Levén on June 5, 2012 at Debaser Slussen in Stockholm, Sweden.
Levén is a former member of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, THERION and TREAT, who also plays with CANDLEMASS bassist/mainman Leif Edling in KRUX.
Also joining the group for CANDLEMASS' recent live performances was keyboard player Per Wiberg (OPETH, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS).
CANDLEMASS in June 2012 parted ways singer Robert Lowe. The band stated at the time that this was "a very difficult decision" to make and had "mainly to do with the quality of the live performances."
Lowe — who is still a member of SOLITUDE AETERNUS — joined CANDLEMASS in January 2007 and sang on the band's last three studio albums: "King Of The Grey Islands" (2007), "Death Magic Doom" (2009) and "Psalms For The Dead" (2012).
CANDLEMASS released its 11th and final album, "Psalms For The Dead", on June 8, 2012 via Napalm Records. A limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single contaning two album tracks —"Dancing In The Temple Of The Mad Queen Bee" and "The Killing Of The Sun" — preceded the full-length effort on April 13, 2012.
Metal Wani writer Achintya Venkatesh recently conducted an interview with doom metal vocalist Robert Lowe (CANDLEMASS, SOLITUDE AETURNUS). You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Asked about whether his split with CANDLEMASS was an amicable one, Lowe said: "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."
Lowe also commented on CANDLEMASS mainman Leif Edling's claim that Robert never bothered learning the lyrics to some of the band's classic songs and had to read them from a notebook while on stage. "Well, yeah. I mean, everybody reads the Bible, and I do the same thing," Lowe said. "I have my Bible, and there you go."
As previously reported, Lowe has teamed up with composer and NS/Stick player Michael "Dr. Froth" Millsap (SIX MINUTE CENTURY, WELL OF SOULS) to record a concept album entitled "Gathered In Darkness".
The music will be a blending of progressive metal with epic doom metal textures.
Lowe is best known for his work as the vocalist for CANDLEMASS from 2007 through 2012, appearing on the albums "King Of The Grey Islands", "Death Magic Doom" and "Psalms For the Dead", as well as for his work with SOLITUDE AETURNUS.
Dr. Froth is the bassist for SIX MINUTE CENTURY, whose latest album, "Wasting Time", was released in October of 2013 on Nightmare Records. He is also a member of the epic doom band WELL OF SOULS.
Several other musicians will be joining the cast of "Gathered in Darkness", including vocalists Chuck Williams (SIX MINUTE CENTURY), John Calvin (WELL OF SOULS), and David Gonzales (FLUID FREQUENCY); guitarist Joel Gregoire (STRIDE); Don LaFon (SIX MINUTE CENTURY); Simone Mularoni (DGM); and Marc Petillon.
The project is wrapping up the writing phase and is scheduled to enter the studio in early March.
Metal Blast recently conducted an interview with CANDLEMASS and AVATARIUM mainman Leif Edling. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Blast: Considering the success of CANDLEMASS and the fact that it stands proud as THE doom metal band, what led you to start AVATARIUM?
Leif Edling: My last year was very stressful, and I needed a break. The guitar became the vehicle for that. I sat on the sofa, playing guitar just trying to relax because I needed a few months to myself. I started to like some riffs, and those riffs became songs, and I needed to record those songs that I had. My friend Marcus [Jidell; EVERGREY, ROYAL HUNT] here at the studio not too far away where I live now, he's got a small studio, so we sat there and demoed the songs that I had. So that's how it started… me needing break. [laughs]
Metal Blast: I agree that it does represent a difference from CANDLEMASS; while it maintains the slow tempo, it's also more psychedelic or maybe stoner in terms of sound, and the lyrics aren't quite as dark as in CANDLEMASS, they're a little more poetic. This goes very well with Jennie-Ann Smith and her style of singing, you know, this jazzy vibe that she gives the songs. While it's taking a break in the sense that you're not working with the same band that you've worked with all these years, is it also therapeutic in that you touch on things that are not as dark as what you're usually writing?
Leif Edling: Yeah, man. I enjoyed writing these songs very much because I could work in a little bit broader scope when compared to CANDLEMASS. I could go "outside the box" a little bit more and write these relaxed verses and have some kind of bluesy feels in the vocals, like you said "jazzy." It's been kind of interesting for me to go outside the stuff that I normally do with CANDLEMASS and work a little bit more with the energy and atmosphere. As a songwriter, to me that is really interesting, because you can do something that you can't usually do. For instance, normally I don't like piano verses or verses like the one in "Moonhorse" where it's almost folk.
Metal Blast: But you're still unable to leave CANDLEMASS fully on the side. You mentioned "Moonhorse" which has this whole "folky" and psychedelic element, but at the same time these folk elements are "interrupted" by the harder CANDLEMASS doom sound. I thought this combination was great.
Leif Edling: Thanks! This was the whole purpose of the AVATARIUM album, to create something that was a little more organic. Something that not only had hard energy, but also soft energy. We worked pretty hard with the arrangements and tried to make the songs flow in a way that gave in to more atmospheric, more bluesy elements, sometimes a little dark, sometimes a little light. It was great to work with the different energies and atmosphere's and doom riffs [laughs] and even, sometimes, a little bit more progressive stuff. I'm just a fan of good music. Working with someone like Jennie-Ann Smith was great, because she can really sing the blues. She's a blues singer.
Metal Blast: In an interview, you mentioned her being able to reach sort of a "Ronnie James Dio sound," which reminds me of the fact that when you released the mini-LP for "Moonhorse", you had a cover of "War Pigs" (BLACK SABBATH]. When you're tackling such a classic song by a band as famous as BLACK SABBATH, and you give it a completely new sound, was there a bit of fear of how people will compare it to the original, and also how people will react to the re-imagining?
Leif Edling: Yeah, that's the trickiness. It doesn't matter how you do it; if you do it in the traditional way, people either complain and say, "Yeah, yeah, you can't do it like SABBATH, you're not as good and it's boring," and if you do an acoustic version, people will say, "Yeah… it's cool, but I don't get it. They should have done a traditional version." You can't please everybody. In the end, you can only do it for yourself. When we were talking about it, we said that there was no way we could really do "War Pigs", since is such a classic song that you simply cannot touch the original, it can't be done. The only thing we could do with it was to make it our own. We completely re-did it, and I love it. We've had a couple of complaints, but we've also had a bunch of people saying that it was a great cover and that we did the right thing.