Doom, hails and ales | Candlemass

Epic Doom Metal masters Candlemass will be gracing our shores all the way from Sweden – bringing several favourites as well as new material to the local ‘headbanger brigade’ straight to Aria Complex on Saturday

Four core members of the Swedish band, Candlemass, from the 80s, are still part of the band today
Four core members of the Swedish band, Candlemass, from the 80s, are still part of the band today

Despite being considered one of the cornerstone bands of the doom metal genre, Candlemass did not set out to build such a legacy. “Well, it’s great I guess, with the legacy and all that. But basically, we’re just hard rock and metal fans who wanted to play music in the 80s,” Mats Leven, the band’s vocalist, told MaltaToday.

The event’s organiser and co-founder of Forsaken – the opening band on the night – Albert Bell, said that Candlemass single-handedly originated the genre known as epic doom metal – a subgenre of doom metal with an emphasis on dramatic soundscapes imbued with heaviness and emotive song texts and vocal delivery.

“The Swedish doom masters are also renowned for fantastic live performances. Their penchant for awesome live shows together with their songwriting consistency and studio material – the band possess several albums under their belts which are all hallmarks of the genre – have endeared them to heavy metal fans worldwide, including Malta’s headbanger brigade, of course,” Bell said.

In fact, Leven thinks it was the songwriting on the first album that gave rise to the distinctive musical niche, and a new genre altogether. The long-standing band’s consistency doubtlessly also helped to solidify the genre, as while the band has undergone a number of line-up changes and reshuffles over the years, the four core members from the 80s are part of the band today. Leven goes on to tell us that the entire band enjoys music by fellow doom pioneers Trouble, as well as Black Sabbath.

Forsaken – Malta’s foremost and oldest heavy metal band, specialising in epic doom metal – was influenced  by Candlemass
Forsaken – Malta’s foremost and oldest heavy metal band, specialising in epic doom metal – was influenced by Candlemass

The event – aptly titled ‘House of Doom’ – is the name of the new Candlemass EP as well as the new Play'n GO game. “The new Candlemass track is the OST for the game, but other than that I think it is a great epithet for the event with two bands that have made it their life’s mission to spread the word on the beauty of doom metal,” Bell says.

Saturday’s Candlemass show in Malta will be even more special as it will mark the return of founding member and main songwriter Leif Edling, Bell tells us. “The bassist hasn’t toured with the band these last few years. So, Saturday’s show will see Leif returning to live duties with the band, making the event even more heart-warming for all true die-hard fans – as Leif is truly the essence and soul of Candlemass.”

The band’s visit to Malta has been on the cards ever since Edling spent a few days on the island prior to the last edition of the yearly Malta Doom Metal Festival, and the deal was sealed “with a handshake and a beer or two.” Leven, on the other hand, says he has never been to Malta – and is looking forward to it. “I hope to meet some crazy fans,” he says.

Bell’s own band, Forsaken – the island’s foremost and oldest heavy metal band, specialising in epic doom metal – was influenced by Candlemass. “This is a tag-team made in heaven for epic doom metalheads, really,” Bell tells us. “While we obviously draw influence from the Swedish masters, we drink from a wider cauldron of influences and present our own take on the genre, which is perhaps somewhat more aggressive and primal.”

Aside from the show on Saturday, Bell will be focusing on the 10th anniversary of the Malta Doom Metal Festival – MDM X – set for October 19 and 20 with yet another killer line-up. Fans may also purchase an MDM X and Candlemass bundle ticket which will entitle them to a €10 discount. Otherwise, tickets can be bought for €20 from maltadoom.com or at the door. Doors open at 19:00 on Saturday at Aria Complex, San Gwann.

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