CANDLEMASS – Nightfall

CANDLEMASS - Nightfall


Nuclear Blast
Release date: November 9, 1987

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Leif Edling was the founder of the group called Candlemass after the demise of his previous band, Nemesis. The debut album had the historic and meaningful title Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, which perfectly describes the music of this band from Sweden. Leif brought his love for Black Sabbath into the music of Candlemass, and gave birth to a new genre called Doom Metal. Their debut album contains some very strong arrangements like “Solitude,” and the epic 8-minute song “A Sorcerer’s Pledge,” but something was missing.

The total attention of the Metal community and the music industry was graced with the band’s second album, entitled Nightfall. The quality of this album was due not only to the exceptional songwriting, but due mostly to the new singer, Messiah Marcolin. Messiah’s vocal performance became a benchmark for Candlemass, considering his operatic training that fit perfectly into Edling’s music. Along with his voice goes his on-stage performance, comprised of the well-known “doomdance” while wearing a monk’s habit.

Every song in Nightfall has a doom hymn, with extremely heavy riffs and a mid-tempo rhythm section due to the low guitar tuning. “Gothic Stone” is a short instrumental used as an introduction to “The Well of Souls,” that starts off with Messiah singing a cappella, a perfect opener for every live performance, with a very strong and catchy melody line. The devastating marriage of Messiah’s voice and Edling’s songwriting is best displayed in “Mourner’s Lament,” comprising a strong mid-tempo melody and the best solo on the album. The lyrics are about death and all the dark feelings that come just before the end.

The epic song entitled “At The Gallows End” describes the final moments and thoughts of a man who is sent to the gallows, and, of course, is the highlight in every live performance of the band. The dark atmosphere of the album is perfectly described in the instrumental “March Funebre,” written by Frederich Chopin and arranged by Edling, and is the perfect soundtrack for a funeral. Another emotional outbreak occurs with “Samarithan,” a song about after death rewards, featuring the best vocal performance on the album, especially at the end of the song when describing how the Samarithan became an angel. Just before the end is “Bewitched,” featuring the heaviest and doomiest riff, with a compact rhythm section. The album closes with “Black Candles,” another atmospheric instrumental that is a perfect epilogue to the first chapter in the book of Doom Metal history.

The album is flawless in every section, even in the cover where there is a painting entitled “The Voyage of Life: Old Age” … that for sure fits perfectly into the album’s death concept. Nightfall was the match that started the Doom Metal fire and influenced bands like Cathedral, Electric Wizard, and even Paradise Lost. The first album after the band’s reunion entitled Candlemass proved that the Doom Metal machine is back on-line in full force. As Lee Dorrian from Cathedral states: “Doomed or be doomed!”


  • Dr. Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

    Dimitris was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has a diploma in Physics, a Masters in Medical Physics and a doctorate dimploma in Nuclear Medicine (this is the reason for his Dr. title). He was given his first Heavy Metal tape at the age of 12 which was a compilation entitled Scandinavian Metal Attack. The music immediately drew his attention and there he was listening to the first Iron Maiden album, trying to memorize the names of the band members. That was it! After some years, he stopped recording tapes and started buying vinyl records, spending every penny in the local record shop. The first live concert he attended was Rage co-headlining with Running Wild.

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